In 1998 I held a solo show of chainsaw
carvings called "In The Courtyard" ... Held at Customs Wharf Gallery,
Williamstown, Australia. My dear friend and brilliant performer Samantha
Bews of "Fanny Box Productions” launched 'CUTTING EDGE ART’
onto the public with a speech and performance of her own cutting edge
This is what was said:
I met Angie at N.E.I.S., the New Enterprise Initiative Scheme.
Small Business bonanza paid by government fees.
In a barn of a building in a corner of Scray, right at the edge of the city.
Heat wave outside but in is air conditioned freezing.
15 stinking bodies stuck in a room.
Quick dried sweat, lunch kebabs digesting.
All lingering nicely with multicultural farting.
15 stinking bodies mad for success.
And Angie, there on the other side of the room.
Angie mad, loud, intimidating.
Angie wild and Angie dark and exploding.
Exploding laughter, exploding crass.
Explodes into the room like a car crash - you cant miss her.
That's when I first met Angle.
After the course I spent my last 10 cents on a sleek black pedal machine. From the cash converters at the top of the hill I prepare for a seek Angie mission. I scream down the hill. Gonna check out the girl. Gotta find out the hell she's been working.
I remember the boys from Tree Division.
Jason and the boys were hacking away in a park in the west by the river. Jason and the boys doing their bit, saving the best bits for Angie. Jason Chiller, boyscout looks but a mouth tike a filthy wet rag. Shitting and fucking and cursing dead wood.
But there's no sign of my chick Angie.
But Jason tells me a whisper about the man up top, the man where wood is turned to paper. The head of department's been keeping an eye out. He knows which artist to favour. To all the other artists looking for wood, Mike Wallis cuts through the crap as he knows he should with a "Piss off, all our wood is for Angie".
I go out to Knoxfield, the other end of the earth, to her fan club known best as STIHL.
lan, Trevor and sweet boy Keith, the tool boys know how to make this girl happy.
Fixing her saw, tuned to perfection, keeping her cutting edge sexy.
Turning their backs when it's time to scab a file or some oil if it's handy.
So I look around.
Angie's not there but the state manager walks past and I stop him.
I've been wanting to say for quite some time, three cheers Rick Burke.
You're a champion. You've lived dangerously, lived wild, you've taken a punt, and man,
I know it was worth it. You're a man of vision, of risk, of grit.
You had the guts to sponsor an artist.
Still no Angie.
Back to Footscray, watch out for the trucks, cruising down Whitehall Street. Past the milkbar and into the lot. And there's fucking Angie, wielding her saw, hacking out her favourite creation. Two metres of radiata pine submits itself to a mechanical spanking.
Bits of wood flying, chainsaw growling, powered by that feral chick Angie.
Slowly, slowly, I see a figure revealed.
Goddess of a woman.
Two metres tall.
Wood golden skin, voluptuous curves and pouting. Two metres tall.
Red nipples, red lips, and legs with nets for the fishing. She's been sold to a brothel.
Cupcakes Private Pleasures.
She's a woman with too much woman to be messed with.
And there's Angie, the self proclaimed Urban Feral Chainsaw Chick.
Featured on the news, featured in the press.
Fifteen articles and still more yet.
Burkes Backyard, bloody Jeff’s Shed.
There aint anywhere this girl aint been yet.
Six totem poles in less than two weeks.
An erection party up at Warburton.
And losing her arm up Kynton way, that lurid sculpture called "Black Velvet Dress'.
Some local was distressed by her lipstick tits.
So cuts off the arm in protest.
"The Arm of Ignorance" the Kynton News cries, and Angie thinks it's bloody hilarious.
Move onto Olinda, do a big fish.
Do a big cod at Yarrawonga.
Plantusforsalus can't sell enough of erotic untameable ladies.
And now we're here at the Willy Wharf, the guests of Ms Vikki Plunkett.
Eleven brilliant works up for grabs.
But my favourite of all is the urban girl out for a bit of camping.
I know how it feels swinging alone, feeling at one with nature.
The birds, the bush, the sweet fresh air.
Life is back to basics.
Everything natural and light.
The goddess within is finally released.
Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful if we were released straight out of cypress wood.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all born again.
Sculpted by that mad chick Angie.
(dress falls down, red nipples, black boots, and hit urban girl pose)
See more pictures of the exibition