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The Vast Project: Turtle installations. September 8-14,2017.

Nick Sheppard, Paul McDermott and Gavan Healy    [Photos: Russell Ord Photography]
making turtles while listening to some of Australia’s finest musicians   

Vast was a huge success, so many amazing artists, musicians, songwriters…all together in Cossack,

being inspired by the environment and each other. There will be a music album produced,

a documentary film, and exhibitions of the visual artists’ work in 2018.

For my project:

A kind of vast self-portrait.

I expanded the outline of my body, lying like a starfish, spread out to fill an empty room in the old post office building in the ghost town of Cossack.

I filled in the outline with…. terracotta turtles.

Jae Laffer taking time out from recording to make a few turtles
     terracotta turtles drying

I made clay turtles using plaster press-molds, aiming to use my body weight [54 kg] in clay. It took a few hours every day, so was thankful to get a bit of help from visiting school kids and some of the other Vast artists and musos. On the last day I reached my target, 54 kilos of clay, approx. 283 turtles of varying sizes.

finished! [photo: Russell Ord]

The result was photographed (best pic by Russell Ord Photography) in the room, then turtles were packed up and relocated on the salt-encrusted tidal mud-flats nearby, where Stormie Mills (famous street artist) and Bob Moore (ex-Mambo designer, muso and painter) collaborated on a giant drawing. Their work dwarfed my little installation in every way, but it was a fun new experience for me. (Mike Fletcher got some drone perspective overhead pics).

Turtles liberated on the tidal mud-flats [Photo: Mike Fletcher]
liberated turtles in the sunset

[Mike Fletcher, drone shot]

Stormie Mills & Bob Moore’s mud-flat drawing, [Photo: Russell Ord]

[Photo: Lis Johnson]

I was also out on the mud-flats earlier in the week, as ‘bride wrangler’, helping to get some shots and footage for Baby Guerilla‘s ghost bride concept.

our long veil-like shadows [Photos: Russell Ord]