I still don't believe in you 2016 Archival inkjet print on Photorag 62 x 40 cm I was living in a block of four flats; an Art Deco building opposite the Army barracks on Anzac Highway. One night I awoke abruptly from a nightmare in which my whole body was covered in Huntsmen spiders. I was still making frantic movements with my arms to brush the spiders off on waking. I was laying on my back- not a normal sleeping position for me. i instinctively looked to the right side of the bed and standing over my sleeping partner was a figure with a smooth featureless face and a black shrouded body. I closed my eyes and opened them three times; after the third time it was gone. There was nothing where it had been that I could have mistaken for the figure. I said nothing to anyone for a few days but it seemed to real to ignore. After telling some friends that had previously shared the flat I heard that they too had experienced similar occurrences.Sometimes there was a weird smell in the stairwell. Apparently there was an incident in the downstairs flat years ago when a man went crazy with a shotgun. but this information was anecdotal and unsubstantiated. i saw the thing once more but it had a lumpy face and it was at the end of the bed. I still don't believe in ghosts.
Say Aahhhh 2016 Archival inkjet print on Photorag 62 x 40 cm my fear of going to the doctor nearly killed me. I had not visited a doctor for over five years when I was forced into a situation where I had to have a blood test. I was sure I had contracted a deadly virus. During the process of having blood taken and waiting for the results it was discovered I needed surgery to remove an organ that was effectively trying to kill me. So no virus, organ removed and I am still kicking about.
You can't hurt me now 2016 Archival inkjet print on Photorag 62 x 40 cm Last year I had a close encounter with a shark. I was paddling on my stand up board just after dusk. When I turned to head back to shore I saw something in the water behind me, moving away from me at a 90 degree angle. The sun had well and truly gone down and the water was dark. This thing was darker. At first i thought it may be a bird paddling along at an impressive pace, but I could see no discernible bird like features. I watched it swim at a right angle away from me for maybe 5-10 seconds, trying to work out what it was. Then it dawned on me- "F**k I think that's a shark' I said to myself. It was as if it sensed my fear, as at the exact time I realised what was cutting through the water it made a 45 degree angle turn and headed straight for me. Pure instinct took over and I paddled faster than I had ever paddled, not stopping or looking behind til my board fins hit sand. Then I threw up. I estimate the fin was about 25 to 30 cm out of the water. Where I paddle is an inlet and is shallow except for the boat channel. it would have been in water maybe 2 meters deep. I know how dolphins swim; it was not a dolphin. I have dived with reef sharks on the Great Barrier Reef and surfed a few times at sharky breaks never have I been as frightened as that night. My fear was primal and my reaction instinctive. By illustrating this experience using an amateurishly painted backdrop and a comically constructed beast I attempted to exorcise the fear. It worked to a certain degree though I will never paddle at night again.