Category Archives: 2014

The White Building – Tapestries

Works created during a residency at the White Building, Phnom Penh, 2014. Supported by Sa Sa Art Projects.

The single greatest issue facing the residents of the White Building is housing security.  As Cambodia rapidly urbanises, it is the urban poor that are forcibly removed from their homes to make way for shiny new apartment towers they cannot afford.  During a residency at the building, McCracken chatted to the residents of the building about their housing concerns and asked them to teach her how to cross stitch.  The cross stitching of pictorial tapestries was a popular hobby during McCracken’s stay and an effective way to connect with the residents of the White Building. Moving away from the images provided in the tapestry kits, McCracken stitched the grates, bricks and vents that residents had added to the building to make it an effective home.  She then gifted these small bespoke tapestries to some of the residents she got to know.


The White Building – Light Workshop

Light Workshop with residents of the White Building, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2014. Supported by Sa Sa Art Projects.

During a residency at the White Building (a medium density apartment complex for working class Cambodian’s) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, McCracken worked with members of Sa Sa Art projects, and the children that lived in the building, to create costumes filled with LEDs.  Due to their lack of light the hallways of the White Building are considered unsafe and are one of the few areas that children do not play.  By filling the dark hallways with their lit costumes the children filled these spaces with light and laughter.  Over a couple of hours, the participants played glow stick hopscotch, danced an exuberant conga-line, and skipped to the beat of an LED rope, all within the apartment complexes tight, internal hallways.

Our Place

Our Place, 2014. Two-month residency in Fawkner, Melbourne. Conceived, written and illustrated by Clare McCracken, photography by Pia Johnson. Supported by Moreland City Council and North Western Mental Health.

In 2014, artist Clare McCracken and photographer Pia Johnson, spent two months exploring Fawkner, a suburb in Melbourne, Australia. This artist book documents the people they interviewed, the stories they collected, the photos they took and the illustrations they drew. It is a record of the people, objects, architecture and stories that make Fawkner unique – the narratives of place.


Josie and the Constellations

Josie and the Constellations, 2014. Temporary installation on Dadenong's PEP Building. Supported by the City of Greater Dandenong, Places Victoria and Cogent Energy.

For thousands of years cultures have looked at the night sky, drawing lines between the stars to create constellations.  For each culture these shapes have shifted and changed to reflect, both the objects in their immediate surroundings, and the myths that dominate their identity. Josie and the Constellations playfully looks at the constellations of the past, while imagining both the observation deck, and constellations, of contemporary suburban Australia.

My Place, Your Place, Our Place

My Place, Your Place, Our Place, a public art intervention designed to celebrate the launch of the City of Greater Dandenong’s new Civic Buildings, Library and Square. Supported by the City of Greater Dandenong, 2014.

Public seating is designed so it can only be occupied for a short periods of time. The My Place, Your Place, Our Place cushion project encouraged the residents of Dandenong to claim their public space, and to sit for as long as they wanted.  300 hand-crafted Cushions were scattered throughout the square, and handed out to visitors over the six-hour period of the Civic Centre launch, ensuring that they could sit and enjoy the free public events at the Square, for as long as they wanted, in comfort.


The Locker Room

A moving, immersive, mixed media, performance installation, exploring the imprint of violence against women by bringing one woman’s dark and unsettling story to life.  Designed to grow over time and explore the stories of other survivors when relaunched, the work explores the loss, courage and resilience of women and families exposed to violence and encourages audience members to reexamine what they see, hear and believe.

Originally commissioned by Knox City Council and exhibited at the Knox Festival in 2014 but re-exhibited by the City of Casey, City of Boroondara and the City of Manningham. Designer, writer and key collaborator Clare McCracken // Creative Producer Jeremy Angerson // Director Naja Kostich // Sound Designer Michael Carmody // Lighting Designer Rachel Burke.

Heritage Hill

Works created during a residency at Heritage Hill, Dandenong. Supported by the City of Greater Dandenong, 2012-2013.

Our experiences of historical sites like Heritage Hill are framed through a combination of factual history, and our own stories and past. The works created by McCracken, as part of her residency, explore this idea through the use of painting and text. Striking, large-scale still life paintings of objects at Laurel Lodge sit beside a fictional narrative about a young lass called Laurel, whose identity is intrinsically linked to the clash between McCracken’s memories and the site.