Australian Videro Art Archive

Bonita Ely


World Wild Life Documentary: including Blue Heeler Buckley’s Map of Australia

00:34:28 2004, 2006

World Mid Life Documentary: including Blue Heeler Buckley’s Map of Australia, is composed of a bricolage of footage collected over ten years of recording flora and fauna, fanciful interpretations of phenomena, improvisational editing in camera, humorous observations, close up nature studies, the naive and ignorant commentaries that occupy the amateur observer of nature. The footage, in short, is the antithesis of David Attenborough. Narrative strands that allude to the intimacy of family and friends present the human as an animal intent on social interaction, and significantly, a compulsive desire for inter species communication. Aesthetic, rhetorical, disjunctive and subjective interventions overlay acute observation to define our delusional stance when confronted with the hard facts of consequence, such as ecological degradation and climate change.

The video begins with a big black tadpole gulping in the bottom of a fish tank. Their bodies metamorphose into the artist’s eye then we’re off to India being paddled across a river in a coracle to meet animals, insects, reptiles, birds, weather, land forms, flowers, fish and the things we make and do in dispersed with our compulsion for interspecies communication. The video ends with footage of a pattern on my dog’s chest that resembles the map of Australia (without Tasmania).

The video has been shown at Sutton Gallery Melbourne, 2004; Bellas Milani Gallery, Brisbane, 2005; Performance Space, 2006 in The Cleveland Street Project, a group exhibition to mark the passing of Cleveland Street, Redfern, as the location of Performance Space. Here the video and drawings and assemblage were exhibited as equivalent time based mediums in an installation.

Camera: Bonita Ely.
Editors: Bonita Ely, Jamil Yamani.

DVD available.