A Rest Area Film

One of the very rare times Rest Area has had a camera inside the truck. Me with iPhone and hand-held theatre lamp; S.J bringing the ruckus.

Post-Rest Area

On the way to Yarraville, finding our way by taking turns that look right. Rest Area done; tomorrow Stone Tape Theory begins.


Rest Area at Night Again, FOLA Arts House Naarm

Same truck; different position.


Cool Change Moving In

High cirrus cloud marking change’s arrival. Unsettled high wind, biting sun glare, and early afternoon me wading on the gentle sandbanks of Williamstown Beach. I picked up a touch of Australian sunburn.


Rest Area at Night, FOLA Arts House Naarm

“I want you to come in, to lie down – to hold me, just for a minute.”

S.J Norman — Rest Area, at FOLA, Arts House, Naarm Melbourne

The reason I’m in Australia for the first time in a decade, and in Naarm (Melbourne). Once again Rest Area, the first work I did with Onyx Carmine / S.J Norman. (Also Stone Tape Theory, which is next week and for another post.)

The truck of Rest Area will be parked out the back of Arts House at North Melbourne Town Hall for the first week of FOLA Festival of Live Art. Onyx and I will be Door Bitch-ing and in the bed from Wednesday until Sunday, joined by a pack totalling seven, including Virginia Barratt and Carly Sheppard (whom I last saw in Peckham, London at Take This, For It Is My Body).

I want you to come in, to lie down – to hold me, just for a minute.

Rest Area is the invocation and repetition of a familiar desire and a familiar gesture. In the back of a stationary truck, discover an unlikely bedchamber, where you’re invited into a stranger’s embrace.

In a moment of fleeting closeness, audience member and performer enact a fundamental human desire: to hold and be held in the arms of another.

A much-loved signature work originally performed by Norman themself, Rest Area enters its second decade of life re-scored for a cast of diverse bodies. Simple and profound, Rest Area is a one-to-one meditation on longing, comfort, and the melancholy eroticism of loneliness.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

4–10pm, Wednesday 14 March
4–10pm, Thursday 15 March
4–10pm, Friday 16 March
4–10pm, Saturday 17 March
12–6pm, Sunday 18 March
Duration: One-on-one sessions for 15 mins
Tickets: $20 / $15


Westgate Bridge from Stony Creek Park

The bridge is an endless, low serpent stepping across the marshland. I took Onyx’ bike and rode back to Scienceworks, to the long bluestone wall on the side of the Yarra. I haven’t climbed bluestone in ten years. Fingers and body remember but cannot. I walk from one end to the other and back, more than 100 metres of hard climbing in both directions, feeling the rock with fingertips and toes. I remember when I first started climbing the railway bridges in Balaclava, East St. Kilda, it took me months to be able to string together one traverse, months more to reverse it, months again to do the other side of the road. This is the same, but harder.

Climbing walls to get at science. Climbing walls around the back when there’s a locked gate up the front side. Climbing walls “like, it’s literally a metaphor, lol.” In the end, I find the first several moves. Still more than 100 metres to go.