Reviews and Publications

Image courtesy: Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Photo: Dan McCabe

REVIEW: Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023, various artists
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 13 May – 23 July 2023

Belinda Hermawan, SeeSaw Western Australia’s Art Magazine, May 2023

Bold and striking art from Hatchlings

From bold statements on recent societal and political events, to the interrogation of personal histories, this year’s cohort of Hatched artists are not afraid to hold a mirror – or a magnifying glass – to all things uncomfortable.

PICA’s annual Hatched exhibition features the work of recent art school graduates from across the nation. Seeking to capture and respond to realities worth disrupting, this year’s iteration is produced by Hatched Curatorial Fellow Brent Harrison and features works by 26 emerging artists, selected by panellists Archie Barry (artist, Melbourne), Glenn Iseger-Pilkington (curator, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth) and Hannah Mathews (director/CEO, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts).

The exhibition boasts a number of immersive audio-visual installations, including RMIT graduate Soile Paloheimo’s Where the ocean is the sky. Standing in the room is an alien experience, with video of bright-coloured “moire effect” patterns projected on opposing walls and pulsating audio interspersed with Paloheimo’s native Finnish.

Even the circular platform in the centre of the room is reminiscent of a control panel in a spaceship. Paloheimo’s psychedelic rumination on the foreignness and isolation of COVID-19 truly captures how out of this world this experience has been for us.

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REVIEW: Hatched Dispatched

Sam Beard and Aimee Dodds, Dispatch Review, July 2023

Hatched Dispatched

From: Sam Beard <>
Date: Fri, 21 July 2023 at 14:11
Subject: Hatched Dispatched
To: Aimee Dodds <>

Shit! Aimee, aren’t we meant to write about Hatched!? You mentioned co-writing a review? Let’s do it. Yesterday, I visited the show. and was intrigued to see Agatha Okon’s video again. I first saw it at UWA’s graduate exhibition. In Hatched, there is not the same doubling of a virtual and real space as when show in Cullity. Regardless, the work holds up—a testament to Okon’s digital skills and sensibilities. I look forward to seeing how Okon develops this further. What do you reckon?

From: Aimee Dodds <>
Date: Fri, 21 July 2023 at 14:34
Subject: RE Hatched Dispatched
To: Sam Beard <>

OMG! You’re right Sam. Alright, sounds good to me. I just saw the show, and am at the bar now. While I too am intrigued by Okon’s work, perhaps your fascination is a sign of age—you are a bit of a Luddite, no? When I watch a video work, I want to be transported. In this respect, I recommend wandering downstairs to see the installation Forecasting the touch of change by Anna May Kirk. These works, I think, represent a lost way of being-in-the-world that has been superseded by screens displaying the BOM forecast and a sun emoji. Anywho, I hope the atmospheric pressure doesn’t get to your head too much.

From: Sam Beard <>
Date: Fri, 21 July 2023 at 14:53
Subject: RE Hatched Dispatched
To: Aimee Dodds <>

Lol! Don’t rubbish hybrid essays if we’re about to write one! Actually, no, we SHOULD rubbish hybrid essays, then write one, thus fulfilling the ultimate hybrid form—et voila! Impenetrable! Speaking of impenetrable, I remember the work you are describing, downstairs, in one of the dim dens. Not for me. Go have a look at Soile Paloheimo’s work (with its pulsating lines of colour, perhaps you can extrapolate something about the weather—they do look like isobars after all!). Personally, I find the impetus to Paloheimo’s work—no matter how thoughtfully described on the wall label—at odds with the pulsing shock of lights and colours that bounce across these three projections. Paloheimo describes how the work riffs off the experience of isolation after finding oneself in a new place, grappling with a new language. Yet, standing in all the wavey light, sometimes soothing, sometimes dizzying, it FEELS like pure atmosphere, something visceral, hardly related to the remote and abstract experience of unfamiliar languages. Regardless—I’m hooked! While I do not quite “see” the link between Paloheimo’s inspiration and the reality of the work, I am glad she did and arrived at this result.

From: Aimee Dodds <>
Date: Fri, 21 July 2023 at 15:14
Subject: RE Hatched Dispatched
To: Sam Beard <>

You must have spent more time at the nightclubs than the art galleries in Melbourne, or perhaps you can no longer tell the difference? (or perhaps there no longer is a difference…) What is one to do in this post-Guzzler age? Paloheimo’s installation made me nauseous, far too much stimulation, which I guess is a testament to its success if not its intended effect—maybe there’s your link to being surrounded by a foreign language, the inconsistency between exhibition and description! 

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Image: They are never far away (2023), March to Art: Create, ANVAM (Australian National Veterans Arts Museum), Melbourne, Australia 19 March – 30 April 2023. ANVAM permanent collection.

PUBLICATION: Reflective piece Elvis, Elephants and ESOs

Cath Rushbrooke, The Tangent, Issue 2, September 2023

Elvis, Elephants and ESOs


Here’s the thing about art… “It hits you where you’re at”, just like life itself – different people experience the same artwork in different ways. Your perspective is unique to you.

Consciously or unconsciously, every day, in every moment, we draw on our own personal filters for processing information – these include our way of viewing the world, our core values and beliefs, our past experiences, our knowledge or perceived knowledge, our emotional state and our personal preferred sensory processing patterns (i.e. sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Because of the combination of all of this, no two people experience or interpret the same event or piece of art (be it a song, a painting, a movie, a sculpture, a comedy act, and so on) in exactly the same way.

Take Elvis Presley’s music as an example. For me, Elvis songs evoke fond childhood memories of listening to the radio as I sat at my grandmother’s kitchen table, her beautiful smile, never ending patience, and dancing together as she cooked dinner or cleaned. But for my grandmother – listening to Elvis takes her back to a time when she was young and free, the excitement of getting dressed up and going to dances, and of meeting my grandfather. Same music. Different memories. Different perspectives. Similarly, what one person finds hilarious in a comedy act, another person might find offensive or insulting. Same material. Different perspectives.

Aside from different people experiencing the same piece of art in different ways – you, yourself can experience the same artwork in different ways given more knowledge, time and life experience. Have you ever re-watched a movie or re-read a book to discover things about it that you didn’t notice the first time? Same material. Fresh perspectives.

With perspectives in mind, we now move to the artwork They are never far away by Soile Paloheimo in collaboration with Jasmin Diab, Anneke Jamieson, Kat Rae and Kate Tollenaar. Let us delve into the origins of the piece in more detail and discuss the work from three different perspectives – the artist, the original recipient and the art fan.


They are never far away, is a collaborative digital collage between four female veteran creatives and print and installation artist, Soile Paloheimo. Each artist created an individual image with the intention to ‘creatively embrace’ the recipient, Rachel Brennan, a close, mutual friend during a challenging period in her life.

Kat Rae’s photographs of handmade soft sculptures, made from old Army uniforms, create the mountainous backdrop. The elephants are illustrated using watercolour and ink by Anneke Jamienson. The Monstera leaf is drawn by Kate Tollenaar and the original recipients of the peace, Rachel and her two children, are stencilled by Jasmin Diab.

THE ARTIST – Soile Paloheimo

I was honoured to participate in this collaboration when my dear friend and fellow artist, Kat Rae, asked me to help create a digital collage using the works of four female veterans who were seeking to support their mutual friend through a difficult period. As a collaborator approaching this project from the outside, I stopped to examine and read the meaning of the original artworks to create my interpretation of the very intimate and personal piece. The work celebrates close connection, the strength of friendship, love and support through the healing power of art.

The mountains, formed by the army uniform, hold Rachel’s family in their soft embrace. Ahead of them, an all-female herd of elephants form a protective and supportive group around their calves, leading the way calmingly. The herd presents female friendship and togetherness as providing the power for the journey. Green leaves, symbolising new life and hope, guide the way forward. The white space around all gives everyone the space to breathe.

THE RECIPIENT – Rachel Brennan

Rachel reflects: ‘When my life got hit by a giant wrecking ball some years back, I didn’t know how I was going to find happiness again. In the midst of my grief, I received this artwork in the mail. This print is much more than a piece of art. It was created out of love, friendship and support, from my closest friends who I served with in the Army. It was created to give me hope. It was created to remind me of the love around me. This painting hangs proudly on my wall and it has brought me so much strength and happiness.’

THE ART FAN – Cath Rushbrooke

I first saw this artwork during ANVAM’s 2023 March to Art Festival. Being the widow of a veteran with two young children I am a big fan of the symbolism in this artwork. They say “it takes a village“ to raise a child – this is absolutely true for us solo parents. At times, when you are dealing with all of the children’s needs as well as the loneliness, exhaustion, grief and anxiety of being a widow, it can be easy to forget about the herd and believe that you are doing this alone. Our “villages” take many forms, from family and friends, to school communities, and of course, the veteran community. We all stand side-by-side and experience solidarity, comfort and support.

I’ve felt the support of the military family since I met my husband – nights out, trips away, memories made, moments of support and encouragement. It’s such a powerful thing. Even last week I had chats with army family from around Australia, checking in on the kids and I. The people we’ve met as a result of my husband’s defence service have been a godsend. And since his passing, the fellow widows and survivors I’ve met through Legacy; the way we support and understand each other has been absolutely priceless. This artwork is a reminder that especially in the moments that I feel alone in my struggles there is always a community of people surrounding the kids and I. People there to help and provide support. YOU To any member of the veteran community who is struggling with feeling that you are alone or that you need support – please remember that you are also part of a military family. You are supported by a herd and are able to access organisations that exist to support current and former ADF members and their families. All you need to do is have the courage to put your hand up – or in the case of this gorgeous elephant… put your trunk up.

You are not alone.

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