Wish you were here 1 / Impermanence

Wish You Were Here 1. Kellie O'Dempsey. 2021. Mixed media, collage & projection. 120cm x 0cm x 120cm.

One of my heroes, local artist, hilarious human being and amazing teacher, Dr Kelli O'Dempsey won the 2022 Queensland Regional Art Awards with her work, Wish You Were Here 1. In partnership with the QRAA, Queensland Poetry run an annual ekphrastic poetry competition. On a lark, I decided to have a go and write an ekphrastic poem in response to Kellie's work. I didn't win the competition but I like the poem :)


She told me she likes projecting because
it creates less internal conflict about the environment.

We sat by the water and talked about looking after old men not long for this world.

Here she is a silhouette made of light
see-through and easily thwarted by shadows of unseen gods.
Here she dances on the summit of a memory made of cardboard: a couple
kissing like they still believe the future is a mountain.

Pink white black red read recycled pulp culled and re-used for purposes
other than it could have imagined.
Wholly willing to be rolled, folded, torn and cut apart.

No more plans or desires, tomorrow is hand-drawn and
paper thin now.

- Mira Chorik