Stories from the Crevice Communities symposium 2022

I’m having a big week!

For several months now I have been a member of a group called Creative Practice Circle, which is a creative practice research group hosted by Charles Sturt University in Wagga, New South Wales. A year or so back they held a virtual symposium, which I was able to contribute an installation to – from my Voices (In The Trash) picture poetry collection. Membership of the group allows me to claim a formal affiliation and describe myself as a ‘Research Associate’ of the Creative Practice Circle.

Recently there was a call for submissions/expressions of interest, to respond to a ‘provocation’, which included:

  • We are interested in interdisciplinary inquiry and collaborations that reach out to explore crevice communities with scientists, artists, academics and members of alternative and/or marginalised communities. We ask:
  • What can be found in the “cracks and hollows” that might help us to create a world worth living in?
  • In particular, how might creative practice as research make a significant contribution to current discussions about the environment, resilience, and health, including mental health?

I titled my proposal: Searching For The Jazz Baby, with a view to discussing my discovery and delight in finding so much story to flesh out the life and times of Ida Pender in the newspapers of the 1920s. You’ll probably remember my flirtation with Ida, a little while ago – the teenage sweetheart of a notorious gangster, life on the lam from the law, and so on.

I proposed that (in a 20 minute presentation I might be able to resurrect a lost feminine hero, of sorts, and a great female protagonist from the 1920s.

Whether I can actually do that, or not, remains to be seen, but what a hoot!

This symposium runs back to back with the Poetry Conference that I’ll present to in Canberra, though this one is in the regional city of Wagga Wagga. Fortunately on the same broad travel route. A little juggling will be required.


The war in Ukraine, followed immediately by my hunt for the Jazz Baby.
I’ll leave you with a Wanted poster/notice the police put out for Ida when she went into hiding with Squizzy Taylor for a year (I think). Please note, if you can read it, the mention of her shapely legs!

Ida Pender Wanted Poster from March 1922. – 29/06/2022

11 thoughts on “Stories from the Crevice Communities symposium 2022

    • Thak you, Michael. The academics behind the group are concerned that arts are being excluded, or given lesser status because they don’t utilise research, as perhaps the harder sciences do. They want to show that experiential and performative art has its own particular kind of research base that is as valid as other forms.

      The argument is a little beyond me, but I’ve recognised that in recent times I have relied heavily on research of a kind, with lots of attributions necessary to link to original inspirations and sources. New doors opem!


    • SHe’s still around, Claire, and I’m glad to have an opportunity to pay her a little homage in front of others. The wonderful thing that occurs to me is that there are many people like Ida – worthy of renewed attention and with much material to work withy – dotted through the newspaper archives that are now free ly available for the looking.


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