Piano Concerto No.1 – Shostakovich

I’ve spent the time you intended
Listening to the beautiful concerto no 1

And I am now able to weep
Listening with the ear of pain

Pain of love
And love in pain

He was but 19 and the world was the one you gave him
Alone and in your heart

A song so full so full of heart
A song so full of joy and pain and love

And in the shadows the darkness
As in the blinding light

Find the peace and the sorrow
That which you pain so well

And in

Garden Variety – Talk in Brisbane

It is on occasions such as this, when I am offered an opportunity to consider my place in the context of an architectural discourse, that I develop a sense of despair and despondency.

Fool’s Gold

O see you blind fool
A spool of nothingness
You are
Nothingness by far

Common… place

Art provides triggers of hope that in what we see there are commonalities.

Commonalities in the perceptions of people and beauty exists in the realm of those perceptions.

Little by little

Small things
that make us all
Little by little
A giant to form

Never that thing
you thought at the start
Little by little
Of hope
Of heart

Never that thing
you thought at the start
A second of hope
The realm of the smart
A risk toward easiness
A snare in the heart


Candid candor makes him sing
A song that no one heard but he
And yet he sang out loud
That sing that all men knew
And every colour every hue
Was brilliant
bright as stars
That always sang
That always were
And found him out
And did occur.

Design and the Fall of Ego

Embellished hope and sweet desire

High ablaze and deep in fire
moving forward
Nothing stopped in process dire
Less is much more than you think

Easy trades of thinking make it
Moves of trust in constant move
Is this busting to be sacred
Such embrace is not a fool

Lastly not all thinking sacred
Not all doing done for all
Not all making that which taken
Is less than the more once thought.

Col Madigan Obituary

Col Madigan was a metaphysical architect whose work sought to reveal an evolutionary thinking whilst represent in its forms, universal orders of the immutable forces observed by him through his education as an architect. Heavily influenced by his commitment to the fragile earth and the writing of George Bernard Shaw, he had also acknowledged the significance of his father’s influence in a key speech he had presented in Singapore (the AS Hook Memorial Speech) at the time of him being awarded the most prestigious architectural prize in Australia, the AIA Gold Medal in 1981. Other significant achievements include the receipt of the prestigious Sulman Medal in 1967 for his Warringah Shire Library and in 1970 for the Mitchell College of Advanced Education. He was also the winner of the Blacket Award in 1969 for the Warren Library. In 1981 he was awarded the Canberra Medallion for the National Gallery of Australia and in 2007 the 25 Year Award for the High Court of Australia. In so doing, Madigan through his firm Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Briggs was responsible for some of the most significant and accomplished 20th Century works of architecture in Australia.

The Banker

And hope
that came to beat
the ravaged still
That came to bear
That came of will
Shall one day see the hopes of dire
Upon that universal spire
That cracked gold glistening fraud
That humans make
For nothing’s sake
Like sullen sunsets
Lost upheavals
Hopes for none sense
And trails of evil

The following for followings sake
Shall end; its no mistake
In ends of ends that finish never
And find a sum
From nothing tethered
And set sail to stone-filled yachts
To find the treasures
sought from the beginning.

Notice the familiar

A view, a word, a thought, a building, a picture, a person.

All can be extraordinary and pass before us unnoticed.


At the seashore the hidden (seashore)
And white like a pidgeon
We thirsted in the noon
But the water brackish

Upon the sand, the blonde (sand),
We wrote her name
Beautifully how the breeze blew
And the written was erased.

With what heart, with what breath
What desires, what passion (enmity)
We took our lives in error
And changed (our) life

Natural Artifice

After all, we are in the world we made.

It is a planet that suffers from our fears.

And our fears suffer from our desires.

It is a planet made of the human mind; the human psychological need to exist in more than matter.

Our artificial cultivation of the natural world proves a complexity exists in our interrelation with our earth; and I love the complexity innate in our being, innate in that so ephemeral thing called life.

Present… Spirit

Nothing of matter can be seen to be eternal.
Everything is ephemeral

Nothing lasts
Nothing is forever

Except one thing.

Strangely…..the spirit.

The thing that has no substance last longest.

And paradoxically,
Spirit has most presence of all.



One thing, however,

In Fact
It gets stronger
With time.

And that is love.

Life… Life

Everyone lives and then they die.

Life is important if it gives something to change things;

not important if it ‘takes’ because when we all die, then who and what we leave behind needs to be something that changed the way things were before we came.

There is no other point.

City of possibilities

Our city is a place of possibilities.

And yet,
the natural order of things
does not assume the presence of design to a priority.

And then,
there is no assumption in design
that there is a unilaterally accepted approach.

And yet there may lay in this
something of a cultural approach
which is different
to a general approach
or resting on laurels.

First lecture UNSW 2009

Like Camus, I will give you tedious and difficult tasks, you will need to measure the city and record it for no other reasons but that you love our place, for no other reward but the inner gratitude of deep simple knowledge.

You will need to measure the flocking birds in the sky, seek an understanding of their patterns and relate them to our patterns of movement and works in our place –

You will need to distinguish the visceral from the apparent;

you will need to see yourself in the context of all other things;

the numbers of the universe, the leaves in the trees;

such simple tasks will become difficult in their repetition but influential in their intent and in how you think about things.

Slow – fast

It is difficult to know how to behave in these difficult times.

On the one hand, our art demands a certain ‘slowness’; on the other, our commerce expects speed.

‘Nothing’… is important

‘Nothing’ as an essence of life and empty space is a thought worth considering.

With space is made the fear of an atmosphere; the life in aroma, the depth of echo, the resonating of an object to make a sound, warmth and comfort; all kept unseen; emptiness staging a scene for heightened perception.

The absence of things is known to an artist; a single line able to make all sense if crafted beautifully.

Shadows in eternity

This ‘resistance’ is our creative urge; “suffering” through this is part of this resistance and part of our nature.

Possible… potential

There are so many possible influences in life; science having developed and found the smallest of things and the largest of things. We understand quantum theory, quantum mechanics, quantum physics; all things amidst being what we know and live.

Our canvas, the matter with which we engage is the place where we live; the canvas itself maintaining its primacy as it stands before us; in our case a shimmering emerald city.

All significant art of times before can be theoretically found in an encyclopedic knowledge and it should be our life’s aim to seek its discovery whilst knowing the impossibility of that task. And what may lay before us are streams of the collective consciousness; streams of nutrients; streams of flowing thought away from the cerebra; thought of a visceral nature; despite our knowledge. These parts of our being are the creative parts that can add to our knowledge and should not be ignored.

All these old, new, historical, internal, personal and universal ideas are able to come together with possibilities in art; they can come together at this time in this place to form a delta.