Spawn by Laura Duffy

4 min 35 sec, silent

Spawn is a gift to those of us (so many of us!) who have been living through lockdowns. With the unwelcome mantle of ‘most locked-down city in the world’, Melbourne audiences were at the forefront of artist Laura Duffy’s mind when she created Spawn. Duffy mixes materials together like potions, encouraging audiences to consider texture through filmic spaces in which the natural and unnatural writhe upon one another – slipping, dripping, bubbling, congealing.

Responsive to a context of global pandemic mixed in with climate crisis, Duffy is moved by sentiments of kindness and generosity, inviting audiences into the ‘poetic, fun, fresh, flowery, camp and flirty’ world of Spawn.

The work reflects Duffy’s belief that materials are collaborative, complete with their own stories, histories and energies. The artist combines these materials to critique and shatter binary thinking of natural and unnatural as separate, instead embracing the complexity and blur of binaries. ‘How are we able to unleash from the constraints of “nature” to find new pleasures? A Post-nature embrace of all that is and will be, even if its toxic?’ Duffy questions.

Spawn is also a work about gratitude.  A filmic study of death and transformation. As golden liquid pours over rotting, spinning fruits and flowers, Duffy encourages us to ‘say thank you and rejoice in transformation and transmutation.’

An additional element of the work will be released on 1 February 2022. Conscious that so many of us have been confined to our homes and tied to our screens, Duffy is collaborating with artist and friend Aliyah Winter to create a downloadable audio work that we can walk around with, enjoying at our leisure, wherever we please. 

– Serena Bentley, Curator, ACMI

Spawn is an ACMI + CIRCUIT Commission which supports an invited Australasian artist to deliver an experimental new work specifically for the online context.  CIRCUIT is an Aotearoa New Zealand-based distributor of artist moving image works. Work commissioned through the ACMI + CIRCUIT commission will enter the ACMI + CIRCUIT collections and is hosted on each organisation’s site.

Co-presented with

About the artist

Laura Duffy

Categorisations of natural and unnatural have been weaponised against queers to erase, control and oppress. My work attempts to critique and shatter binary thinking of natural and unnatural as separate, embracing the complexity and blur of binaries.

Laura Duffy

Laura Duffy is a Pākehā artist based in Te Whanganui-A-Tara, Aotearoa. Her practise explores pleasure or joy derived from failure, error and disgust. Duffy often uses film, low-fi animation & digital media to explore porous boundaries between perceptions of binary concepts. Duffy’s multimedia visual practise is interested in queer ecology and queer desire.

Visit Laura's website