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 Semaphore is a newsletter and publishing project about art fromWestern Australia | Semaphore is a collaborative project and practice | Semphore enters into a dialogue with art from its rooted location of Boorloo on Noongar Country |


WA/ Wait Awhile

09 February 2020
An image study by Danni McGrath

This text was originally written to accompany an exhibition of the same name, at Sticky Institute in Melbourne as part of the Festival of the Photocopier, 11-14 February 2016. 

It is republished here, 4 years on, as a reflection on being home for the summer, and the threads that pull us elsewhere from time-to-time. A postcard, which, once received is tucked between the pages of a book to be re-discovered years later. Marking time, alterations of perspective, a document of what will always seem a more innocent time.


A jumble sale at a Quaker meeting hall in Surry Hills is perhaps one of the most unlikely places to find a vintage Western Australian souvenir linen tablecloth in mint condition, no less. But when I saw it, it felt so obvious. Of course it’s here! An expat, placed aside for now. To be recovered, cared for and returned home. I wore it as a cape for about an hour until I remembered Australian flag capes and snuck it into my bag.

I love it when my friends return home from Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin for The Perth Christmas. Our conversations are long, our yellow bins are filled with green Coopers empties, we actually go to that gig, we attend impromptu dog weddings. A few careful weeks, as in, full of care.

Mid January and a few more friends got accepted to RMIT, Melbourne Uni, CoFA or whatever it’s called now, they’re selling their beds and bikes on Facebook. I’m so excited for them! Look out East Coast! A few of us squeeze in a quick trip east before semester starts, whether or not we’re still studying. Spreading out again. On this trip I’m repping WA. Black, yellow, swans, only 50% irony. I want to bring a bit more of home with me this time. I want to share why I haven’t left yet, why I’ll be coming back if I do.

Then I’ll return home to Bunuru, the second summer. The hottest, driest part of the year. We’ll wait a while until the nights cool, until the mozzies hibernate. We’ll wait a while for the grant round results to be announced, to hear back from the galleries we applied to. We’ll keep on waiting and we’ll keep on going in this wide dry town.

Kaya. We acknowledge the Whadjuk People of Boorloo boodja who are the traditional owners of the land where Semaphore is made. We respect their culture, their custodianship, and their continuing contribution to the life of this city and this region. That includes recognising and respecting sovereignty while working in solidarity towards a treaty and supporting ongoing connection to country. That means linguistic rights, economic opportunity, and artistic endeavour. To their Elders, past, present and emerging, we say thanks.