On the Couch with Cat Jones

Cat-Jones-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Cat Jones?
Artist, writer, researcher. Strong leanings towards creatures and plants, the senses and the mind. Usually near or in water. Recently identified mirror touch synesthete. Easily distracted. GSOH.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I begin most weeks with this question! It’s how I get to do things like field assist on a marine biology research trip or work with neuroscientists and then publish as co-author in science and health.

Who inspires you and why?
A few years ago I saw a news story about a grandmother, an Elder, way up north who goes out in the middle of the night walking round looking out for the kids and teenagers heading towards a dark place. The footage was of her walking barefoot through the sand and the bush in the night, picking plants, casually acknowledging creatures on her way – so connected to the country she walked in, so confident in herself, and in the night, and the ability to turn around a situation with her presence.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Continue to ask this and other questions. Perhaps first we have to make something different in and of ourselves. There’s an element of this in Medicament for Your Predicament premiering at Liveworks 2020 this week. I ask participants of OPEN LAB! – what’s the matter? And how might we transform it? Then we apply that thinking to a chemical change we can make with our own hands. It’s beginning of a new body of work around medicine and feminist futures. A long-term conversation asking what is medicine? Who gives and who receives it? Who makes it? And most importantly who controls it? There are so many fascinating stories in it that affect all of us, equally.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Travel makes for wild stories but relaxing is somewhere hot with a beach, a view and nature. There’s nothing like heat, water, negative ions, the weight of sand and the middle distance for soothing the mind, the body and the soul.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
This week I took visitors to coastal cliffs to watch turtles feeding below. In Sydney it’s the Bronte to Bondi coastal walk to see whales. Once I watched a whale, in all its glory, leaping the entire length of the horizon.

What are you currently reading?
Between production lists? There’s a tab open on turtle breeding cycles (in preparation for the full moon), a newly published book about a pioneer aviator (my grandfather’s ilk) whose author and daughter I happened to meet a couple of days ago, next to the bed an edible flowers book, and slipped into my suitcase (which I’m currently living out of) is a draft of my mother’s latest short story. I’m on her editing team.

What are you currently listening to?
At night a themed playlist I’m listening to as I make Medicament For Your Predicament. During the day a cacophony of wattle whip and butcher birds, bee eaters, bell miners, kookaburras and magpies, and something that trills I haven’t identified. Last week the extended vocal play of my baby niece including this startlingly guttural possum hiss she does when you walk by. Which I take particular delight in.

Happiness is?

What does the future hold for you?
Continuing the indefinable non-attached pleasure in the previous answer I hope. Resuming my residency at MAAS Powerhouse – I’m in Gubbi Gubbi country until borders open. The final stage of my Create NSW Fellowship looking further into psychology in relation to participatory artworks. And revisioning.


Cat will present Medicament For Your Predicament as part of Liveworks – Festival of Experimental Art at Carriageworks from 21 – 25 October 2020. For more information, and full program, visit: www.performancespace.com.au for details.

Image: Cat Jones (supplied)

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