five words

with the artwork five words lawson offered the chance for others to engage with her dissertation directly, to give her a five word quote that might become the last five words of her paper and a tattoo souvenir of the experience. the work consists of a sticker on a wall containing a statement informing viewers of the conceit with the then, current, final five words of the paper (at the time of first marking the thesis was on its fifth edit), a plinth below held a pen and a pile of small stickers on which participants wrote their five words. they then stick this to the wall for consideration. the fifth edited draft was available for viewing on a resource table. lawson gave herself the option to remain with her own words if she didn’t see an alternative ending that resonated with her experience. the tattoo will remain on her skin as a reminder of the physical assimilation of knowledge but it is also a reminder of mutability and immutability of thoughts, concepts and their intrinsic link to art practice. the tattoo, an added component that potentially parallels the official documentation of graduation, will only occur if she receives the doctorate. the research (and artwork) is not undertaken for this documentation but the receipt of it, or not, is a fundamental element of this experience—a fact lawson wanted to highlight with this final work. it is also a reminder of the slippage between the visual and the liminal. the skin tattooed can never reflect the embodied effects of knowledge entirely, the completed paper is also a fragment of the ongoing research and the open-ended modes of working that are contained within the twelve-point text. the work will be exhibited as an element of post-tourist at kings ari, melbourne from the 7th of august alongside the work of louise bennett, charlie donaldson, artist duo, provoked, kat sawyer / paul soullelis and vincent wozniak-o'connor. see below for viewing times once the exhibition opens.


installation / action december 2009


documentation march 2010


tattoo action february 2015



07.08.15 opening post-tourist kings ari / dinner chinatown / drinks collingwood

08.08.15 visiting galleries ngv / acca / ccp

09.08.15 breakfast, shopping city centre, melbourne

10.08.15 shopping third drawer down prahran

11.08.15 melbourne airport / brisbane airport / uq iml

12.08.15 local supermarket

14.08.15 bakers arms / milani gallery woolloongabba

15.08.15 ima brisbane

18.08.15 uq iml

19.08.15 local supermarket

22.08.15 ima brisbane

29.08.15 brisbane airport / melbourne airport / gallery minding kings ari