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2003-2004: DVD & photographic stills
Bathurst Regional Gallery, November-December 2004.
ReelDance Installations, Performance Space, Sydney, 2005.

Video installation by Samuel James and Julie-Anne Long
Soundscape: Drew Crawford
Photographic Installation by Heidrun Lohr and Julie-Anne Long

On St Valentines Day in 1957 two nuns went on a picnic to Hill End. A mysterious combustion of private experience compelled one nun to venture off into the bush. As the night gradually darkened she was once again alone with her God and her sadness.

Inspired by the painting The Picnic (Nuns’ Picnic) (1957) by Jeffrey Smart.

A domestic interior is transformed by miniscule projections, magical ‘tricks’ that also evoke early cinema. The subject is a woman in crisis, caught between her inner and outer lives.

“Heidrun Löhr’s eerie oversized prints of Julie-Anne Long in nun’s habit were hung outside a room containing Samuel James’ footage of Long and the Hill End landscape projected on 2 adjacent walls. Inside an old wooden wardrobe, flickering images lurked in a drawer and deep inside the open closet. James’ black and white films are heavy with dark drama, drawing visual parallels between the nun and a magpie, both deliberate shapes against the spiky clutter of nature. These images were intercut with scenes of the nun’s living quarters, the camera revealing her alone at prayer, or scanning her possessions as if part of a narrative. The installation works up the striking visual spectacle of a nun in the Australian landscape, tantalising the visitor with what is to come at Hill End, while also drawing together the convent and the landscape to suggest an interior life. (Erin Brannigan, RT65 )

The Nuns’ Picnic: After the Goldrush