On Fast Winds and Slow Emergencies

The smallest measure, 2021 Castlemaine State Festival

What role does art play in conversations around slow climate emergencies? This is one of the questions that artist, photographer, activist and PhD candidate Jessie Boylan explores in their work The Smallest Measure—an evolving multi-channel sound, video and photography installation.

I caught Jessie’s exhibition at the Castlemaine State Festival, tagged along during installation of their work for the ClimARt festival, and chatted with them in their studio in Central Victoria.

My profile on Jessie is now up at Get Outta Town. Go have a read! And check out Jessie’s work here.

Thanks Jessie, and thanks Yas (Get Outta Town’s senior wheatbelt correspondent and writer extraordinaire).

That Place


You spend all your younger years wishing for a way out. When that way out comes, you find other ways to be trapped, and again wish for a way out. Those years are littered with all sorts of real, tangible fears. The bogeyman comes with all his extended family. So frightening you can’t bring yourself to name them. Years go by and some kind of strange, stubborn hope has got you through it, and you find a way out again. Sighing, you mark it as the beginning.

This is finally the life that you wished for.

You meet new people, you see new places, and most significantly, you begin to meet yourself.

You tell yourself that this is happiness.


Being free of those unspeakable fears.


Living in a time and place where you can speak your mind and not be concerned about any kind of repercussion.

You ask yourself- is this what it means to be happy?

You continue on this journey.

Drifting further away from those unspeakable fears, yet not forgetting, for they linger in the furthest recesses of your mind, ready to pounce when you let down your guard.

Watch out!

This is your fear now. A fear of all the happiness you have found being pulled from under you, transporting you back to

that place.


Prompt from Writing 101 Day 17. Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.