Category Archives: Yeomans

A mystery letter for “Mr Melliss”

An amusing story has it that Ian Milliss met his now-wife, Wendy, because she was a keen art historian rummaging through the archives at Sydney University’s Power Institute. Wendy was researching the legacy of conceptual art in Australia, and found a few traces of this rather elusive character, who seemed to have disappeared from the […]

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Seeing Landscape

A lot of Yeomans’ criticisms of city design are based around the idea that we’ve lost our ability to “see” the landscape. (I’m still exploring ideas from his book The City Forest, 1971…) His argument is that a farmer living on an acreage for some time (if s/he is that way inclined) can get to […]

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Making Dirt

Yeomans’ Plows… Gotta love that slogan! A catalogue of options, in case you wanna buy one, is here. With any luck, we’ll be exhibiting one in the exhibition at ACCA in October! Continuing my harvest from Yeomans’ book The City Forest… I’m trying to get down some key ideas before their freshness runs away from […]

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The Permanence of things

Continuing my exploration of the little green book… Yeomans’ proposition (to grow forests as intrinsic elements in urban design) is followed by a long middle section which is essentially pedagogical. I’ve not read Yeomans’ other books yet, but I am presuming that a lot of his teaching material in The City Forest is synthesised from […]

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More from The City Forest

My last post didn’t really scratch the surface of Yeomans’ book The City Forest: The Keyline plan for the Human Environment Revolution. Instead I got caught up thinking about art. So I figured I’d return to this book a bit, and register some of my first impressions of it. Here they are: 1. The book […]

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The Family Farm

I reckon Ian’s broad definition of art is a useful provocation: 1. Art is action which changes the culture. 2. This action can be undertaken by anyone. When operating with a definition like this, it’s perhaps worth reiterating point 2: cultural change is not the sole domain of special professionals from the current narrowly-defined “artworld”. […]

Also posted in Farming, Permaculture | 3 Responses

In the archives with Ian Milliss

Last Friday we descended into the bowels of the Art Gallery of NSW. Our mission? To dig up documents in an attempt to discover: a). if Ian really did propose an exhibition about Yeomans at AGNSW in the mid 1970s (ie, we’d like to know that he’s not hallucinating about all this history); b). that […]

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Truly it can be said, that when the worm turns, it’s a good turn for the farmer…

Here’s a film from 1955 on Yeomans’ work in developing the Keyline farming system. It was made in 1955, and uploaded a year or so ago thanks to Darren Doherty, who runs workshops in contemporary keyline farm design: One of my favourite lines from the film is this: He’s ready with cold logic and forceful […]

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Time Team

The late 1970s were a long time ago and it is sometimes a bit difficult to remember exactly what happened. My original proposal for an exhibition about PA Yeomans at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1976(?) seems so lost in the mists of time it’s hard to get much together about it. Maybe it’s […]

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Beginning our Yeomans Adventure

  Today Ian and I embarked on our first adventure into Yeomans-land. I took the train to Penrith, where Ian picked me up in his macho ute (6 wheels!), and we headed north to Nevellan. We didn’t really know what we’d do when we got there – and in fact, we didn’t really end up […]

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  • This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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