Ben Eltham response

Dr Ben Eltham is an essayist, journalist, creative producer and cultural commentator.


“It’s very rare that someone lets you into their mind palace and invites you to view its rooms. I climb the stairs to a corridor of small mailboxes with windowed doors, and I look into Anatolitis’ memories, thoughts, her tools. A geography of a creative mind, in perfect order like a hard drive: Here is the board where the bullet shells are kept. Here is the protractor. Here is where you store a vision of your grandmother. These are intimate moments.

“Encasing the temporal in defined space creates an unreal stillness. But the boxes are not locked; Anatolitis’ memories are not finite; the items not static. I watch her open the doors and curate the rooms, curating her mental map in front of me. How does our practice behave when we let people look? What transpires in the space between the temporal and its manifestation?

“In one box is a reel of film. A few frames are visible through the glass door, but the rest of the film cannot be viewed. This is as much as we can know of another’s practice – glances into a series of shifting rooms.”

­– Jessica Alice is the Poetry Editor of Scum and former Co-Director of the National Young Writers Festival. Here’s Jess’ interview with me on the Mailbox Arts Space blog.


louise mackenzie response

Louise Mackenzie is Curator of The Cinecity Project, has a background in film and architecture, and is passionate about the films of Jacques Tati.


“I did walk back and visit Mailbox again this week. I was expecting, and duly found that the small physical space of the gallery would lend itself well to this solo viewing experience. What I did not anticipate was the sense of discretion, a pleasant kind of naughtiness, private mystery of purpose that walking into the gallery would make me feel on a random Wednesday afternoon. I felt rather like a character in Casablanca perhaps, here to send a message, or check in with a contact.

“I found the content of the work compelling. There is a sense of joy in the work to understand a life, one’s own, through this kind of long-term, integral, artistic inquiry. I feel emotional resonance with themes of Esther’s that find room for repetition, for clarity and exploration, even in so concise an exhibition. Exhibits that speak of a need for presence, a sense of space, the needs for intimacy and independence carry a tangible weight of emotion and truth.”

Alby Logan is a furniture maker, set builder, theatre technician and poet.


“A row of mail boxes like frames of an analogue film.

“A framework that is underdetermined: no beginning no end.

“Near the centre, if there is one, a red coated grey lead pencil leans, and an orange box stands, containing a compass. Red and orange draw the eye left and right; a tape measure and a spent cartridge. An unintended consequence unfolds.

“The things that stand together leave traces of a human hand. A single unfolding of many frames, whose frameworks are underdetermined. A particular hand, a particular unfolding.”

– Dr Craig Barrie is a philosopher and songwriter who sings with the Rogues Choir.


Click on the images above to download PDFs of the handwritten responses. Header image: ‘What it means to be present’ by Jasmine Moseley, photographed at the INDEX-SYSTEM launch.