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Nine positions [framed 20180216 drawing]
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Mystic writing pad 1–9

This work takes its title from the 1925 essay by Sigmund Freud, ‘A note upon the mystic writing-pad’, in which he posits that the system of perception and consciousness appears to be strikingly similar to a graphic arts toy called a ‘mystic writing-pad’. The ongoing work exploits this metaphorical understanding of consciousness in a still-growing series of ‘drawings-as-writing’ or ‘writing-as-drawing’. The images reproduce key texts of personal writing, relevant influential authors and ‘voices’ from the past… diaries, biographical essays, Freud, James Baldwin and others. This work uses writing and imagery to interrogate ideas of a fictionalised self that is subject to the influence of culture. These are the first nine frames/images presented as a large drawing …

Mystic writing pad 1-9 [20180520 drawing, 1000mm x 1000mm]
Mystic writing pad 1-9 [20180520 drawing, 1000mm x 1000mm]

4 February 2018

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Several large, framed pigment ink prints are now available — A$200–600, delivered anywhere in Australia.


About Steve

Stephen J. Williams has published writing and images in many literary magazines and newspapers. He has been the recipient of the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Anne Elder Award and John Shaw Neilson Award for Poetry (1989), the Association for Australian Literature’s Mary Gilmore Prize, and the University of Melbourne’s John Masefield Prize. He lives in St Kilda (Victoria, Australia).

Portrait of Stephen J. Williams (detail) by Margaret Gold.
Portrait of Stephen J. Williams (detail) by Margaret Gold.

In the 1980s, at Meanjin, a literary magazine founded by Clem Christesen in the 1940s in Brisbane, Stephen was assistant editor for Jim Davidson—typing letters, sorting envelopes into postcode order, making tea, and playing Scrabble with A. A. Phillips.

Much of Stephen’s writing in the 1980s and 1990s was published by the editor Barrett Reid ( »» 2 MB PDF).

Stephen has worked as a book designer, radio producer, and copywriter; and as a consultant, writer, publicist, and editor for


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