pip lewi

what washes up

An online and ambient public exhibition commissioned by Perth Festival.
16 feb - 14 mar 2021.

Tap to zoom, drag to rearrange.

spume (n)

/ ˈspyüm /

: 1) Detritus or scum carried on the metropolitan currents.

often in the wake of or coinciding with routine swells
(especially those occurring after office lunch breaks, peak hours and other comings and goings)

: 2) What washes up in urban foam lines

that which collects on (and under) banks

and is collected in unlined journals


I hope you’re doing well today, whatever you’re up to.
Maybe you’re at work? Taking the day off? Having a break? (good for you!)
If by any chance you’re in the city today, could I ask you to step outside at some point
and take note of a few things for me? Thanks.

-+ Focus on the ground in front of you (whether it be pavement, steps, the bumps before a crosswalk). Do you notice anything interesting? Is the resident coffee cup in the corner still there or has it been swept away? (when will it be swept away? It’s been ages.)

-+ Are there any pigeons? (surely!) What are they up to? Are they hanging out together?
Say hi for me.

-+ Was there a CAT bus that just drove past? What colour was it? Do you know where it’s going? Wave it goodbye, making sure not to accidentally hail for it.

-+ Did you change up your routine at all? Did you go somewhere new for lunch? Or did you get the usual teriyaki tofu from Taka’s again?

-+ What’s one new thing you spotted today?

-+ What about one familiar thing? No matter how small! Regard it as an old friend and move on.


Cheers for that. I can’t be there today, so I really appreciate you taking the time to fill me in, or just thinking about it in your own time. I find these exercises quite helpful and grounding, so I thought you might too.

I’ve gotta tell you—lately I’ve been writing these Mantras for Wishful Urban Manifesting in my phone notes. In order for these to work, you have to achieve a heightened state of meditative curiosity. This can only come with slowing down and becoming intimate with your surroundings. Be affirming and willing in the way you say these mantras; repeat them quietly to yourself as your set out on your journey. Here are some of mine:

-+ I will find a row of pigeons on top of the Bayswater car rental sign

-+ I will find a stray broom out the front of MOP donuts

-+ I will find the giant trophy at City Rubber, Stamps & Trophies replaced with a traffic cone

-+ I will find a carton of Masters iced mocha at CQU

-+ I will find a collection of every soft drink can, except for Mountain Dew, stacked up in a pile outside the old Mountain Design store (or Paper Mountain gallery)

-+ I will find a lone slipper near Rubi shoes

Try writing your own some time! Even if you’re not successful, or they are only partially fulfilled - you may be surprised by what else you encounter. To the keen observer, the city is colourful and playful, proposing humorous setups and visual punchlines (and it wants you to be in on the joke!). Perhaps you’ll see me there soon, with notebook and textas in hand.

We could walk together if you want.

- (not)pipe

Visual Arts Program Partner

Visual Arts Program Partner
5 - 28 February