Time Slips

"What's he doing with the cow?

asks Robyn


"He is doing what he wants, trying to find out how much fat it has"

replies Helen


"They crowd around the tummy because it is nice and warm."

says one of the storytellers.


 "Cackling, peck peck peck. Brrrrrr! "


"And you would have to have a moo too"



Norman Rockwell reduced




Helen, Maureen, Robyn, Martin and Bub are looking at a painting by American artist

Norman Rockwell. And they're responding to open ended questions where everything

spoken is written down on the board and there are no right or wrong answers. And their

confidence grows as they begin to bounce off each other's answers and the story

takes all sorts of twists and turns.  This is lively. This is creative.

They've invented something that was not there yesterday.


There are 3 of us supporting this storytelling exercise. We ask questions, we listen, we echo

and we accept everything. And we write it all down and read it back to them. We're not concerned

about trying to remember things. We make it up as we go along. And it's fun.


Half an hour a go we walked up to the Memory Unit. They were all sitting there watching

television. As they do everyday. We invited them down to our workshop.


They are all capable of creating art.









- Children Listening –
- I wish this would hurry up -


There are two boys and a little girl.
There is a clock up there.
It is taking place at a school.
The boy refuses to speak, he has his arms crossed.
Has it happened, or is it happening now?
He is in detention.
He is not telling you, he has been crossed.
Their names are Belinda and Peter.
They just want to go home. They are looking at the clock.
Belinda is looking at the clock, because she wants to go to lunch.
There are postcards on the back wall.
They are waiting, not telling anyone, wondering when they can go home.
He is a football player.
When I was a teacher, all my kids would wait for me to send them home.
The teacher is in the room, teaching a class that they did not like.
They are learning spelling.
They don’t even think about it at that age. They worry about it though.
They have to do it.




Photographer: RobertDoisneau
Written by: Margo, Bub, Reta, Helen, Mel, Robyn, Maureen, Estelle, Julie
28th July 2014








- It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it -
- How can I win this go -



You and your wife.
That man is very sceptical.
There is a man with a hat on and there is also a man with a cigar.
There is a lot of money here.
The man with the hat looks worried; he has lost money on the roulette.
He did not know if he would win or lose.
He has got no chips left.
The lady is hopeful to win.
These two men are alike.
The man on the left has a lot of money.
Tom, Dick or Harry are their names.
The lady’s name is Dorothy.
They are a son and uncle, or a son and brother.
They are all ambitious.
The man looks worried because the wife is spending all his money.
The lady could win and could go out for a big lobster dinner.
They will all be broke, then the lady would have to shout them.
Afterwards they will all walk home.



gamblers reduced


Photographer: Dorothy Lange
Written by: Wilma, Reta, Don, Leslie, Ruth, Julie, Maureen and Bub
29th July 2014







Horror - Battlefield
Looks like a horse. Looks like a child.

There is a horse on a child. There is a sword in her hand and a branch is broken.

Three bodies, four bodies and five bodies. Is there a bird down the bottom?

The girl has long hair and it looks as though it comes off that animal.

There are clouds in the back. Three black birds with white bears.

It's a special sort of sword. It’s one of those stab swords. Just the stab.

There are a few people lying on the ground. They are dead.

A pre historical animal is behind the girl. It’s jumping over all the bodies.

It looks like a donkey not a horse.

You can hear grunts, screams and people moving because they have been stabbed.

The yellow piece sitting down the bottom right looks like a bump.

It’s happening in the forest. It looks like a girl, and she looks odd.

She has an awful feeling in her face. Looks like a horrible feeling.

That animal thing at the back of the herd, it's not a horse it’s a dog.

It's a prehistoric monster. It’s a wild animal of some description.

                                                                                           She looks are though she’s cut the limb on the tree and she’s carrying a different limb

There’s smoke. To show the wind, carrying it in her hand. She’s gone up the side of the mountain.

Looks like birds are eating some of the flesh. They are carrion birds.

I want to know what it means. I don’t understand. Topsy turvey.

There are a lot of different clouds, coloured clouds.

There is a man lying down there. Where is his head?

It’s a battlefield. There is a bare looking thing there on the right.

The head of the horse looks like a rat

She should be dressed in white.

She is not on the horse her legs are beside the horse



Girl on Horse reduced


Artist: Henri Rousseau
Written by: Claire, Bub, Ruth, Leslie, Mona, Barbara and Merle
5th August 2014











- Waiting for the doors to open -

People waiting to go and see the pictures.
Just playing an ordinary one.
It is wintertime. They all have coats on.
They all have such different expressions on their faces.
They are standing to catch the train. How long is this going to take?
They do not look like a very happy bunch; and do not like waiting for the bus.
I know for a second time I would not go shopping with them.
She is keeping her coat shut. That's Mrs Jones and there is Betty Smith.
The writing on the back says ‘Meat Coupon Sales’.
It is a nice looking photo; it would look nicer in colour.
How much longer is this bus going to be?
The third one could be a school teacher.
The first and last are mother and daughter.
After they get off the bus they will go out for a coffee.



Women in queu Max Duppain1 reduced-2




Photographer: Max Dupain
Written by: Helen, Leslie, Ruth and Mel
29th July 2014






- It’s a Cow Yard - It’s Smelly -
- It depends if you want a muddy one or not -

What is he doing with the cow?
He is doing what he wants, trying to find out how much fat it has.
There is a dog and three fowls.
There is a cat there as well and a bit of a chook, both staring at each other in the eye and becoming friends.
Cackling, peck, peck, peck, brrrrrr and you would have to have a moo too.

Well they are not afraid of anything.
Her relationship is, he is eating it.
The people next door had chooks and I used to feed them.
As soon as they saw me they would follow me.

Not real nice smells, especially after a storm.
You would start off holding your nose and then you would forget it, like bad eggs.
The bloke in the door looks after the animals.
They crowd around the tummy because it is nice and warm.
We have plenty at home, I am trying to remember what we called ours.
I like the cow because then there will be dinner.
There is a place somewhere; it is taking place in the backyard.
Oh Lord yes!
There is plenty of sand there; I can’t see any sand, because there is poo on the ground.
I wouldn't walk that dirt in my house.


Norman Rockwell reduced



Painting by: Norman Rockwell
Written by: Helen, Maureen, Robyn, Martin and Bub
4th August 2014







The Grandmother and the Grandchild -
- Annie Get Your Gun – Waiting for my Mother -

There is a grandmother and a grandchild.
We can see a clock.
It is at the telegraph office.
The sign says ‘Your Father’s Day Greetings”
They are waiting for somebody.
They look a bit grim. They are waiting for the father of the child.
They are annoyed because they have been waiting so long.
The father is probably in the pub.
They mother is at home.
There is a photo of a man in the window. It could be anybody.
I see a packet of biscuits.
They want to go home. They are expecting the father to get off the bus.
They are waiting for a relative and for a bus.
The mother has gone shopping so the grandmother is looking after the little girl.
The grandmother is called Elizabeth Brown and the little girl is called Summer.
The men in the back are all fathers.



western union reduced




Photographer: Dorothy Lange
Written by: Wilma, Leslie, Don and Julie
22nd July 2014








- Celebration -  


He looks as though he has had a bad time in the corner. What is he eating?

He could be eating a piece of bread of a bun with jam on top of it.
The mother is asking the child if she wanted another one.
There is plenty of food in the middle, a bottle of wine.
It might be a salad in the middle.
Looks like a Sunday lunch.
The man on the left is Billy. The girl is called Mabel. It’s a mother and daughter.
The man holding the big bun looks hungry. His mouth is so wide open he can’t fit anymore in it.

It looks like a banana.
It was a celebration. Sunday dinner. All those people are looking at the little girl. It’s her birthday.
The little girl is staring at the man with his back to us. The father knows best about everything.

 It looks as though she said something reasonable and it has affected the lady on the right and the man has said to be quiet.

She said “Shut Up!” Maybe the man wanted to say something but the girl said “Shut Up!”  Kids do that.

The lady said could she have more to eat. She could have. Its prim and proper.

That little girl looks determined from what she said. She’s the only small one there. She’s saying “Can I? Can I?”

It’s going good I think

“Can I? Can I go outside?”

She’s not too badly off. Maybe it’s a shame. She just wants to leave.

                                                                                                                                She wants to go play with a friend.



                                                                                                                                                                      Dinner reduced



Artist: Felix Vallotton
Written by: Leslie, Julie, Robyn, Don, Margaret, Reta, Merle, Helen and Maureen
5th August 2014