_this breath is not mine to keep

by Change Media

Presented by Nexus Arts

_this breath is

not mine to keep

by Change Media

Presented by Nexus Arts

About the Exhibition


Globally we are witnessing the extinction of our world, and yet we continue to fuel our demise, so how do we notice our involvement, disrupt the stasis and rewrite the rules?

_this breath is not mine to keep, curated by Jen Lyons-Reid & Carl Kuddell, interrogates how everyday supremacy thinking manipulates our emotions, conceals systemic injustice and sabotages acts of solidarity.

_this breath is not mine to keep is a provocative multi-arts experiment exploring 10 stages of grief, delusions of supremacy and the existential joy of life. Ten co-creative installations, including sculptures, bio-art, multimedia, painting and poetry, form an arts trail linking 4 public galleries in South Australia Sep 2020 – Jan 2021, with print and online publications.

At Nexus Arts in Adelaide, ‘Bunker Essentials’, a mixed media concrete installation and ‘Cycles’, an experimental short film and soundscape, explore revolution in ‘The Bunker Age’ of entombment and nostalgia.

– Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell


Exhibition Artists:
Piri Eddy | Emma Hough Hobbs | Carl Kuddell | Jen Lyons-Reid| Johanis Lyons-Reid | Jamila Main | Justin Pounsett | Ben Tamba | Felix Weber | 23 poets


Bunker Essentials

This multi-art installation by Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell and Felix Weber juxtaposes the desire for shelter with entombment. An archaeological dig has uncovered cultural artefacts on the blue planet that depict our relentless deification of our thoughts. Ten absurd shrines to supremacy thinking are set in concrete, offering glimpses into a dystopian now to explore our addiction to death, not life.

Excavation of layers of human toil have unearthed 10 bunker rulz, a mental blueprint for all social interactions that led to the entrapment of entire cultures and near eradication of sentient life forms. This excavation explores the allure and devastation of concrete, to interrogate our obsession with industrial perfection and nostalgic sentiments for a happy normality that never was.

Archaeological notes attempt to decipher the delusional mythologies, oppressive beliefs and stupefying grief of this time. What were they thinking? Who benefits from the myth that greed and domination are our only, natural way to live? How do we embrace life in a culture of war? How do we get out of the bunker mentality and create order without oppression? How can we nurture joyful rebellion?

Dictate Revolution is a conundrum we pose to confront our human exceptionalism, that claims the right to dominate the universe. From social Darwinist survival-of-the-fittest battles to progress-at-all-costs ideologies, we are at war with life. On the other hand, our scientific and origin myths are human-made stories that encourage us to imagine we can control chaos and survive the escalating global crises. Against this apocalyptic onslaught, Bunker Essentials is a crumbling memorial to supremacy thinking and challenges us to live, now.

The music accompanying this virtual tour is ‘Santiniketan’ by voiceROM. This is a sneak peek preview from an upcoming album commissioned by Nexus Arts, featuring samples from some of the many incredible musicians who have performed at Nexus. Thanks to voiceROM and to The Three Seas, whose recording is sampled in this track. You can hear and purchase the original track here: https://thethreeseas.bandcamp.com/track/santiniketan

Cycles, 2020, is a video installation responding to our collective grief and loss for a way of life, a planet, and a future imagined that will never be seen. Cycles is built around ten imagined stages of grief, with surreal visual representations of each.
Apocalyptic vignettes reflect on the mundane horrors of living on the other side of catastrophe, and an inability to contextualise life-shattering change.

More information and credits can be found as you explore the exhibition below.

Explore the Exhibition Below

Click on a work to see it up close, and to get more details.

About the Artists

Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell

Curators' Biographies

Artistic director Jen Lyons-Reid and creative producer Carl Kuddell are Tallstoreez Productionz / Change Media's co-founders and lead artists. Since 2002 they have explored multi-disciplinary practice in community arts, broadcast media, sculpture and live art, to creatively address social justice, environmental and human rights issues.

Living and working on Ngarrindjeri country, Jen and Carl run Change Media, a multi-award winning community arts and cultural development initiative. Change Media have delivered over 500 workshops with over 10,000 participants across Australia. They have worked with remote, regional and urban communities, including partnerships with Ngarrindjeri, Bell Shakespeare Co, the Australian Festival for Young People, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Arts Access Victoria artists living with disability, in youth prisons, and with numerous regional councils, arts, health and social justice organizations across Australia. Their media work includes four factual series for ABC, SBS and NITV and many internationally acclaimed documentaries and short films.

On a national level they interrogate critical literacy and persisting colonizing mindsets: In 2013 Change Media partnered in an Australia Research Council Linkage ‘Investigation into Harm in CACD’ with the University of Melbourne. In 2015 Jen was awarded the prestigious two-year Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship, which led to the development of 'Creating Together - what can possibly go wrong?' in 2017 and 'What Privilege?' in 2018-19, as a playful reflection on power and privilege in cultural work.


Emma Hough Hobbs

Artist Biography

Emma is a production and costume designer for short films and TV. My process involved working very closely with the director and the producer to understand 'Cycles'’ backstory and its apocalyptic scenario. I then constructed sketches and ideas of the costumes for the talent, Jamila and Ben, emphasising materials that could be detached from their modern context and extrapolated into bunker fashion, like taking reusable woven bags and turning them into singlets. The outfits represent the different stages of grief through colours, as such the different themes of the video art are explored through olive, navy and amber outfits.


Felix Weber

Artist Biography

Felix Weber, WOMAD 2018-2021 site manager, is a tech, music and installation wizard. A longterm Change Media collaborator, Felix delivered digital media workshops in communities across Australia. His recent work include site-specific installation, sculptural works and mapped video projections for the Adelaide Fringe and several large-scale events. He has access to loads of toys and is not afraid to use them.

I have been described as a jack of all trades, generalist and a polymath. The strength of my work does not come from specialisation, but rather a broad range of skills and eclectic knowledge. Driven by an insatiable desire to learn new skills and to constantly experiment with different mediums, I am most comfortable pushing boundaries and exploring new ideas.

I started my creative career in the digital space with 3D modelling, image manipulation and animation. Whilst this space was technically limitless I eventually found myself wanting to create more than just digital images. Creating tangible and tactile work drove me to start building, using carpentry, welding and CNC fabrication.

The collaborations on ‘_this breath is not mine to keep’ offered me several opportunities to combine multiple skills and mediums across sculpture and installation. In particular the opportunity to work with concrete and casting techniques was alluring, this has been something I have wanted to do for some time.


Johanis Lyons-Reid

Artist Biography

Johanis Lyons-Reid is an award-winning Malaysian-Australian filmmaker from Adelaide, South Australia. Johanis has worked in multiple roles in the filmmaking process, including as a director, cinematographer and editor. He has worked on television commercials, documentaries ('The Loop', SBS, 2019; 'Deadly Family Portraits', ABC iView, 2019; 'Speaking for Sea Country', ABC iView, 2018; 'Everything is Connected', iView, 2017) and shot freelance for various agencies and channels including SBS and Vice. Johanis has a strong foundation and interest in the Arts and documentary, and looks to balance his commercial practice with a dedicated exploration of his creative and artistic expression. Johanis’ directorial debut married his love of screen and arts in short documentaries that followed Ngarrindjeri Elders and their traditional arts practice ('Everything is Connected', 2016, Winner best Australian Non-Fiction at the Melbourne Webfest 2016). During his formative years as a cinematographer he worked for community arts stalwart Change Media on national projects funded by Australia Council for the Arts, Country Arts SA and Arts South Australia, including When Does the Light Turn on? (2013), and Reframing Culture (2012). These projects affirmed for him the importance of storytelling and art in changing cultural discourse.


Justin Pounsett

Artist Biography

Justin is the founder of The Audio Embassy, is one of the most diverse and thoughtful media composers in his field. His knowledge, skill and interest in all musical genres is why Justin had been consistently awarded for his music, over his 15-year career.

Justin prides himself in trying to constantly push creative boundaries, explaining why it’s so important to think outside the box and harness one of - if not the most - influential and impactful art forms. He tirelessly tries to impart his musical knowledge and passion to clients and his audience, to see the endless opportunities that music offers and are yet to be explored. Justin has studied ‘Music Composition’ at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

His work complements advertising and communications material for some of the world’s best-loved brands, including Arnott’s, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Disney and Jacobs Creek. His love of music and sound has resulted in numerous industry accolades and Advertising & Design Club Awards. Supporting a growing list of TV and Film credits including music for 'Mcleod's Daughters' and music and sound for the AACTA nominated short film, 'The Moment'. An accomplished piano player and multi-instrumentalist, Justin plays regularly in the local Adelaide music scene for numerous original and cover bands.



This initiative has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the South Australian Government through Arts SA, with additional support from the Adelaide Hills Council, Alexandrina Council, Nexus Arts and the City of Victor Harbor.

We want to congratulate Jen and Carl on their passion for, and commitment to, this project throughout a difficult year. It has been a pleasure to help you realise this part of your work.

As always, Nexus Arts thanks our staff for their enthusiastic commitment to delivering this multimodal exhibition.

Nexus Arts acknowledges Kaurna people as the owners of the land where we live, learn, and work. We respect their culture and elders and acknowledge their sovereignty was never ceded. We recognise that visual arts, music and storytelling have been central to Aboriginal cultures for over 60,000 years. We work to support this lineage.

Most importantly, we thank you for visiting this website and supporting intercultural arts in Australia.