COBRA: a week – Wesley Miles
COBRA: a week – Wesley Miles


Wesley Miles

CAT Garage

Monday 7 – Friday 11 December 2020. 10am – 5pm daily.  The performance concludes at 5pm on Friday 11 December.

Closing event: Friday 11 December. Free but registration essential: click here to book.


a week is a performative endurance work developed by Wesley Miles. Working across ideas of repetition, endurance, discipline, time, mechanics and labour, Miles has set himself the mammoth task of making his own printing press which will be installed in the CAT Garage where the artist will work for one week, creating drypoint etchings.


“I’ve become quite good at routine. I hate it. The repetition has shrunk time into a kind of vortex of repeated snap shots and I can describe the past few months as if they were one week. If asked what I am doing next week, with the degree of accuracy that ballisticians aim for, I can say ‘the same’. The only reprieve has been occasions of stoking the death drive. Monotonous rotation broken up by the sensations of riding my motorbike through piercing rain just as the sun sets. I can hardly see the road let alone feel my legs, but the machine spins monotonously. Again and again.


All mechanical objects rely entirely upon the same systems the same rules and the same foundations. There is little difference between a bandsaw, a motorbike or a printing press, they are all steel formed into shapes for a purpose, a repeated reliable function. Again and again.

I’ve been making dry points. Harshly scratching words and lines, drawing entirely from automatic process. Performing function as an artist.

Over the course of one week, a press will be set-up in a space and I will work a single copper plate throughout the working hours. Taking it through motions, scraping and digging at its face, across its surface and taking serial proof prints to record the revolutions of its cycle to capture states that are compelling. The revolution and mechanical motions of the press, carrying in its momentum my desire for a week of unbroken monotony.

The space will be open to the public during the times that I am working. Visitors will be invited to view the prints and the process, but not engage with me directly.”

Wesley Miles is based in nipaluna/Hobart and works across printmaking, sound and text. He graduated with a BFA from UTAS in 2019. Miles spends a large amount of his time developing his skills in metalwork and fabrication. He fills his leisure time with motorbike riding and maintenance, and thinking of possible ways to incorporate these into his art practice.

This project was supported through Contemporary Art Tasmania’s Cobra program with assistance from Pete Mattila and Lewis Allen.

Image credit: Wesley Miles, Printing press construction, 2020. Photo Pete Mattila.

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