Tyza Hart

Tyza Hart’s self-portraits—painting, sculpture, video, and poems—extend from indefinable experiences of personhood. Tyza held solo exhibitions at the Museum of Brisbane and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; FirstDraft, Sydney; and Gympie Regional Art Gallery. Tyza’s work featured in shows at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Neon Parc, Incinerator Gallery and West Space, Melbourne; Gallery of Modern Art, Griffith University Art Museum, UQ Art Museum, QUT Art Museum, Metro Arts, and OuterSpace, Brisbane; National Art School, Carriageworks, Darren Knight Gallery, and Verge Gallery, Sydney.

Original Action


The river Maiwar flows through Meanjin; Jagera and Turrbal people are the traditional custodians.

I’m crouching very close to the water. Partially secluded by time of day, long grass, a few steps off footpath. Shuffling back as the tide rises, trying to do little more than be receptive. Gumtrees and construction sounds cross muddy river; suburban homes crowd flood zone. I occasionally edit poems here, repeat lines out loud if no one’s around.

Last month I memorised seven poems, said them to the river, recorded this gesture for you.


Tyza saying a poem called ‘Thank You’. I filmed this at the scene of the poem, where I was once fortunate enough to see some river friends.


I’d usually record a second take, but then this bird appeared. First impressions of this stretch of river are usually less bird, more jet ski, house, mansion, road, pontoon, manicured park, university, cemetery, bridge.


Anxious Sonnet. Some poems are literal, some fictionalised, sometimes I use an antonym instead because that word sounds better.


River Villanelle. A villanelle is a type of fixed-form poem that I learnt about recently. Also, videoing river and reciting poem at the same time requires a lot more coordination than I anticipated.


Tyza saying their poem ‘Wormy Sky’ to the river, in a few quiet minutes between revving motorbike, car, boat, and aeroplane engines.


Tyza saying a poem to the river, moon reflected in river, and two nearby plovers. Most of my poems start as thoughts on specific interactions and experiences, or a few layered together.


Fish Fingers. Felt spooked walking to the river alone late at night, then realised maybe I am spooky? Wrote this a year ago, one of my first poems.



Penrith Regional Gallery, 2022

Go Deeper


List of some books I was reading in 2020 while making poems for a river I lived near.

  • Inside My Mother - Ali Cobby Eckermann

  • Captive Genders – ed Eric A Stanley & Nat Smith

  • blur by the – Cham Zhi Yi

  • Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today – ed Alison Whittaker

  • Smoke Encrypted Whispers – Samuel Wagan Watson

  • Milk Teath – Rae White

  • Stag's Leap – Sharon Olds

  • Latecomers – Jaya Savige

  • The Agonist – Shastra Deo

  • Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through – T Fleischmann

  • Blow-Up and Other Stories – Julio Cortázar

  • Viva the Real – Jill Jones

  • An Apartment on Uranus – Paul B Preciado

  • Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson

Take Action


Be with a body of water. The body of water might be you, or a river you live near, the ocean, rain, a cup of water, a puddle, lake, cloud, a drain. Physically orient yourself to this water: maybe walk to the river, or take your cup of water outside or share sips with a plant. Imagine sensations of your body interacting with water, of floating and being held. Perhaps you have a friendship or other relationship with this water. Is there something you can give to the water or exchange. Devise a gesture to celebrate encounters between yourself and water: a poem or symbol or drawing or thought or dance or facial expression or noise or something else.