CL 186 - Carol Jerrems (1949-1980) Photographic Artist < Main | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 >

54 Correspondence From Carol Jerrems
To Jon Conté
Consisting of 23 envelopes with ephemera and one vintage silver gelatin photograph, cut into 24 jigsaw puzzle pieces, each envelope addressed to "Jon Conté, 85 Hamilton Street, Yarraville, Victoria
3013", most postmarked with date and place of sending, some with return addresses typed or in ink or pencil, envelope sizes range from 9.5 x 14.3cm to 10.1 x 15.1cm; 23.6 x 29.6cm (photograph approx.). Minor silvering to photograph with its "puzzle" pieces laid down on backing, minor foxing and tears to envelopes.

Provenance: Jon Conté. Some envelopes are signed by Jerrems under a pseudonym, such as "Jerry Moonshine, Jerry, Phenomenologically Jerry, Micky Spillane of the Nullarbor Plain, Jonny Sunshiner, A Free Apple, Lorac Smerrej [Carol Jerrems], or Germaine Eunuch." One envelope is signed with a rainy storm cloud. Contents of the letters generally include ephemera from Jerrems' travel: across the Nullarbor to Perth, Sydney, regional Victoria, her mother's house in Ivanhoe, or her then-current residence at St. Kilda, Melbourne. One typed letter contains prose "Sunshine, air, those bird-less trees. Sky of skies, a sea of yellow, big golden moon made from story-book cheese laid by a ginger bread goose in runny honey."

Jon Conté and Carol Jerrems met at Cathedral Hall, Fitzroy, while attending a concert. Conté describes how "in the lowlit room I turned around and there she was, very close, 'face to face' her eyes, that shock of hair and a lovely smell. She quickly and quietly said 'I think you're beautiful can I take photographs of you?'"

They later realised that both were attending Prahran Technical College under the tutelage of filmmaker Paul Cox, and began a four year relationship.

Rather than being traditional letters, the correspondence between Jerrems and Conté took the form of a "Dadaist ping-pong", or collages of everyday life. The puzzle photograph is a portrait of Conté. There are no pieces missing despite its incomplete appearance.

Provenance and background information from Jon Conté. A detailed list is available upon request.
The group $16,500

CL 186 - Carol Jerrems (1949-1980) Photographic Artist < Main | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 >