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GRUFFLING is a whimsical project about goats. It is part of the West Brunswick Sculpture Triennale (wBST).

GRUFFLING began as an intuitive response to visiting one of the wBST sites, a slightly shabby, middle-sized, grassy suburban backyard. I have always wanted to work with a goat, but have never had the opportunity, and I figured this might be the right time to begin.

The project has evolved through this blog entry – and encompasses personal stories, poetic analysis, chance encounters with goats, and many contributions from readers passionate about goats. Goats seem to draw up strong feelings within people. As my friend Raquel says, “I believe that there are two types of people in the world- those with a goat story and those without.”

As it has trotted along, the GRUFFLING project has wended its way towards the phenomenon of keeping goats in the inner-city. My meeting with Steve and his goat Maxi was particularly enlightening in this regard.

At the wBST, I plan to go for a walk with a goat through the suburb of west Brunswick on the weekend of March 21-22, 2009.

This plan may or may not come to fruition. The lucky thing about being a blogger is that whatever happens (even a failure to achieve my not-very-lofty ambition) is able to be considered a part of the project. Life is long, and one day I will work with a goat, for sure.

(I thank Claire Orrell for the word “GRUFFLING”, which she introduced to me here. I like GRUFFLING’s undertones of snuffling and browsing around the feeding trough, which I find akin to the rough but sociable “research methods” which this project employs…)

goat walk

[UPDATE! The walk, with Bob The Goat, was a success! Read all about it here.]

Acknowledgements: big thanks to Steph and Tim from Sugargum Farm, Stuart Harrison, Lisa Kelly, Scott Mitchell, Bianca Hester, Terri Bird, Daniel Van Cleemput, Claire Orrell, Brad and Red from ABC Melbourne, Deborah Kelly, Charm Watts, Farmer Darryl, the folks at Ceres, Toine the eight year old goat wrangler, and of course, Bob.


Here’s an article that came out in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, featuring Bob the Goat!
article about gruffling in the age

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