Nora Sumberg on Virginia Woolf’s language for “undescribable” things such as the punk act of painting


 “There’s this other undescribable thing that’s going on as well, which is just the act – the act of painting, which is where, you know, you’re not in control of what’s happening and don’t want to be. And that’s, I think, the sort of writer she is, and why I see her as an allied spirit as a punk.”

Nora Sumberg on Virginia Woolf Literary Punk episode #4 ‘To the Lighthouse’


To the Lighthouse

[And a big shout out to James Lloyd (aka James Wave, bassist with X-Ray-Z, 1977-8) for the podcast’s title track. Up louder, punker, more offensive this episode for my guest in the podcast studio: artist, teacher, PhD candidate in Fine Art at the VCA, and Melbourne punk queen, Nora Sumberg, as she gives us ‘the low down and the high down’ on the birth of the Australian punk scene, her art school days with Nick Cave and The Boys Next Door in Melbourne c.1976]




God Save the Queen: All hail Virginia Woolf!

The latest episode #4 of Literary Punk in podcast form is up on Hookturn!

For this month’s show we’re discussing To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf’s 1927 prose poetry revolution.

My guest in the studio is artist Nora Sumberg, Melbourne’s queen of punk: “…I really believe that Nick Cave and me and about 2 other people started punk in Australia.”

Sumberg is an artist with an extensive exhibition history going back to 1979. Her work is in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria. She has had several Australia Council grants, as well as enjoying local and international residencies, including  a scholarship to the New York Studio School in 1978, where she met and mixed with the punk elite. She lived at the Chelsea Hotel in room 101, next door to… you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.

Join Nora and I as we talk about To the Lighthouse: the way it undoes you, and encrypts you into its wandering processes, as Virginia Woolf explores writing as being, and being an artist, from the inside out.


  Cumuloaccumulo   Nora Sumberg, 2003 

[Image courtesy the artist]