It started with a shoe box. A shoe box in which I collected detritus from the dust and grass of my 1920s family home back yard. Mostly shattered glass, rusted metal, broken tiles, but occasionally something more eye catching would appear such as a tarnished but still glimmering star. For quite some time it was in my mind to create something from these discarded and dropped bits and pieces, but I didn’t know what. When I left that family home alone the box came with me. On my daily walks I continued to gather and add to my collection of found objects, but they were now sourced from the neighbourhood footpaths. Occasionally I added an object left behind by my departed Dad and Granddads or something my sons had grown out of. Eventually I decided to turn the dusty and discarded into a kind of video mandala, junk art, a totem...a ritual...into order from chaos.

  • Ashley Starkey
    The Path of Totality, The First Anzac Day, Ammunition, Colin Norris: UFO Investigator. Uye-opia, Edge of Nothingness, Returning Figures
  • Ashley Starkey
    The Path of Totality, Happy Ghosts
  • Andrew Muecke
    The Path of Totality, The Visionary Lights, Happy Ghosts, The Quiet Room, Andrissa, At Random
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 13, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    99 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • European International Film Festival
    Saint Petersburgh
    Russian Federation
    May 29, 2020
  • International Kansk Video Festival
    Russian Federation
    August 25, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Garoa Awards
    Sao Paulo
    November 28, 2021
    Nominee - Best Editing Experimental
  • Rome Independent Prisma Awards
    March 4, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Oaxaca Film Fest
    October 29, 2019
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Ashley Starkey

Ashley Starkey is a filmmaker, photographer and artist. Born (1967) and based in Australia he’s won awards there including Most Outstanding Music Video, Best CD Artwork, and Major prize winner of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Jeffrey Smart competition. His work has been screened on television and in film competitions, and published in magazines, around the globe. Films and images created from detritus, junk, found objects and the discarded are an ongoing passion for Starkey, but he’s also been writing, filming and editing documentaries for nearly twenty years. Production company: Starkeyz

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Director Statement

Rockana is a personal project. It's a moving collage set to music, it has no dialogue. As described above, it started with a shoebox of detritus. I was aware I wanted to turn these dusty and discarded bits and pieces into something, possibly photographic tableaus, but I really wasn’t sure what. I didn’t push it, I waited for inspiration. Inspiration came from an illustration of a sand mandala sitting above my editing station. A depiction I’d retained from more than twenty years earlier when I’d watched monks create and destroy a sand mandala in my hometown over a few day period. Could I create a video mandala I wondered? Could I turn this junk into art, could I capture the disparate elements of my changing life and coordinate and compose them into some kind of centred circular depiction?
To inform the process I researched mandalas and mythology. In just a few nights myself and musical collaborator Andrew Muecke recorded the music. The soundtrack exists in the order it was originally recorded, no tracks were discarded. The same couldn’t be said for the filming process. It took many months of preparation and shooting and there are certainly numerous shots and set-ups left on the cutting room hard drive floor, and one small slip could ruin a time lapse series. Most of the shots were prepared and constructed before they were executed, but sometimes unexpected shadow play or the arrival bugs, ants and birds would provide a serendipitous and surprising addition.
Towards the end of the process I got very close to creating video mandala I had envisaged. But the outcome is also a form of totem, an illustration of the wastage we walk over everyday, and maybe it’s even a representation of the value of creativity…. could be any of those possibly…but I do know Rockana is Order from Chaos.