We Are All Astonishingly Wise

Related to City Art
Installed 2021
A pink circular plaque on a concrete wall. Handwritten text on the plaque reads, "The pink ghost has slipped off to Delphi for an oracle nap. Don't worry, she will return when the dust has settled."
A laneway at evening. On the brick wall of a building is a painted ribbon, on which are the handwritten words, "Fresh baked oracles".
A laneway at evening. On the sandstone wall of a building is a painted ribbon, on which are the handwritten words, "Fortunes told". Above it is an old-fashioned painted sign reading "Palmer & Co." is an arrow pointing down the laneway, and above that is a modern sign reading "Tank Stream Bar". Further down the laneway, a pedestrian looks up at a video screen with the image of a ghost.

In Abercrombie Lane, a pink furry ghost invites passersby to take an oracle card and divine its personal meaning.

Artist: Katy B Plummer
This artwork is temporarily in storage and will return to this site.

Artwork description

We Are All Astonishingly Wise is an experimental oracle, designed for an intuitive reckoning of uncertain times. Your card, drawn for you from a deck of 48 by the ‘ghost’ (a friendly fuzzy spirit from the future), forms a unique divinatory prompt to offer a fresh understanding of your current moment.

The artist has invited 2 ‘art witches’ to interpret these cards, in the hopes that their intuitive skills can be of service to you in your search for clarity. You’re also invited to trust your own gut response: how might these scraps of poetic text help you understand your own situation?

The viewer is enticed to enter by a warm pink glow, and a series of mysterious painted signs. As the viewer turns into Abercrombie Lane, they are met by a large video monitor with a cute pink furry ghost wearing a crown and snazzy green shoes.

Near the base of the screen there is a motion sensor button. The viewer waves their hand in front of the button, setting ‘the ghost’ in motion. The ghost draws an oracle card from her deck and presents it to the viewer.

The oracle can be left hanging as a strange portentous riddle, to be intuitively understood and applied to the viewer’s own experience. Or the viewer can scan a QR code that will take them to some carefully crafted, open-ended interpretations.

You are invited to visit Abercrombie Lane for the true oracle experience.

View the cards and their interpretations
“When order crumbles, everything can be an oracle; courting transrational understandings of our experience can help us in our quest to undermine the toxic foundations of the old world.”

– Katy B Plummer


We Are All Astonishingly Wise began as one of 4 temporary laneway artworks we commissioned in 2021 to reactivate the city during the Covid pandemic.

Following significant community support the artwork has been acquired as a permanent artwork in the City of Sydney’s collection.

Due to adjacent building façade works, the artwork is being stored safely safely until the works are complete, when it will be reinstalled.


Katy B Plummer makes complex, messy video installations. Each work is a kind of spell, packed with layers of personal biography, scraps of history, recycled narratives.

She braids together spontaneously generated incantations, cinematic storytelling, anachronistic textile practices and high school theatre aesthetics.

Plummer suggests that our complicity with toxic hierarchies will not protect us from them, and that theatre and witchcraft are legitimate political strategies.



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