Archives for category: death

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Blood on Silk: Last Seen by Fiona Davies

At the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula, Sydney, Australia

Opening 21st July 2017 6-9p.m.

then open until the 17th September daily open hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Curated by Lizzy Marshall

The turbine hall at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia is the first space entered by the visitor. It is large, at first glance it is apparently empty, a space approximately 13.8 metres high by 12.7 metres wide and 26.5 metres deep.

The ground floor of the hall is the site of multiple points of transition and multiple points of decision making, some of which relate directly to the architecture and some to the usual patterns or paths of passage in this architectural space resulting in an invisible crisscrossing pattern of use. The most overt point of transition is at the point of entry from the outside into the interior followed by less obvious multiple points of transition over the entire ground floor as the visitor determines what sequence they will follow or make. The visitor traffic is forced to the perimeters at the mezzanine level. All of the viewers in this hall are aware of the scale of the space.

Overlaid onto this patterning is the work Blood on Silk: Last Seen. The over arching theoretical concern of the project Blood on Silk is medicalised death in ICU. That is death that is constructed as a medical problem. The points of transition in the process of medicalised death start at the same place – coming through the entry doors either through emergency or as with Casula and many hospitals, the main front door. Layers of points of transition are then built up through the systems, design and architecture of the hospital – the controls of the visitor entry into ICU, the swing doors into the operating theatres and walking the empty shadowy corridors at night.

In this installation, large sheets of silk paper hang from the ceiling forming five rooms or partially curtained bed spaces. The ceiling is not lit so the upper reaches of the silk lie in darkness. On to these curtains of silk at just above head height, fragments of images of individuals passing through points of transition in a hospital are projected. The figures, seen from the back, are partially recognisable and partially anonymous. In the mezzanine gallery the hard lighting of fluorescent tubing starkly refers to the liminal space of the smoking area just outside the hospital buildings. All hospitals in NSW are smoke free work places including all outside areas.

In a recent talk at the Power Institute by the art critic Sebastian Smee, he talked about the book ‘In Praise of Shadows’ by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. This book has been described as a haphazard exposition of the aesthetics of beauty and where in the dark of the shadow only then is it possible to experience a certain type of seeing. ‘The darkness seemed to fall from the ceiling, lofty, intense, monolithic, the fragile light .. unable to pierce its thickness   ……. the visible darkness. [1] The light of the floor and the darkness of the high ceiling illuminated only by the intermittent light of the projections offset by the liminal space in the mezzanine gallery speak to the clarity of the way of seeing in the shadow, this way of seeing in the liminal space of the carer in hospital .

  1. Jun’ichirō Tanizaki [1] In Praise Of Shadows, Leete’s Island Books, 1977. P 34-35

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Exhibition Launch: Friday 21 July, 6 – 9pm

EXHIBITIONS: BLOOD ON SILK: LAST SEEN

22 Jul 2017 – 17 Sep 2017 | 10.00am – 5.00pm

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre presents its inaugural Turbine Hall Commission, Blood on Silk: Last Seen by established Western Sydney artist, Fiona Davies.

For this new work Davies will transform the Turbine Hall by creating five suspended makeshift hospital rooms from handmade silk paper. Representing the merging of public and private spaces, Last Seen investigates the emotional landscape that carers and visitors have with the hospital environment experience.

Fiona Davies is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Davies’ works are multimedia installations encompassing both the real and simulated. She holds a B.Sc (UNSW) and Bachelor of Visual Art (UWS). She was awarded a MFA from Monash University.

Her current theoretical practice examines ICU medicalised dying, intertwining emotional knowledge with contemporary medical practices – specifically, definitions of death, the materiality of blood and processes of surveillance.  Her ongoing project, Blood on Silk (2009 – ) included working in collaboration with the late physicist Dr Domachuk.

She exhibits in both formal institutions and non-traditional spaces nationally and internationally.

The Turbine Hall Commissions offer visitors new perceptions of our architecture and public spaces through site responsive artworks.

Curated by Lizzy Marshall

Exhibition Launch: Friday 21 July, 6 – 9pm

Details ex Casula Powerhouse website

untitled  Image Credit ABC RN Tiger Web

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/better-blood-transfusions/8507588

Click the link above for this ABC Health Report story on making blood transfusions better. Short and fabulous.

My work is included under the blood section after a whole lot of much more shocking materials like urine etc.

Click this link to go to the article. http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/bits-and-blogs/visual-arts/visual-arts-writer/artists-who-turn-body-fluids-into-art-253684

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photo credit Alex Wisser

Friday, the 14th April 2017 was the night of the exhibition Black Rabbit curated by Lizzy Marshall at The Slab in Hazelbrook, NSW.

I’d made a new work for this exhibition, Drug test Bunny or Lab Bunny a sculpture constructed from sheer black fabric, wire and buttons squeezed onto a hospital trolley. The bunny is not in great shape. It appears defeated.

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Great article by Philip Clarke and Peter Sivey on the Conversation website

https://theconversation.com/why-dont-we-know-how-many-people-die-in-our-hospitals-71471

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Image from article on Conversation – photographer not named

 

 

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Ash Tray with silver crosses, 2017  paint and found object

Report on one of the roundtables at the 2016 TransCultural  Exchange  on Artists working with Medicine.

http://www.transculturalexchange.org/archives/rt/17/page01.html

Bleeding Out Book 007 - Copy

 

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