Work in progress – Blood on Silk: Blood Farming/ The Producers

IMG_3776

First image of a work looking more closely at blood farming. I’m trying to capture the liminal space occupied by the loneliness of the those abandoned by the system and by others.  She looks a little too much like she is wearing a uniform at the moment. Thinking of painting a pattern of small flowers along the hem of her dress.

Advertisements

Second post on the installation: Where They were Last Seen, at SCA gallery Sydney.

To continue from the last post from late this month – this image is of another element of the work Where they were last seen, my installation selected by two Masters of Art Curating students, Tian Kang and Yunyan Tang for their exhibition Being towards Death in Gallery five of the Sydney College of the Arts/ University of Sydney Gallery. The curatorial premise developed by Tian and Yunyang resulted in a more direct focus on the physicality of the Intensive Care Unit.

Blanket Work modifed

The image shows a detail of another of the main elements of the space. This large blanket work frames two walls and is approximately nine metres in width and three metres in height. Made of strips of grey woollen coat fabric, the surface is slightly fluffy and cuddly, but the colour is austere and forbidding. Acting as a record of instances of the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and oxygenation the hand sewn components are built up to contain both the internal skin of the site wrapped around the bedspace of the patient located in the middle of the gallery.

The exhibition was part of the Curatorial Lab component of the Masters of Art Curating program.

 

Being Towards Death, the exhibition

In Gallery five of the Sydney College of the Arts/ University of Sydney Gallery two Masters of Art Curating students, Tian Kang and Yunyan Tang selected my new installation Where they were last seen for their exhibition Being towards Death. Gallery five is an interesting mix between being a white cube and a non-white cube space. In this installation developed specifically for this exhibition and this site, the curatorial premise developed by Tian and Yunyang resulted in a more direct focus on the physicality of the Intensive Care Unit. The image shows a detail of one of the main elements of the space. The patient bedspace is sited directly underneath a large roof lantern or skylight. The overbed hospital table holds the bedside medical monitor playing the simulation of the visual data and sonic traces of a patient bleeding out while the silk paper bed and pillow shape refutes the functionality of the bed by its ephemeral, flimsy and seemingly transitory nature. The next post will address one of the other elements of the installation, the blanket work.

DSC04373Fiona Davies Where they were last seen (detail) 2018
Installation, silk paper, found objects, video, framed print, photographic print and fabric.
Size variable as installed Gallery 5 SCA Gallery Sydney. Photo credit Alex Gooding

In terms of the bedspace of the patient the body in healthcare settings occupies a complex but somewhat ambivalent position: it is at the centre of everything yet is at the same time oddly displaced and this is even more pronounced once that body is dead. Then apparently there is little tolerance for the sight of the dead body by others. Speciality transports are used to move the body from the place of death to the morgue. This conceals both the presence and/or the shape of the body.

It is possible that this well-intentioned consideration of the sensibilities of the living members of the public work to dislocate or sever the experiences of the recently dead patient’s family and carers. Until death they were associated with a specific location in the hospital, the bed or bedspace of the patient. After death and the transportation of the body to the morgue they tend to be cut free. There is no physical evidence of the patient in the public sphere of the hospital and the family and carers appear to be of limited further interest to the hospital.

The exhibition was part of the Curatorial Lab component of the Masters of Art Curating program.

New Work from Old

One of the first works in this series remade. Formerly in an installation where they wrapped around kneelers in a church, now they are sewn together. All the small incisions around the supports are sewn flat and then all the strips of blanket fabric sewn flat to form a very large blanket shape. The numbers are from a reading from a bedside medical monitor and have their own narrative to be read from left to right or right to left.

IMG_3719

A larger scale recent work from the whole collection of the twenty three units of blood series. Started 2016 and still in progress.

23 units of blood aluminium crosses onto rust edited

In the run up to the Colour Run project at Braemar Gallery in Springwood NSW. I’m having a look at all of the series of works over the years looking at twenty three units of blood.  This series is decolourised crosses representing each of the units of blood.  They are gilded (badly) aluminium onto rusted steel and other found metal objects.  It is harder than you expect to gild onto a rusted surface.  The size of this work is 80 x 30 x 90(h) cm.

London – Conference

Recently I presented  at the 2018 Annual Association for Art History conference in London as part of a day long panel on Aural Affects and Effects: Explicit and Implicit sounds and rhythms in contemporary visual media put together by Olga Nikolaeva, Christine Sjöberg and Johnny Wingstedt.

Not only did several aspects of my research fall into place more clearly for me after my presentation (initially disrupted by the fire alarm!) and the follow up questions but also the other presentations in the thread provoked valuable insights that will also feed into the ongoing development of my thinking.

I have been working with the idea of sonnifying the predominantly wave form data visualisation of a bedside medical monitor display for nearly two years and have tested some of my early ideas out at two previous conferences. To confirm the value of my current position and at the same time expose aspects for future exploration was so reassuring.

Then to finish the conference there was an amazing and blunt keynote by Griselda Pollock.

 

 

Racing Patience ICU – video

https://vimeo.com/257997930Install shot - Fiona Davies Racing Patience ICU, 2018 phot credit Alex Gooding .JPG

In the card game Racing Patience ICU there are two players. One draws a central card that describes the patient’s stats when entering ICU. Starting at the same time, one player represents the ICU team trying to bring the patient back into the normal or survivable ranges for blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygenation and rate of respiration. The other player sometimes called Death, attempts to take the patient out of those survivable ranges. Each player attempts to track the four parameters, keeping a rough tally in their head of the changes in the patient stats as each card is added to one of the four stacks. The players turn over their cards in groups of three, being able to play the top card only. It is not a social or fair game. It is extremely competitive and can be rough and physical as each player tries to get their card onto the stacks in the centre. Importantly there is no concept of taking turns. It requires an ability to focus on many things which are changing, all at the same time. At the end of five minutes an alarm sounds. The game is over. On a count-back the winner is decided. The winner is who determined whether the patient during that particular five minutes was in or out of the survivable range for the four vital signs. Who knows what happened in the next five minutes and if the ethics of particular interventions that drove the often widely swinging changes of the parameters were ever able to be considered.