2017 / 2018
Visible Mending is a series of works focussing attention on relationships, reminding us of our vulnerabilities and that we are not alone in these experiences. In a world that seems increasingly hostile and divided, it’s hoped that these works also reflect the importance of compassion and the healing power of human connection.
2016 – 2017
Pieces of Norma
Dementia is second only to coronary heart disease as the leading cause of death in Australia. There are currently more that 342,000 Australians with dementia. By 2050 it’s predicted that this number will rise to almost 900,000 people – which means a further 500 nursing home beds per month will be needed in order to cope. It is a seemingly insurmountable task with devastating effects on the people who suffer with dementia and those who love them.
These portraits are of my aunt who currently resides in a nursing home because of her dementia. She spends most of her day lying in bed, in diapers, waiting to die. Each minute is not much different from the last – if it is she won’t remember it anyway. She is not consciously aware of her body, unable to sit up straight, often staring off into space – leaving me to wonder if I’ve just witnessed another piece disappear.
All the light from her eyes has gone.
I chose the simplicity of white on black to clearly illustrate the darkness as it envelops her. The weight of black can only be fully realised when you can compare it to light. White hatched marks, while expressing the form of aged skin also add to the harshness of this contrast.
The intention of this work is to provoke discussion about terminal illness and end of life care. Having the right to choose to die with dignity, without suffering and with your loved ones present is unfortunately not a reality for many people in our society today.