Tuesday, 18 December 2018

An Occasional Dream

Just - my biggest thanks
What a mix of heady exhilaration and appropriate anxiety that remote Australia has brought! High up in Maningrida via a deeply disconcerting river crossing, spending time with Michelle & Chloe at Maningrida Arts & Culture and getting to grips with art, culture and local politics - was deeply inspiring - as was time with Ingrid at Babbarra Women's Centre. Being made to feel so welcomed by artists from the outlying areas too, was wonderful. I feel deeply honoured to have spent so much time with John Mawurndjul at a key moment in Maningrida’s development. There’s a much bigger story here, about power, rights and social justice being played out - but not for facebook. A profound and complex thing. Thanks to NS via GB for making this all possible and CV for her warmth and friendship.

My early conversations around suicide and grief in Australia have begun to expose many complex themes that arts-led research might gently navigate over these next few years through an international partnership. This would be impossible to contemplate without my collaborator, Vic McEwan and the Cad Factory to whom my biggest heartfelt thanks for your deep and considered reflective practice, your hospitality and more than anything - friendship. Biggest thanks to Sarah and Holly. I was so sorry not to be around for The Art Factory end of year exhibition asI left Aus and it was a real treat meeting the artist Layla Bacayo. Her work: CAR vs CT SCAN (2018) is pictured below. 

In Japan over just four days and seemingly countless seminars/conferences/lectures exploring all things arts, health & social change and much, much more - my mind is boggled by it all. Seriously.

To my hosts Prof Katsuyuki Kamei at Kansai University, Prof Yutaka Moriguchi at Kindai University,  Dr Shiji Okumura, the Medical Director of Mimihara Hospital and those of you from Sakai City and their kind invitation - the biggest thanks for your welcome and hospitality. Of course, none of this would have even begun without the generous support of the Great British Sasakawa Foundation. It was so, so lovely to meet people who regardless of language differences, shared their work and responded so enthusiastically to mine. Thank you for your friendship and life-saving cheesy pizza.

Biggest thanks to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, LIME Music for HealthCW+, Willis Newson and Vic McEwan for letting me advocate on behalf of your sublime work.

Difference, similarity and complex humanity - and in it all - I’m just a passing thought on a breeze.

This image is by Kazuhito Sahara "Seven Aromas"(from series of the Viewing Aromas) in Art Waiting Room/Nakano Iin (Clinic). Thank you Uta Nakano for sharing your work with me.

Further thoughts on suicide
I am very interested to see more and more artists, health workers and people with lived experience around suicide - as survivors or family members - talking much more openly about their work. I think it might be useful to gather some research and project reports from the UK and wider international community to enable a deeper exploration of this work, much of which slips under the radar of many of the statutory (and voluntary) sectors. So if you know anyone - individual or organisation - large or small - which in some way through the arts/creativity/culture/heritage explore any aspect of suicide, please do email me with outline information before January 21st.               .  

Contact name/details

Where you are in the world

Project outline (200 words max)
What do you aspire to achieve and how will you know if you achieve it? (100 words max)
Any web links to your work

Email me HERE.

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