This expo runs from 13th September through til 12th October
‘Eight’ is a new body of photographic work by Western Australian artist Christopher Young. It looks at end-of-life cultural experiences; how people respond to such experiences; and the environments and institutions they encounter.
Utilising spaces such as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and funeral homes, it addresses the paradox of highly-charged, emotive events in seemingly sterile and controlled spaces.
The sterility of these places should be calming and reassuring but Christopher found the ‘otherness’ difficult to overlook in his own experience.
This project stems from visits to funeral homes when Christopher’s father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The ?rst was a macabre behind-the-scenes tour and later for his funeral. He found both experiences disturbing and thus far unique in his adult life.
“My relationship with my father was distant and often dysfunctional. Our collective apathy left us with limited shared adult experiences as well as an inability to communicate. Despite his diagnosis and the associated ‘deadline’, we never found the language to sit down to discuss his looming death.”
Despite it being inevitable, death is not something we freely discuss. It is often seen as a taboo subject, especially intergenerationally. The passing of a loved one can be further complicated by the foreignness of the surrounding experiences. This is particularly the case with ‘stoic’ men, even more so those in regional communities.
As death is inescapable and inevitably part of everyone’s experience, this series has opened a dialogue with Christopher’s audience that has been enriching for all involved.
The series also includes anonymous interviews with people about their own end-of-life experiences. A limited-edition book will also be launched at the Perth exhibition.
The exhibition opens on September 13 with an artist talk at 5.15pm and free opening event at 6pm. All are welcome.
The project is made possible by the Australian Governments regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. The Regional Arts Fund is administered in Western Australia by Country Arts WA.
This is a free event
- Location: Perth Centre for Photography
357-365 Murray Street, Perth
- Cost: free
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