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Dear friends and friends-to-be,

I am curating a project called " The Patient." It’s a touring exhibition of contemporary art, starting in Sydney at UNSW Galleries in June this year and then traveling to six venues in NSW and Victoria until 2018 with the support of Museums and Galleries NSW.

It’s a project that considers the embodied experience of the artist as medical patient, and the medical patient as subject in recent contemporary art.

The exhibition’s focus is on new collaborations between scientists and artists, and artists working closely with patient communities. The Patient explores the ways in which artists are addressing powerful human experiences in the fields of health, biological science and medicine, contributing to discourse on the representation of illness, disease, care, personal agency and what it is to be human.

Included in the show are works by contemporary and historical, Australian and international artists, museum objects and specimens, a library, a catalogue and a participatory public program.

The artists are: Ingrid Bachmann (CAN), Guy Ben-Ary (AUS), John A Douglas (AUS), Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose (USA), Brenton Heath-Kerr (AUS), Carol Jerrems (AUS), Eugenie Lee (AUS), ORLAN (FRA), Helen Pynor (AUS), David McDiarmid (AUS),
Jo Spence (UK), John Wynne & Tim Wainwright (UK).

There are twelve bodies of work in the exhibition, four of which are new/works in progress by artists Helen Pynor, John A Douglas, Guy Ben-Ary and Eugenie Lee. Pynor is creating a multimedia installation, Flesh Tones, that looks at the liminal space between living and dying. The artist has worked biologically with cells in the laboratory as well as engaging with medical patients who have had lucid death experiences.


Image: Peta Clancy and Helen Pynor, The Body is a Big Place, 2011

John a Douglas will be exhibiting a trilogy of works of his lived experience as a renal patient including the premiere of a new work as a transplant recipient called Circles of Fire.


Image: John A Douglas, Body Fluid - Ascension, 2012

Installation artist and painter Eugenie Lee has been collaborating with neurologists at the University of South Australia and the University of Sydney on a participatory, virtual reality installation for visitors to comprehend the experience of chronic pain.


Image: Eugenie Lee, If Only, 2015

Guy Ben-Ary has become a medical patient in order to harvest and grow his own tissue for a project called CellF. CellF is a cybernetic musician and instrument, the heart of which is a neural cluster (made with the artist’s neural stem cells) that plays an analogue synthesiser. The synthesiser will perform with Australian musicians including Chris Abrahams, Claire Edwardes and Jon Rose.


Image: Guy Ben-Ary, Performance of CellF with Darren Moore, 2015

The exhibition also includes UK artists John Wynne and Tim Wainwright whose work Transplant saw them work as artists-in-residence for a year in a hospital specialising in heart and lung transplants. Canadian artist Ingrid Bachmann has made sculptural works using bone transducer sensors, so that the stories of transplant patients literally get under your skin.

Also included in The Patient are historical works by artists Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose, whose project Visiting Hours brought the live experience of Flanagan’s unorthodox, Fight Sickness With Sickness approach to his Cystic Fibrosis to the gallery-going public back in 1994. British photographer Jo Spence and celebrated Australian photographer Carol Jerrems are also included in the show, their work speaking directly and defiantly to the loss of agency they experienced as patients within the hospital system. Similarly ORLAN’s surgical performances were borne out of her ‘recuperation’ of a medical emergency into contemporary art. The work of artists and AIDS activists David McDiarmid and Brenton Heath-Kerr also appear in the exhibition and remind us of the power and subversive potential of art in addressing discrimination, visibility and other social impacts of the epidemic. Both artists were included in Ted Gott’s important exhibition Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS held at the National Gallery of Australia in 1994, a landmark exhibition in engaging with the lived experience of artist patients and their community.

This is my first ever crowdfunding campaign for my first independent curatorial project in fifteen years (at least!). I don’t like to ask for money from my friends, but I do love supporting art projects through crowdfunding platforms and I know that many of you also feel a bit special when you share the love and know you have contributed to an independent project’s success…so here goes!!

Main Image: Brenton Heath-Kerr, Homosapien 1994, photograph by John Webber

How The Funds Will Be Used

The Patient opens on 2nd June, 2016 at UNSW Galleries and then goes on to tour to six regional venues in NSW and Victoria across 2017 and 2018. It’s an ambitious project and my first properly independently curated project after 15 years of working for various arts organisations. I am extremely fortunate to have received state (ArtsNSW), federal (the Australia Council) and foundation (Russell Mills Foundation) funding for this exhibition, but over half of that money is simply going towards freight (freight is so damned expensive!!), and this is why I am still looking for money as well as other funders, and need your support.

BTW, not a cent of ANY of the funds I am raising is going to me personally. Your hard-earned coin will be used for the following:

- Bringing the performance artist Sheree Rose from Los Angeles to Sydney to participate in the exhibition. Rose was the collaborative partner of Bob Flanagan, and their important work has been very influential to me and artists I am working with.
- Supporting the presentation of new artwork by John A Douglas, Helen Pynor, Eugenie Lee and Guy Ben-Ary.
- Enabling the reproduction and presentation of historical artworks and objects.
- Facilitating the loan of objects from museums and private collections (which costs money, yep).
- Publishing a fantastic catalogue, which you may also receive as a reward!
- Developing an (actually) accessible public program including films, performances, conversations, artist talks, specialist panels, workshops and participatory projects which include Auslan and Audio Description interpretation.

I have some lovely artist friends that have kindly and wonderfully donated artworks to this campaign, and they aren't even in the exhibition. They are so great! This is an opportunity for you to acquire their works at reduced prices. Thank you so much, Lucas Ihlein, Ian Milliss, Lily Hibberd, Deborah Kelly and Raquel Ormella. Eugenie Lee, who is in the exhibition has also offered some limited edition prints as rewards, which is really exciting.
Successful
on 29th Apr 2016 at 11:09pm. The payment portal is closed now.
A$1 +Heartfelt Personal ThanksAny contribution to The Patient will be very gratefully received. I will send my heartfelt personal thanks by email, along with invitation to the exhibition opening. I hope to see you there!
4 Chosen | 996 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$30 +Exhibition CatalogueI am publishing a 72 page catalogue for the exhibition, which will include essays, artist information and documentation of the exhibition. You will also receive a personal thank you and an invitation to the exhibition opening and the catalogue launch. *catalogues available at the finissage of the exhibition (August date TBC).
52 Chosen | 48 AvailableEst. delivery is August 2016
A$35 +All GoneBadges by Raquel OrmellaRaquel Ormella "Varied, noisy" 2008 4 x woven badges of Australian Birds in 2 woodblock printed envelopes. Raquel Ormella’s work can be divided into two broad thematic streams: political language and its effects on national identity; and the complex relationship between humans and the natural environment. Ormella brings the two streams together through aesthetic, critical self-awareness and consideration of the ethical roles and responsibilities of the artist.
15 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$99 +All GonePair hand blown tumblersThis is a pair of hand blown glass tumblers by Canberra-based glass artist, Nadège Desgenetez. Nadège has been working with John A Douglas on his new project "Circles of Fire." She is an award-winning glass artist including including the "prix d'honneur de la Foundation de France", and can be currently found in the glass workshop at ANU. Her artistic work draws from an array of autobiographical considerations to explore the sculptural language of glass.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$100 +Catalogue and BONUS!I am publishing a 72 page catalogue for the exhibition, which will include essays, artist information and documentation of the exhibition. It will also include YOUR NAME in the publishing credits. You will also receive a personal thank you and an invitation to the exhibition opening and the catalogue launch. *catalogues available at the finissage of the exhibition (August date TBC).
25 Chosen | 75 AvailableEst. delivery is August 2016
A$101 +All GoneHand blown tumblers PairThis is a pair of hand blown glass tumblers by Canberra-based glass artist, Nadège Desgenetez. Nadège has been working with John A Douglas on his new project "Circles of Fire." She is an award-winning glass artist including including the "prix d'honneur de la Foundation de France", and can be currently found in the glass workshop at ANU. Her artistic work draws from an array of autobiographical considerations to explore the sculptural language of glass.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$120 +All GonePrint by Eugenie LeeIF ONLY (limited edition UNFRAMED Giclee print) 25 x 18 cm Includes a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist Eugenie Lee is a Korean born visual artist whose works focus on the human body and mind, and in particular chronic pain. Drawing from the complex relationships between the biological, psychological, and social factors of illness, Lee engages and interprets scenarios where we cannot reach the ideals of perfect health.
5 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$250 +All GoneLa Lucha ContinuaA signed artist's proof of the work "La Lucha Continua" 2016 by Deborah Kelly 50 x 70cm pigment print on archival cotton paper Deborah Kelly is a Sydney-based artist whose works have been shown around Australia, in the Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki and Venice Biennales, and, as a member of the boat-people artist collective, in the 2014 TarraWarra Biennial. Her projects across media are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$400 +Yeoman's Project PrintView of Nevallan By Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein 2011-12 980 x 680 mm Forest green printed in duotone on 100% recycled 300 gsm impact paper. Unframed. Limited edition of 45 signed and numbered by the artists. Produced as part of an ongoing collaborative project by Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein. The print is based on the Google Earth view of Nevallan, one of P.A. Yeomans’ early experimental agriculture properties in Western Sydney.
0 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$450 +Yeoman's Project Print 2New Chisel Plow Shank 2011-12 1020 x 720 mm Forest green and black ink on 100% recycled 300 gsm impact paper. Unframed. Limited edition of 45 signed and numbered by artists. Produced as part of an ongoing collaborative project by Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein. This print is an enlarged page from the 1970s sales pamphlet for PA Yeomans’ plows, in this case advertising one of his specialised tynes.
0 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$500 +Photo by Lily HibberdLily Hibberd "Behind closed doors" 2006 (from the exhibition, I want to break free) Pegasus print (edition of 12) 67 x 100cm 3 UNFRAMED prints available: #2/12, #3/12, #4/12
1 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016
A$1000 +All GoneCollage by Deborah KellyFRAMED original collage! "Preoccupation Pageant" 2016 collage materials on Italian cotton paper mounted in antique frame 26.3 x 50.5cm Deborah Kelly is a Sydney-based artist whose works have been shown around Australia, in the Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki and Venice Biennales, and, as a member of the boat-people artist collective, in the 2014 TarraWarra Biennial. Her projects across media are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is May 2016