Darbyshire for TILT at Heathcote
Jo Darbyshire is this year's artist for TILT - an annual program which invites an artist to respond to the layered history of the Point Heathcote/Kooyagoordup site by creating a new body of work. Jo looks at the connection between Surrealism and concepts of madness by exploring some of the strategies used by the Surrealists: collective ventures, poetry and the use of found objects in artworks.
Surrealism was a worldwide phenomenon when Heathcote opened in 1929 and I’ve always been interested in the connection between Surrealism and concepts of madness. When asked to make new work about the Heathcote Mental Health Reception Centre I took the opportunity to explore some of the strategies used by the Surrealists: collective ventures, poetry and the use of found objects in artworks.
As I read stories from past staff and patients, and listened to Oral Histories that have been collected - I allowed the ones that resonated to come forward. These stories had something of the surreal about them, a startling relationship with a material (feathers, hair, bone), the erotic, or the unconscious. They suddenly made me identify with the patient or the staff member- to be in their body, to inhabit madness, and to work in a place that both contained and maintained madness.
Jo thanks Kaylene Poon, the City of Melville History Centre staff and the many participants who contributed to this project.
Tales of the Surreal
30 November 2019 - 19 January 2020
Artist Talk: Sunday 19 January 2020, 1pm.