IN A ROOM
In A Room forms part of my MA, “I am not myself you see”. It is an installation that explores our relationship to illness, memory and our own mortality. It concerns the real and the imagined disease, the fear of contagion and how we relate to them and each other.
Illness is usually seen as something hidden, something that is associated with hospitals and clinical environments. However, the reality is that most chronically ill people spend the majority of their time at home. Illness is situated in the home and the home often becomes both the sanctuary and the prison of both the sick person and the carer.
This piece takes the form of a theatrical set, strongly influenced by Lars Von Trier’s design for the film Dogma, with the life of the chronically ill person played out in sparse detail. There is wallpaper and a matching lamp illustrated with repeated patterns of the Zika virus; a dementia bookcase based on the ideas of Dr Gemma Jones; deformed Beswick style ducks; textile pieces about cancer; a Braille antimacassar; needle-felted cat recovering from an operation and a film about chronic illness.
The hope is that the audience will re-examine how they think about illness and re-frame what they perceive to be the experience of the disabled/ill person.