Karike explores life in death
A NEW exhibition at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) explores death and the unique complexity of grieving.
Death is an awkward topic to broach in real life, perhaps because it forces people to confront their mortality.
However, Brisbane-based multi-disciplinary artist Karike Ashworth has used her latest work Lamentation to better understand how the death of her mother in 2012 affected her and also as catalyst to begin a discussion on the subject.
"My mother died from ovarian cancer and it was a traumatic experience," she said.
"In our society there seems to be a time limit on how long you can talk about death of a loved one.
"People kind of expect you to get over it."
The South African-born artist said during the slow process of her mother dying, she observed the hospital system and its clinical treatment of dead bodies.
"When you're in the hospital it is all about the linen," she said.
"The linen is a strong part of processing the patient in the system."
Ms Ashworth said the linen sheets became a metaphor for the bodies.
"When a sheet becomes too stained or worn it becomes classified as condemned," she said.
"I just saw that as parallel for the treatment of a dead body."
Inspired, Ms Ashworth brought together 12 women, daughters whose mothers had died, and asked them to share their experiences on a sheet of linen used as a canvas.
"The materiality of the works and the stories of the women captured in the works, really helps people to connect to their own personal experiences and stories with death and dying," Ms Ashworth said.
Lamentation will open at BRAG today with an artist talk with Ms Ashworth at 10.30am.
This will be followed by a Sewing Circle Workshop with Ms Ashworth starting at 12.30pm to 4pm.
This exhibition will be on show until May 24.