2019 Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah, Western Australia
Part of the Alternative Archive Group Exhibition across Western Australia.
The Creative Grid is the facilitator of the most extensive series of inter-connected exhibitions ever undertaken with Western Australia. Activating 22 venues in 22 regional communities, the project includes 15 group and 15 solo exhibitions. The over-arching theme The Alternative Archive has been developed by Lead Curator, Anna Louise Richardson. The Alternative Archive / Peel is the first group exhibition of this series.
The Silent Archive – Installation – Carmel Sayer
The carer sits hour by hour, day by day, week after week, year after year in various waiting rooms; over time realising that by supporting their loved one the carer experiences a parallel existence including a loss of lifestyle, health, socialisation, relationships, reliability, career and dreams.
Being a positive support, the carer silences personal thoughts. The carer humbly takes the burden, understands the moods, the abuse and negativity and the incredible sadness. The carer spends many hours just waiting, listening to the clock ticking, alone in thoughts, desperate to help in some practical way, only to be left in the dark, silent in the waiting rooms, with no voice, isolated. On those rare occasions when invited into the therapy room, the carer is asked in front of the person they care for how they are? The carer dutifully responds, ‘I am good.’
Carers’ stories are an untold and ‘silent archive’ in the Peel community. They bear attentive witness to the journey of their loved ones’ mental health, but who observes and notes their journeys? Who tells their story? The Silent Archive is a catalyst to create a current progressive archive of our carers’ stories. Your stories. Bearing witness and transforming the artwork over time.
Mandurah based conceptual artist Carmel Sayer uses a multi-disciplinary approach through sculpture, painting, colour and installation to explore the relationship between spirituality, disconnection and mental health. Sayer is particularly interested in the institutionalisation of spirituality and how this trend affects humanity. In 2017 Sayer completed a twelve month residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah and held exhibitions in Ellenbrook and Melbourne. Sayer will present an extension of current concepts at CASM in 2019.