WORKING IN THE TROUBLE: PRISON WALL ON THE ROAD TO PARRAMATTA

Elizabeth Day, Working in the Trouble: Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta, 2019, installation view at Articulate Project Space, Sydney.

Working in the Trouble: Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta, solo exhibition at Articulate Project Space, Sydney, 4 – 20 Oct, 2019.

Working in the Trouble: Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta is a solo exhibition based on Day’s 25 years working in marginal spaces. In 2011 she began developing work along the Parramatta River where there are the remains of colonial prisons and institutions, that continue into the 20th century (and 21st) to be a focus for mental health services. Much of her work has considered the image of ‘the prison on the landscape’ as a way to focus the damage on the Australian landscape wrought by colonisation.

The exhibition includes some of the work done since 2012 for sites in Tasmania where Australia’s violent past is in plain sight. This work was part of The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, solo exhibition at Moonah Arts Centre, TAS. Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds incorporates imagery developed during a residency at the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Solar Voltaics, incorporating images of carbon nano tubes under an electron microscope, making a poetic association between quantum invisibility and the invisible worlds of the incarcerated since the beginning of Australia’s white history.

The Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta incorporates unravelled text works that are quotes from literature, observations and experienced affects from within that abject margin, as are the nano texts. The prison is a pervasive image in Australian culture and large numbers of Aboriginal people are still incarcerated as was the case when this architectural form first landed on Australian soil at the inception of British history in this country.

Some of this work was originally shown at the Heritage Courtyard Pavilion, in Parramatta’s Justice Precinct, in 2017, with a community-based work, Myco Logic. Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds and Myco Logic were supported by grants from the Australia Council. With thanks to curator Claire Taylor from GREYSPACE who collaborated with the production and realisation of these projects.

WORKING IN THE TROUBLE is also the title of Elizabeth Day’s new Doctoral Project through Deakin University. This will develop a theoretical framework for 6-7 inter-related projects Day has realised since 2013. MORE…

Titles of the individual works in the show:
IT WAS PASSED ON FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T TALK ABOUT IT
THERE IS A REASON BEYOND A REASON AND BEYOND THAT A REASON
ABUSE TENDS TO REPEAT ITSELF
IT WAS BETTER NOT TO DISCUSS IT
THE LAW IS NOT ALWAYS JUST
THE JUST ARE NOT ALWAYS JUST
THEY FOUGHT THE BRITISH ARMY BRAVELY FOR 100 YEARS
HE KNEW THAT ABUSE WAS GOING ON BUT WASN’T THAT INTERESTED
DID ANYONE ASK WHY SHE WAS ANGRY?
WHEN SHE RETURNED FROM FOSTER CARE HER BLOOD FAMILY TREATED HER LIKE A STRANGER
THE MORE SHE COMPLAINED THE DEEPER THE HOLE SHE DUG FOR HERSELF
WHISTLEBLOWERS ON SEX CRIMES CAN THEMSELVES BE VICTIMISED
SHE WAS GAGGED. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR THE EXPLANATION
HER FAMILY HAD MADE HER THINK THAT VIOLENCE WAS NORMAL
WHEN YOU GO NEAR DAMAGE IT CAN RUB OFF
SECRETS ARE THE MOST DAMAGING
SHAME CAN BE VERY DEBILITATING
TRANS-GENERATIONAL TRAUMA IS LITTLE UNDERSTOOD

Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt, NSW 2040.

This exhibition was presented as part of The Big Anxiety! Festival

Elizabeth Day, Working in the Trouble: The Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta, 2019, installation view. Articulate Project Space, Sydney. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Working in the Trouble: The Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta, 2019, installation view. Articulate Project Space, Sydney. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Working in the Trouble: The Prison Wall on the Road to Parramatta, 2019, installation view. Articulate Project Space, Sydney. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: They don’t know what happened to her during those years, 2018, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: They fought the British Army bravely for 100 years, 2018, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: He knew that abuse was going on but wasn’t that interested, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Untitled, 2019, framed digital print. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: The damage was passed on from generation to generation, 2016-17, framed digital print, altered electron microscopy image. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Whatever you do don’t talk about it, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: The just are not always just, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: History tends to repeat itself, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: The just are not always just, 2016-17, framed digital print, altered electron microscopy image. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Justice entails acknowledgement, recognition and loving attention to detail, 2016-17, framed digital print, altered electron microscopy image. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Untitled, 2019, framed digital print. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Untitled, 2019, framed digital print. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Shame can be very debilitating, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Untitled 2019, framed digital print. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Untitled, 2019, framed digital print. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Did anyone ask why she was angry?, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: untitled, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: The law is not always just, 2018, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: There is a reason beyond the reason beyond the reason beyond that reason, 2016-17, framed digital print, altered electron microscopy image. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: It was passed on from generation to generation, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Having a family member inside prison is worse than leprosy, 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words Invisible Worlds: Whistleblowers on sex crimes can themselves be victimised (part 1), 2017, unravelled wool, felt, muslin, framed. Photo: Hamish Ta-mé.
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