To say that this show is not what you might expect is an understatement. In fact it comes as a bit of a shock. Katy Mutton, Timothy Pauszek and Stedman Watts have got together and produced a poignant show about loss from three very different perspectives. Each artist explores their personal experience in a very frank and sometimes disturbingly honest way; revealing the ways each person’s journey has been shaped and effected by personal tragedy. Saudade is a Portugese word that defies English translation because its a feeling, that is possibly best described as a wistful melancholic longing or yearning …. Tim’s mother died when he was 13 years old and he has produced a series of exquisite lithographs of her extensive spoon collection – once an ongoing record of her travels. With his father and brothers Tim continued to add to the collection in her absence, giving her a continuing presence in their lives to this very day. Katy remembers her father from whom she was separated during a contentious divorce at the age of 14 when her mother brought her to Australia from the UK … a long way from home. She recalls this time by recreating her Roman Catholic past (Katy emphasises the past) with icons, images, letters, diaries and objects that reflect a complex world of faith, family, lies and loss in the years following the traumatic upheaval. Sted shares his world of (chronic) pain via the residues of a lifetime journey through the the medical system with multiple surgeries and until recently no clear diagnosis. With years of paperwork piled up (scarcely even a sample as it turns out), red tape, x-rays, syringes, post-op photos Sted provides insight into the travails of living with a mysterious medical condition and its impact on his daily life – loss of time, disempowerment through reliance on care, and the loss of his presence from family.
Really great opening despite the subject matter and perhaps a time that we all consider our experiences of loss. Might be wise to take some tissues to this exhibition but make sure you go see it. Saudade: the presence of absence at CCAS Manuka until 8 December Friday-Sunday 11-5pm.
All photos are taken with with Katy Mutton’s Your own kind of Halo (2019).