PULL IT DOWN AND PUT BIG W THERE

Selected for the 2016 Tasmanian Portraiture Prize

Down the road from my house sits a large, abandoned building. Outside, walls are a palimpsest of graffiti of similar vacancy. Inside, various leftovers hint at previous existences in this space. In 2016 I stand here, wind rushing through empty corridors, and I feel saddened. This building, formerly the Devonport hospital, was my birthplace and this is my living memory of it.

 

Beyond my memory, this place was alive and momentous in the rituals of life and death. None of this remains. In contrast, all recent intrusions and neglect of this space have contributed to a deterioration.

 

An allegory of the hospital, this video pulses back and forth in an eternal, uncertain limbo. The subjects in this piece were both born in this building 25 years ago. They stand now, breathlessly alive after inflating the 25 balloons surrounding them. Pure in white, full of air and moving around the space, these balloons and the process itself place value on the lives started here and the space itself.

 

These balloons soon deflated with the plastic becoming yet another leftover. Amongst this indefinite decay, this piece stands to recognise the past, highlight the emotional and physical uncertainty of the present and encourage a more positive consideration of the future.

© 2019 

LUKE CONROY

good on you for coming this far, and reading this.