The Quiet Strength is a video made in collaboration with Patrick, an inmate from Risdon Prison. It was part of The Pink Palace, an exhibition that was curated by Constance ARI and part of Dark Mofo Festival in 2018.
The idea for this work came from the conversations I had with Patrick over a 6 month period between December 2017 - June 2018. During this time we discovered that we were more like each other than not.
We found common ground through shared pain which stems from a personal ordeal of ongoing disjuncture between the self, ego and self-image. The Quiet Strength uses endurance performance and poetry to articulate this difficulty and explores how it is rendered through or onto the body over time.
In the performance I repetitively pick up and drop large chunks of sandstone onto several self-portrait photographs until exhaustion. Only at the end of the film are the damaged self-portraits revealed.
Although the project was about common ground, Patrick didn’t expect to find it therapeutic. The interview process to design the work became one of the most valuable parts of the whole experience because it created a space to build trust and intimacy in what’s usually a regimented place. Towards the end of the project Patrick said that visits with me became a reminder to the parts of the outside world that he missed.
Dark Mofo Festival, June 2018.
*Image 7 by Lucy Parakhina