VENUE: UNSW GALLERIES
A ritualised and stylised performance of scar remediation therapy on the artist/transplant patient.
Duration, 2 hours
Scar remediation combined with somatic bodywork is a relatively new therapeutic approach to the treatment of scar tissue that can have positive effects for scars on the skin or within the body. In Scar Remediation Ceremony, performance artist and body worker, Stella Topaz performs a ritualised and stylized interpretation of this treatment on artist/transplant patient John A Douglas. The approach combines mapping (a way of becoming more attuned to the ‘geography’ of the scar) with massage, and gentle heat, to soften and release scar tissue. Transplant patients have reported that the trauma of surgery and frontline immuno-suppressant medications have resulted in a disconnect from the scar tissue area(s) and with body self-image. In time, a process of healing and integration can be of great comfort and benefit to patients. Outside of performance times, the audience are invited to lie on a hospital bed and immerse themselves into the signature architectural structures and landscapes from Douglas’s organ transplant project Circles of Fire.
John A Douglas
John A Douglas is an interdisciplinary artist working across video, performance, live art installation, photomedia, VR, animation, sound and objects. Since 2011, his practice has investigated his ongoing experience of chronic illness through scientific and collaborative, immersive performance approaches. Douglas offers a unique and personal perspective as both artist and patient that intersects with biomedical science, clinical treatment and the human and emotional experience of a renal transplant patient.Douglas premiered the multi platform project Circles of Fire: The Amphitheatre in Performance Space’s Liveworks 2018 Festival at Carriageworks in Sydney. He exhibited and performed with Stella Topaz at the new Science Gallery London in March 2019.
Stella Topaz is a nurse, a sexological bodyworker and a performer. She shares of her own queer body through solo performance pieces, spoken word, and in creating delightful outfits to dress her body for the pleasure of herself and others at chosen queer parties and events. Through collaboration with John A. Douglas, Stella is exploring how bodywork practices usually conducted privately are affected by the exposure of performance, with curiosity about the felt-experience of the receiver and practitioner in bodywork, and for those witnessing.