Exhibit examines illness and disease, health and health sciences

ORLAN, 4th Surgery-Performance titled Successful Operation, 8th December 1991. Courtesy of the artist.
ORLAN, 4th Surgery-Performance titled Successful Operation, 8th December 1991. Courtesy of the artist.

Manning Regional Art Gallery will delve into the very essence of the human condition this winter, with an examination of illness and disease, health and the health sciences in its new exhibition "The Patient", featuring artists drawn from Australia and the world, past and present.

The gallery is the first in regional NSW to host this exhibition.

Being ill and recovering, living with chronic disease, or caring for those who do, forms part of everyday life for us all, making The Patient an experience we can all relate to. 

Our experiences, and those of the exhibiting artists, are laid bare in The Patient as it addresses the embodied experience of the artist as medical patient, and the medical patient as living subject in contemporary art.

It explores the ways in which artists engage with powerful human experiences in the fields of health, biological science and medicine, contributing to discourse on the representation of illness, disease, care, individual agency and what it is to be human.

Special guest, Sam Wild from Create NSW and curator Bec Dean will officially open The Patient, with the exhibition opening on Friday, May 19 supported by the Friends of the Manning Regional Art Gallery. A curator preview tour will be included at the opening, along with the Friends of the Gallery Bar and nibbles. Tickets available at the door, $7 for Friends members and $10 others.

Open until Sunday, July 16, The Patient features a program of interactive and special events, The Public Patient which encourages new ways of thinking about our relationship to sickness and health. Building on themes from The Patient, the program asks how art can offer insights into our experience of the medical world? What does it mean to be sick or well? How do images of the medicalised body influence our understanding of our own health?

The Pill Box is an evolving exhibit exploring our intimate relationship to medication. Put your old medicine containers to good use by contributing to an evolving collaborative display in The Patient. Submissions may be made during gallery hours at Manning Regional Gallery reception.

Are you sick? Join the conversation about what it is like to be a patient. Via a feed from our website, draw, write and explore the ways in which you experience illness and treatment in Are YOU Sick?

You can experience an individual virtual reality examination of chronic pain by booking an available time from May 24 - 28 for a one-on-one consultation with Eugenie Lee and her work, Seeing is Believing. Eugenie takes participants through processes used in neuroscience and her experiential artwork, to deepen understanding of the experience of chronic pain. Eugenie will be performing her work for The Patient for one week only in Taree, so book early to avoid disappointment, on Eventbrite.

Woven throughout the exhibition period, further events include a multi-disciplinary Patient Forum on Saturday, May 27 from 1pm, the Taree Film Society's The Screening Room, and a special hands-on collage event, Piecing it Together on July 15 and 16.  More details on these events is coming soon.

For all events, bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.  You can book for events via our website, http://mrag.midcoast.nsw.gov.au and follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ManningRegionalArtGallery/ to receive regular updates on the progress of The Patient.