The See Through People – Being a Feeling Being.

Bec McBurney,
Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice.
Community Arts and Health Stream.
Artist in Residence in the Waiting Area at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.

Throughout 2017, for my workplace practicum, I was Artist in Residence in the level 3 waiting area at the Olivia Newton John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre). While people waited for their appointments, together we did weaving, printmaking, drawing, collage, painting and mixed media representations.

Curiosity draws them over,
Making draws them in.

Enabling them to
Connect with themselves,
To what is important to them,
To other people
To the present moment

Meaning is made
Further knowledge about self
Is a seed of understanding
About how to support yourself
with what you need to live well

(R. McBurney, August 2017)

Reflecting on experiences throughout the year resulted in the development of an artistic response to being in the space called “The See-through People”. Inspired by the ONJ Centre’s “whole person” philosophy of care, I wanted to acknowledge and make visible that we are not just physical beings, but also feeling beings. I hoped to make artwork that responded to what I had come to know from my time as witness and companion to people waiting in the space.

You cannot always see what people are feeling, but feelings are there. I hoped that exploring inner states and making the invisible more visible would provide a perspective that normalizes “feeling” and encourages self acceptance, enabling greater connection both to ourselves and others.

The artwork created throughout the year (both during and in response to my time in the space) was exhibited in the Wellness Centre Space from November 2017.

Thanks to both the ONJ Centre and MIECAT for their support. Also the heartfelt thanks to the people who shared time and experiences with me in the waiting area.

November to December 2017. Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, 145 Studley Road (On the corner of Studley Road and Bell St) Heidelberg.


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