Stables Exp Compassion Sept 2017

Eva Sifis

Today we explored the concept of ‘compassion’. Its layered perspectives. Is it an expression of the heart, reaching forward to embrace, a human connection, empathy? Or is it a condescension of sorts, something based in pity and superiority? What do you think?
With blustery currents of wind wrapping around the outside of The Stables in Richmond, just a few centimetres of paling and tiles separating us from the gusts, the exposed rafters creaked protests like the elderly building it is, we sat around the table sharing visceral stories of life.
Jax Jacki Brown started us on spoken word pieces painting pictures of angst and yearning. Her quote “you’re not special” captured my attention.
Faded silver insulation serving as roof dressing dully reflected our movement when mics were strung around the place and with the singular rain drops beating a loud staccato there was a moment of pause. Would it be too loud to pick up the characteristic sounds of disability?
The wheelchairs moving across the floor, tires squeaking, small motors whirring, the shuffle and uneven thumps of limps dancing across the boards, the sighs, the exhalation of breath as a body loses balance, falling to the floor.
Then, just as quickly as it starts, the precipitation ceases and we are left with Betty Ann Bobbitt twinkering the chunky 80s Yamaha keyboard. I squealed happily at the sounds, reminiscent of my youth. Trevor Dunn takes Jess Kapuscinski-Evans and I through opportunities for movement sequence. Our returning sound dude, smile spreading across his face as Anton Rivette sat, no doubt scripting subliminally, our free-form artistic melee giving ample fodder.
David Woods made a documenting appearance and Kate Hood, you were sorely missed.