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The music accompanying this video is selected from the composition “Distance”, written and performed by Sophia Exiner
Extract from Maureyn Brees artist statement
When I saw the torso cast I was struck by its small size, uneven form of protuberances, raw surface and its vulnerability. I decided to respect those marks and prickles of plaster, work and play with them, using minimal collaged material and let skins of paint stretch the reality of the moment.
“Life’s Illusions” explores the surface tension between the plaster and emerging imagery.
I remember the day a torso cast surrounded my body. I was 18. Three of us were present on the back veranda. My mother was supporting my body as I sat on a kitchen chair. To hold my spine straight, a leather strap was placed under my chin and supporting slings and ropes went up and over the old wooden rafter above. My physio, Miss Kelsall, was deftly throwing wet plaster around my body. I was trusting in the process.
It was an auspicious day. Having spent the previous two years lying prone, strapped in a double Thomas splint in bed and in a long wicker pram with no prospect of walking using callipers and crutches because of full paralysis of lower limbs, and stomach, back, shoulder and arm weaknesses, this cast was the beginning of a process that would enable me to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I was optimistic about the future. But I had no idea the day’s activity would help me later to work full time for 12 years, marry and help care for a family of four step children for 15 years, then at aged 50 begin a decade of wheeling across campuses exploring ideas of philosophy and art.