Tickled Milk: Exhibition of work from St Luke's Hospital, April 2011
Tickled Milk: An exhibition of work by service users of St Luke’s Hospital, Armagh and Sterkfontein Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
8 April – 21 April 2011
Artists Puleng Lesala and Eddie Rafferty collaborated to produce this series of artworks, contrasting the different lives and cultures of clients from the two hospitals in Northern Ireland and South Africa. They worked together in South Africa in 2006 on the first part and the final stage was completed by Eddie in Armagh in 2007.
The stories you can experience in the art works tell about experiences, journeys, tragedies, dreams, wisdom – life in general with all its ups and downs. Although the clients in Northern Ireland and South Africa have different backgrounds and personalities, they all come back to similar subjects: superstitions, their land and the importance of home.
From the artistic point of view these works are striking because of their simplicity and forthrightness. With simple techniques and without the background of art school knowledge of composition etc. strong and touching works have been created. New approaches of drawing give them additional fascination. The connection with the Art Brut by Jean Dubuffet and the art of Adolf Woelfi is visible.
Eddie Rafferty describes his experience:
“When a person creates something there is a moment, a second, even less than a second, when they ask themselves what, who, why am I going to make this mark, what am I going to tell or let the world know about me on this piece of paper. From the outset of this project I made it clear to everyone involved that this was not to be a medical file. During the time spent on these collaborations I was witnessing something very special and real. These drawings and paintings do not need to be analyzed or to be explained or to be classified as some sort of therapy. You don’t need a map or a navigational system to find a way to explain these life experiences, they are in front of us everyday at work, at home, on the TV or through our front windows. Stories we hold and carry along with us never to be told, which sometimes can be profound, sad, confused and beautiful. I am a very lucky man to have met such wonderful people and witnessed such fantastic artworks.”
This project was supported by the Southern Health & Social Care Trust and Arts Care.