Couch Empire – Living with Chronic Illness
Having a chronic illness is like having a pet elephant. It takes up oodles of room and people see it rather than you. That’s why Couch Empire backs people with chronic illnesses to earn money without their health being an issue. We’re establishing an artists’ collective, a speakers’ bureau and a consulting business, all aimed towards valuing people for their skills and not their circumstances. Here, health conditions are assets not disabilities.
We’re asking you to Consider the world you see from the Couch. What do you perceive? What do you feel? What do you wish others knew about your experiences? Think of it like inviting someone to step through the wardrobe in ‘Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,’ or to explore the world a top the magic carpet in Aladdin. This couch is a vehicle. Use it to show people your empire as the badass ruler you are. Be honest, but also experiment with the unexpected aspects of your life, like boredom, wonder, heartbreak or joy. In this exhibition, we are asking our audience not to just put themselves in our shoes, but to sit next to us on the couch. We want them to experience some of the things we do.
The opening night of our exhibition is designed so everyone can participate regardless of their health circumstances no matter what their health circumstances are. We’ll have a rest-break zone so that you can take a break away from the action. QR codes will read artwork descriptions to you, and we’re experimenting with a virtual walk-through for those who can’t make the exhibition in person or who’d like to revisit from the comfort of home
This isn’t your average exhibition. Mindful of each other’s health, we work together to plan, promote and deliver the exhibition as a team. If you’re not well, you’ll have the support of the group while you recover. If you have a bit extra time or energy, or you’re keen to build your knowledge in a particular area, we’ll help you to gain the experience you need. To support all participating artists to increase their financial independence, all monies generated from artwork sales will be pooled, and each artist will receive an equal share. No matter what, you will walk away with some money in your pocket and more people in your support system.
Participating artists in the Couch Empire exhibition:
• Stef Hodgson
• Lee Mason
• Kim Miles
• Di Hammond
• Leonie Orr
Date & Times:Opening Night on Wednesday 11 March 6-8pm9 March – 5 July, daily 9:30am to 4pmTickets:
FREEWhere:Foyer GalleryAccessibility:Wheelchair Accessible