Circles of Fire – The Amphitheatre
Circles of Fire — The Amphitheatre is an exploration of John A Douglas’s lived experience of chronic illness and treatment following a kidney transplant in 2014. This work-in-development will combine a triptych video installation with sections of durational and improvised live performance. The video provides a backdrop for Douglas to perform himself as a medicalised body in relation to and within extreme landscapes and the architectural forms of ancient ruins and Anatomical theatres.
The performance sections of the work will be developed during the residency at Io Myers studio working with choreographer Sue Healy and physical theatre-maker Alejandro Rolandi to develop physical material for scored improvisations. Circles of Fire — The Amphitheatre reveals the private struggle between fitness, illness and near death, and explores the ongoing trauma of a transplant-patient and their task of living with the daily reality that illness and death may come at anytime. John A Douglas’s goal through his work is to give voice to those living with invisible disability and chronic illness.
John A Douglas is a Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist working across video, performance, live art installation, photomedia, sound and objects. Douglas offers a unique and personal perspective as both artist and patient that intersects with biomedical science, clinical treatment, and his own human and emotional experience as a renal patient. His work seeks to map a psychological geography of the patient subject, via the narrative structures of mythologies, as a parallel world of existence in which he cycles between places of healing, regimentation, wellness and suffering. Douglas is also interested in using cinematic references and mythologies, and his large-scale multi-channel video works pay homage to the vast landscape of cinematic history whilst articulating the inner world of the patient experience.
Douglas is the recipient of the inaugural 2017 CreateNSW Artist With Disability Fellowship and is represented by Chalk Horse gallery since 2008 and he has exhibited in Australia, UK, Germany and Spain.
Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab, School of the Arts and Media