Personally Speaking: Alecia Neo
Between Earth and Sky
By Alecia Neo
What does the weight of caregiving look like? Whose weight do we bear? Can we share it?
An intimate portrait of a community of caregivers and a performance project, Between Earth and Sky seeks to make visible the contributions and needs of caregivers who care for persons with mental illness. The lack of support and stigma towards mental health also affects caregivers who often bear the emotional and financial weight of caring for their loved ones.
After undergoing a series of movement workshops, the caregivers were invited to devise a performance which draw from their caregiving journeys to create narratives and expressive movements which symbolise new ways of being. These short performances were documented with photography and video for the installation.
Between Earth and Sky uses a kite as a symbol for both vulnerability and freedom. The kite bears images of performed gestures from the caregivers and their loved ones, forming a collective body. In many ways, this project is about restoring faith in times of profound loss, within ourselves and in society.
About the artist
Alecia’s artistic practice questions the kinds of individuals who are valued by contemporary society by exploring the relationships between people, their identities and contexts. Working primarily with photography, video, installation and participatory workshops, she develops long-term projects involving a variety of individuals and collaborators, overlooked communities and their spaces. She is currently Artist Lead for Brack, an arts platform for socially-engaged artists and their projects.
Thank you to the eight caregivers and their loved ones who made this work possible: Alvyna Han, Carol Ee, Frank M., Nur Hidayah, Sulis, Janet Koh Hui Kheng, Ng Sook Cheng, LM, Rita Minjoot
Movement Coaches: Sharda Harrison and Ajuntha Anwari
Camera: Khairul Amin
BTS Editor: Armiliah Aripin
Documentation: Gladys Ng
Sound Design and Music: Clarence Chung
Researcher: Gracie Teo
Design: Samuel Woo
Writer: Jill J. Tan
With special thanks to:
John Clang, Melanie Chua, Chu Chu Yuan, Li Li Chung.
And the dedicated staff and members of Caregivers Alliance: Tim Lee, Karen Poh, Sharon Gan, Chong Yuh Fen, Margaret Ong
Supported by Caregivers Alliance. Visit their website to find out more about their work with caregivers of people with mental illness.