Between Earth and Sky (2018)
Video projection, bamboo kites with photography-printed fabric
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 is a year long project with 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 affects caregivers who often bear the emotional and financial weight of caring for their loved ones.
Between Earth and Sky uses the kite as a symbol for both vulnerability and freedom. Shaped like shields, each of the 14 kites bears photographs of closeups of clothings from each caregivers and their loved ones, forming a collective body. Placed side by side, each kite is representative of the deep connection between the two and alternative futurities of caregivers and the realities of persons with mental illness, surrogates taking flight where their bodies cannot yet go. The kites were also flown by the caregivers and members of the public were invited to share their weight in solidarity with caregivers.
After undergoing a series of movement workshops in collaboration with Sharda Harrison and Ajuntha Anwari, the caregivers were invited to devise a personal performance which draw from their caregiving journeys to create narratives and expressive movements which symbolise new ways of being. These performances were documented with video for the installation.
In many ways, this project is about restoring faith in times of profound loss, within ourselves and in society.
Participating caregivers
Alvyna Han, Carol Ee, Frank M, Nur Hidayah, Sulis, Jenet Koh Hui Kheng, Ng Sook Cheng, LM, Rita Minjoot
“Embodied Futurities: Caregiving in Movement, Movement as Self-care”
article for Between Earth and Sky (2018 - ) by Jill J. Tan
Abstract: A critical essay accompanying Alecia Neo’s multi-media installation ​Between Earth and Sky​, ‘Embodied Futurities: Caregiving in Movement, Movement as Care’ engages participatory ethnographic methods in service of embedded criticism (Costa 2016). Working with the movements and perspectives of a community of caregivers of persons with mental illness, artist and author both connect the physicality of care work and personally choreographed movement as forms of body practice. Furnishing everyday calibrations and strategies of living out the realities of long-term caregiving, movement and choreography are woven into the project design and analytic as tapping into that which lies in excess of expressivity, surfacing the repetition, frustration, tenderness, tedium, discovery, ambivalence, improvisation, intimacy, and commitment between those who care and those they care for.
Keywords: Embodiment, Care, Socially-engaged Art, Mental Health, Embedded Criticism

Trailer for Between Earth and Sky (2018)

Video stills from performances by caregivers

Video stills from performances by caregivers

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