Fiona Davies

Summary Bio

My current art practice is a cross disciplinary and cross community collaborative investigation of the processes of medicalised dying in ICU. Grounded in my personal experience of the death of my father after four and a half months in ICU, I combine that emotional landscape with contemporary or historical medical practices – specifically, the definitions of death, the materiality of blood and body parts and the processes of surveillance. This is an ongoing project – Blood on Silk started in 2009 in collaboration with the late physicist Dr Peter Domachuk. I am soon to complete a PhD at the University of Sydney. I hold a B.Sc, UNSW), a Bachelor of Visual Art (UWS) and was awarded a MFA from Monash University

In 2017 I have undertaken the first Turbine Hall commission at Casula Powerhouse, Blood on Silk: Last Seen curated by Lizzy Marshall; exhibited in Governance at Old Government House, Parramatta, participated in three Kiosk exhibitions for MAP in the Blue Mountains and exhibited in Blood Attract and Repel at the Science Gallery, Melbourne curated by Dr. Ryan Jefferies. The year before I was awarded a residency by the German State of Bavaria in 2016 for a series of exhibitions and public programs at Das KloHäuschen, Munich; a residency and exhibition within the Tufts Silk Biomedical and Engineering Laboratory, Boston; in 2014 an exhibition at Campbelltown Arts Centre of six of the early major works of the Blood on Silk project; an extensive exhibition and public program at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi Georgia and a major installation and symposium at UCA, Farnham, UK.

Artist Statement

Fiona Davies: Painting the Throat, 2017 zinc, found objects, rice and other papers, iodine and ink site specific.

Within my focus on medical practices I have used the 1910 diary entries of the headmaster’s wife outlining the practice of painting  the boys throats with iodine.  A sore or putrid throat at that time could be the sign of a serious illness such as scarlet fever or a strep throat. Prior to the introduction of anti-biotics an infection could result in serious illness or death. These works are installed in the former boy’s washroom where they can be viewed through the holes cut into the wash bench intended to hold the wash-bowls steady. Peering in it is unclear if it is an iodine-painted throat or the surface of a painting.