Erin Hephzibah (She/Her)
Erin Hephzibah is an emerging multidisciplinary artist who uses performance, sculptural making and collaboration to explore themes of chronic illness, psychological theory and folklore. Her most recent work focuses on personal experiences of illness and caring – inviting the audience to witness the psychological, emotional and physical battle endured by the chronically ill behind closed doors.
The 49.5kg project (My degree show work) is a collaboration with Georgia Francis (My sister) where we show the psychological battles of living with severe chronic illness. The emotional response felt when watching the film hopefully illustrates to the viewer the turbulent emotions i feel as her carer.
Though the Covid-19 Pandemic has largely been a negative experience, it has created a global awareness of isolation and restriction through being confined, so theoretically there should be greater understanding within the general population and the medical profession regarding the impact of chronic illness. My sister and i felt this was a crucial point in time for a socially engaged performance as the audience potentially has a wider base of reference for the effects of long-term chronic illness, its impact on the individual, their loved ones, and society.
49.5kg began as a response to ableist notions of illness and the romanticisation of caring for a sick loved one. Through a collaboration with my sister, a fully rounded and honest narrative of illness and caretaking is portrayed with the intention of educating and engaging an audience in conversations about carer and disability rights, treatment, and representation.
Collaboration with Georgia Francis
In the 49.5kg project, the Puppet (Percy) came to personify Georgia’s chronic illnesses and her performance with it represents the cycles of struggle, anger, acceptance and exhaustion she goes through. The hardest thing I have experienced as a carer is watching my sister struggle with her diagnoses and the restrictions, pain and upset she feels daily. I felt this was the most important aspect of caring to show. The camera acts as a gateway to my perspective. The idea is that when watching the performance, the audience is seeing through my eyes – for however long they are watching they are the carer.
The puppet (Percy) consists of 108 body parts made using cardboard, newspaper and duct tape. Her joints are made of macrame rope. She weights between 30 – 35kg. She is designed to look like an unconscious body. She can be considered Georgia’s ‘Shadow self’
For any inquiries please contact me on any of my social medias or using this email address: email@example.com