Copyright © Carolyn Savidge 2014 - 2015 Photography: Marc Le Galle & Carolyn Savidge Website design: Marc Le Galle
The Project: Embrace DNR
Embrace DNR revolves around recent cathartic events in Carolyn’s personal life, and the strategies and processes she developed in trying to deal with those events. It equally expresses an evolution of her artistic practice in exploring various pathways that enable her – and indeed anyone – to revisit and examine such experiences.
The events around which the narrative revolves include the passing of time and the repeated ebbing-away and resurgence of hope during Carolyn’s husband’s illness. Walking through the inspirational landscape surrounding their home in the Mendip Hills provided solace and a source of clarity and restoration, and was a key element in recording the essence of the moment. Carolyn’s immersion in her surroundings became inseparable from the narrative of her husband’s decline and eventual death, and in turn produced this permanent artistic vision and memorial to his life.
The Embrace is a wide-ranging bringing together of pivotal images, sculpture, text and electronically-derived sound. Carolyn’s intention in creating these visionary artworks has been to open her experiences to wider scrutiny while also alluding to her own keen sense of lost identity, often by indications of her presence in the work.
The wind, the mist, the landscape, the sound of her husband’s breath, the monstrous artefacts surrounding his treatment, the forbidding anonymity of the hospital, the spoken word even though his voice was lost – all this and more find expression in the work, in the lasting impressions which have become Embrace DNR.
Our own exposure to these personal experiences, and the manner in which they are presented, makes us aware that we are also being led or at least invited to consider our own dealings with the unforeseen in preparation, perhaps, for our own end of life. Carolyn has commented that “there are too many things left unsaid” at such times, and by enabling and encouraging us to consider our own emotional journey through interaction with the work, Embrace DNR stands as a stimulus for dialogue about our own ability to connect, and why we
Such connections are made not only with one another but also with ourselves and our surroundings. In our confrontations with the unpredictability of the elements and interactions with the natural environment we may become lost – but in a spiritual sense also find a way forward through space and time. This sense of place, space, continuity and stability is of immense restorative significance to one’s journey through life, but also recognises that it is at the point of nothing, our lowest point, that we connect and find deeper meaning.
By gathering together and incorporating recorded interviews, responses, images and story, by studying how these intimate interactions may spring from the locality (that place we know as ‘home’), Embrace DNR creates an authentic sense of presence and familiarity in new locations and spaces, enabling audiences and individuals to immerse themselves in considering new-found realities, and to walk, and identify, and find something to cling on to.
In other words: to embrace.