Making Meaning: Art as Acts of Care was a performance and online artwork created by Danica Knezevic at UTS, alongside the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation and the Centre for Carers Research. Based on Dr Knezevic’s own experience as a carer, the exhibition brought to life the act of caring. It made visible the often unacknowledged and undervalued work of carers in Australia, whose contributions to the health system have been made particularly apparent by the demands of COVID-19. The exhibition succeeded in creating conversation at UTS and in the wider community about this invisible labour and its rich emotional dimensions.
Art as Acts of Care was created as a response to the lack of visibility and appreciation for the 1 in 10 Australians who act as carers. Caring is often a private, domestic act. By bringing it into public awareness, Art as Acts of Care highlights the aspects of caring – its emotional tolls and its oft-unrecognised emotional rewards – that are lost in medical and academic discourse.
The exhibition captured the simple, repetitive actions which define the caring role, rendering them as rituals of love, dignity and intimacy. The online exhibition included video representations of routine actions like packing a wheelchair into a car, or knitting with colourful thread. In the foyer of the UTS Building 2, Dr Knezevic silently performed tasks like removing someone’s shoes, easing them into a hospital bead, or brushing their hair. Situating these typically private actions in a busy public space brought passers-by into the intimate world of caring, moving some of them to tears.
Explore the digital exhibition here:
Or read the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion case study: