Immersive art installation highlights intergenerational mental health

Arts group the indirect Object are debuting Verbatim – an installation highlighting intergenerational mental illness, at Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), as part of the 2018 Festival of Live Art (FOLA).

the indirect Object is an award-winning puppetry and experimental arts group creating experiences in non-traditional spaces that are accessible and inclusive.

Verbatim presents three intimate stories of mental illness through the lived experience of three family members. Told through an immersive solo journey into the heart of life with clinical depression, audiences gain insight into a family’s personal experience of living with mental health.

Michael Bevitt and Gabriel Partington, the indirect Object Creators and Performers, say the installation examines the feeling of mutual isolation within a family.

‘In sharing our experiences of mental illness across three generations, we found each story was different, but the deeper we dug, the more familiar they become,’ they say.

‘Depression is like emotional tinnitus and we often feel alone in our depression.’

‘This work questions whether there is strength to be found in knowing everyone feels alone and misunderstood in their own way,’ Michael and Gabriel say.

The installation has a strong focus on the challenges of men living with mental illness – a present-day issue that is prevalent in Australia and around the world.

Past projects of the indirect Object range in scope from arts health residencies in secure dementia wards, live art object theatre, interpretive puzzle rooms, giant roving puppets, and exploratory workshops, to durational performances, and experimental installations.

Hosted by Arts House, Theatre Works and Footscray Community Arts Centre, the Festival of Live Art captivates inner Melbourne for 13 days in March with over 50 participatory and interactive art experiences.

Verbatim is showing at FCAC on Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 March, from 6pm, as part of FOLA 2018.