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David Capra, Teena's Bathtime, 2015

David Capra
Born 1982, Sydney. Lives and works Sydney.

Teena’s Bathtime 2015
3-channel video, sound, synthetic fur, vinyl, scent, bubbles, rubber flooring, cardboard, wood, foam, wire, found objects

Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia for the Jackson Bella Room, 2015

Learn more about the Bella Programs available for people with access needs

The Jackson Bella Room, situated in the National Centre for Creative Learning, is a dedicated, interactive space for students with specific learning needs to explore the work of contemporary artists. Each year, an artist or artist group is commissioned to make an environment suitable for people with specific needs.

The MCA Bella program was established in 1993 through the generosity of MCA patrons Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM, and the Jackson family in memory of their late daughter and sister Belinda.

David Capra, Teena's Bathtime, 2015

Artist David Capra and his sausage dog Teena in the 2015 Bella Room Commission. Image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: Anna Kucera.

Teena’s Bathtime is a playful artwork that invites audiences to assist in giving the artist’s sausage dog a bath. Drawing on animal assisted therapies, the installation encourages physical participation and exploration using multiple senses.

David Capra worked with filmmaker and artist Kate Blackmore to produce a 3-channel video, combining dreamlike, action-based sequences with documentary footage. In one segment, Teena and David visit the home of Dawn-joy Leong, who has autism, and her service greyhound Lucy. Through these episodic adventures, Capra explores issues of anxiety and care, as well as the experience of living with a disability.

Capra describes himself as an ‘intercessory artist’, whose work takes the form of interventions into physical and social space designed to initiate healing. He works primarily in performance, relying on the public to contribute, direct and bring meaning to his projects.

Teena’s Bathtime is the fourth annual Bella Commission. The commission series invites artists to realise an interactive space for people with specific needs, including those with physical, intellectual, emotional or behavioural disability. Previous Bella Commission artists have been Emily Floyd, Hiromi Tango and Brown Council. The 2015 commission provided a unique opportunity to continue and develop the MCA’s relationship with Capra, who has worked for several years as an Artist Educator in the National Centre for Creative Learning.

The work relishes in a sense of silliness and playfulness... I would like the Bella room to evoke the feeling of an artist's studio, where visitors take part in the making experience and engage in a process based action.

David Capra, 2015

David and Teena visit Dawn and Lucy

In the video below, artist David Capra and his sausage dog Teena visit the home of Dawn-joy Leong and her service dog Lucy. Dawn speaks with David about her experiences living with autism. The clip is an excerpt from the the 3-channel video which makes up part of the installation Teena’s Bathtime.