Teena’s Bathtime is a playful artwork that invites audiences to assist in giving Teena the artist’s sausage dog a bath. Because Teena doesn’t like baths, visitors are encouraged to help her through the process, using lullabies, storytelling and cuddles. Drawing on animal assisted therapies, the interactive 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.
MCA Bella Program Manager, Susannah Thorne said: 'David Capra’s Bella Room is an immersive and playful work created for people with specific needs that inspires all audiences to connect with Teena’s bath time fun and fears.’
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. Bella programs are free for all participants.
Led by MCA Artist Educators, each Bella program is tailored and responsive to individual group requirements. It includes gallery exploration, visiting the Bella Room (previous Commission artists include Emily Floyd, Hiromi Tango and Brown Council), and art-making activities in the creative and digital studios of the National Centre for Creative Learning.
The core Bella Program is available for children and young people with specific needs aged 5-18 years, whilst the Bella Plus Program has been developed for adults. Once a month, the Bella Plus Connect Program invites adults with specific needs, their families and support providers to explore contemporary art in a fun and participant led creative environment.
Born in 1982 in Sydney, David Capra lives and works in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. He 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.
He has worked on a number of curatorial and writing projects, including guest editing a recent issue of Das Superpaper focused on contemporary art and culture in Western Sydney. In 2013, he was awarded the Blake Prize Emerging Artist Award for Year of Jubilee (2013), a video work dealing with the ritual of banner waving.
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 museum’s National Centre for Creative Learning. In 2013, he also participated in the MCA’ s performance season Workout with Throne room (Wizard of Oz Intercession) (2013).
*CONDITIONS OF USE: Images may be used for media use only in relation to the exhibition. Captions must accompany all images reproduced. No images can be cropped, bled off the page, or printed in a single colour other than black, or overlaid with text.