“The first songs resounded in a small town, back then a virus hotspot.”
These are the opening lines to a piece I wrote late last year—the first short story I’ve written in around a decade. This flash fiction (in this case, a fiction piece under 200 words) is among 20 pieces of commissioned creative writing that appears in a new exhibition, Wellness Deity, opening on the 21st at Linden New Art (in St Kilda, Melbourne).
Wellness Deity is a project conceived by the Melbourne-based artist artist Vipoo Srivilasa, whose work I have been a fan of for years. Here’s some details about Vipoo and the exhibition, as taken from the Linden New Art website. For further details, visit the Wellness Deity exhibition webpage:
Vipoo Srivilasa: Wellness Deity
22 May 2021 to 22 August 2021
Linden New Art, 26 Acland Street (gallery hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm)
Virtual Opening on Friday 21 May 2021, from 6pm
Vipoo Srivilasa is a Thai-born Melbourne-based artist, curator and arts activist. Srivilasa works predominantly in porcelain but also in an inter-disciplinary manner, creating works on paper, mix media and bronze sculpture, as well as large scale public art. Srivilasa’s playful blend of 19th century European figurines and Asian decorative art practices often explores contemporary cross-cultural and migration experiences.
This exhibition will present the Wellness Deity Project, which Srivilasa undertook in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This collaborative, community-driven project encouraged people to reflect on their experience of the pandemic. The artist invited people to submit a drawing of their Wellness Deity, a being that has a special empowering or protective power. Srivilasa selected 19 of these drawings to provide inspiration for a series of ceramic sculptures. Each deity has its own unique characteristics based on the personal stories submitted. Each work is also accompanied by a piece of commissioned creative writing.
How I wish that I could visit the exhibition in person! (And how I wish that the opening wasn’t on at 4am Toronto time!) If you’re in Melbourne, I hope you’ll visit, virtually for the launch and/or in person for the exhibition.