Jac Saorsa, Artist-Residence// Recent health problems have weakened me a little … sapped my energy and left me feeling somewhat detached from the reality I have been living in. But the new reality, the different way of understanding myself has forced me, gently, to consider my own mortality from a deeply personal perspective. Two ways of seeing then, and the gaps that have appeared in the continuum of life and time – the spaces between – seem to me to reveal a deeper, more profound way of being.
My PhD is complete and I have been given the date for the viva –July 5th. Awakening Monsters: a meditation on mortality, is an autoethnographic work of creative non- fiction, but its 104,000 words are only a part of the whole. The thesis could not be complete without the paintings and drawings which are crucial elements to be understood as far more than illustrative. The language of mortality is therefore multi-facted – there is no space between.
I am also preparing a body of work for a major show in Edinburgh in May 2023. Entitled Mortality, the exhibition is a combination of image (oil paintings and drawings) and text, based on my experiences over the last four years of working with cancer patients on Cancer Ward 12 and carrying out cadaveric dissection. In terms of human subjectivity, and from what I hope has been an empathetic approach to all of my work, again, there is little or no space between.