Elizabeth Day, artist facilitator
Rehabilitation consumer, family and carer networks, Cumberland Hospital*
Ajit Singh, Acting Nurse Manager for Recovery Services, Cumberland Hospital
Margaret Bannister, Nursing Unit Manager, Life Skills, Cumberland Hospital
Cathy Kearney, Coordinator, Family and Carer Mental Health Program for WSLHD
Claire Taylor, producer/curator
Neal Price, project advisor, Director of the Centre for Creative Aging and 2003 Winner of the Ros Bower Award
Katherine Boydell, project advisor, Professor of Mental Health, Blackdog Institute, UNSW

* We highly value the contributions of all who have participated in this project but the names of consumer participants from Cumberland Hospital and their relatives cannot be disclosed for privacy reasons.

Elizabeth Day is a visual artist who has a long-standing interest in institutions and contexts of incarceration, with the Prison on the Landscape thesis running through much of her practice. Between 2013 and 2016, Day contributed to the Parramatta Female Factory Memory Project participating in exhibitions and other founding activities of this group. Supported by a recent Australia Council Grant, Day also developed a site-specific work that invited entry in the stories of the historic buildings in Parramatta North. Day collaborated with Newcastle University to develop imagery using nano-technology that makes a connection between invisibility and the invisibility of traumatized colonial- and current day- incarcerated. The work incorporates texts based on Day’s experience as a prison educator over the past 25 years.

During her many visits to the aggregate of institutions in Parramatta North for these projects, Day became increasingly aware of the current community of long-term residential consumers at Cumberland Hospital and Everything is Connected With Everything Else: Myco Logic has come out of consultations with the rehabilitation units there.

Day’s work Everything is Connected to Everything Else in the exhibition For Matthew and Others—Journeys with Schizophrenia (2006, Campbelltown Art Centre) is an example of her long-term commitment to issues surrounding psychosis, and her desire to use art as a vehicle for sharing stories of the impact of mental illness. Through a video documentory of interviews, this work explored experiences of loss, stigma and fear around the institutionalization of family members.

The Boronia Garden project at Dillwynia Women’s Correctional Centre (2006) is an example of a highly successful previous community arts/cultural development initiative Day has facilitated. Day worked across Creative Arts, Horticulture and Aboriginal Studies courses to enable participants to design gardens based on their own cultural contexts. These gardens have been maintained and modified by successive inmates and continues to bring the women together.

Elizabeth Day is represented by Conny Dietzschold Gallery.

Cumberland Hospital’s Recovery Services enrich lives through wellness and recovery by partnering with consumers, carers and service provider agencies in mental health prevention, intervention and treatment. The lived experience and insights of people with mental health issues and their families are at the heart of recovery-oriented culture. Within the Recovery paradigms all people are respected for the experience, expertise and strengths they contribute. Recovery-oriented approaches focus on the needs of people who use our services rather than on organisational priorities.

Claire Taylor is an independent Sydney-based curator. She has a BA in Fine Art / Art History & Theory from Camberwell, and an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (both in London). Claire’s practice is collaborative and cross-disciplinary in approach. Formative initiatives mobilised diverse public domain sites through temporary interventions, event-based collaborations and projects that bridged research, education, publication and exhibition models. Recent initiatives have included site-based and socially engaged community arts projects. Claire is committed to facilitating art projects outside of gallery contexts to develop new modes of engagement for artists, participants and audiences.



This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Image: Elizabeth Day with Alice Fisher, Ellen Riley, Val Morgan, Montana Dunn, Claire Gordon, Helen Merrett, Louise Norton, Anna Gibbs, Sarah Goffman, Leanne Wicks, Kelsey Bender, Anne Bond, Neal Price, Loma Bridge, Delma Smith, Kaz Knights, Sarah Newall, Hope Norris, Sadie Chandler, Christine Treganza, Rose Ann McGreevy, Montana Dunn, Nike Savvas, Perry Combover, Tara Kulla, Denise Jamieson, Nola Farnam, Kiah Rovell, Haley Harris, and Brooke Harris, Myco Logic, 2015, mixed media. Detail of work installed at Cementa15, Kandos, NSW. Image courtesy of the artist and Conny Dietzschold Gallery. Photograph: Elizabeth Day.