By Kath Gelber
HOBART — "Show Me Where It Hurts" was the title of an Anglo-Australian AIDS benefit exhibition held here from March 7 to 10. The project, initiated by UK artist Simon Leah, raised money for the British AIDS Information Service, the Terrence Higgins Trust and the Australian AIDS Trust.
Although the exhibition was multimedia — involving chefs, dentists, carpenters, film-makers, print-makers and photographers — the majority of works were ceramics. More than 100 artists were invited to create a cremation vessel for their own remains, a concept initiated by Leah a year ago when he was recovering from a car accident.
The majority of works were from Australia, but some came from the UK, Spain and New Zealand.
It was decided that money raised would go to AIDS charities because, Leah said, "it's a cause I've wanted to be involved with for a long time, but I haven't had an accessible way to do something positive".
"People have been very generous with their donations", he continued. "I'm thrilled with it. People have put in a lot of work, a lot of energy."
Although the exhibition and fundraiser were clearly well intentioned, there was some expressed disagreement with the overall concept. Some people felt the project could have chosen a more sensitive theme to express support for people living with AIDS.