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Maitland Regional Art Gallery | BELLA


Image: Portrait of MCA artist David Capra and his dog Teena. The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia celebrates the launch of artist David Capra’s playful and vibrant 2015 Bella Room Commission, which invites visitors to join in giving Teena the sausage dog a bath. May 25, 2015. Photo by Anna Kucera
David Capra’s work can be described as intercession; practices that initiate healing. His projects aim to connect with people and rely on the public to contribute, direct and bring meaning to my work. In 2013, Capra invited the public to dance alongside Teena, his dachshund, in a throne room inspired by the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (Workout, Museum of Contemporary Art). In Birthing Things in the Spirit: The Water Birth, Capra developed a synchronised swimming performance with locals at Eaglevale Pool, focused on making the notion of friendship tangible (Campbelltown Arts Centre, Australia Council for the Arts New Works Grant); in Ministry of Handshakes (Tiny Stadiums Festival) Capra greeted the public with a 2 meter prosthetic arm inspired by encounters with Elizabeth, a woman who moves through Sydney train carriages and shakes commuter’s hands; and in Teena at Funpark the public hugged a costumed dog in a setting reminiscent of Australia’s Wonderland (Funpark, Sydney Festival).
At Maitland Regional Art Gallery David Capra’s artworks centered around the simple act of giving Teena the dachshund a bath. The work relishes in a sense of silliness and playfulness, typical of his practice.
Capra would like the Bella room to evoke the feeling of an artist’s studio, where visitors take part in the making experience and engage in a process based action.
Animal Assisted Therapy and animal companionship is often cited as a successful therapeutic resource, especially in the disability sector. Although Teena will not actually occupy the space, her presence will be represented in various ways.
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