23. 8200 Souls – Britt Mikkelsen (WA)
Found object, resin, LED lighting
64 x 99 x 119 cms
“The draped figure in this artwork is pierced with 8200 holes with each individual hole representing every person who sleeps rough in Australia each night. Confronted with homelessness almost every day, the challenge for us all is to see the humanity behind the problem. It is easy to walk by and to ignore the person beneath the blanket, and as such the homeless have become invisible. But under every blanket, and every cardboard box, is a shining soul with a story not unlike our own. This unsettling figure represents the homeless crisis, but the work is also a self-portrait of humility. It asks us to be less judgmental, empathise with others and to love everyone regardless of their situation.”
Britt Mikkelsen graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1993. Her work uses resins and plastics to examine man’s influence on the world. Negative space is employed to explore fragility and impermanence, and her work often features light – either natural or man-made – to create a sense of awe and wonder. Mikkelsen has exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea on five occasions. In 2018, she received the Helen Lempriere Scholarship for an emerging artist at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi. Her work is held in public collections including the cities of Melville, Stirling and Cockburn, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as many private collections.