SURFACE TENSION - Brisbane Powerhouse, November 2020

'SURFACE TENSION' encourages dialogue around significant mental health and relationship challenges due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. In this body of work, Rick Hayward distills research by the Australian National University showing that “[T]here is a particularly strong relationship between changes in stress, loneliness and relationships and mental health outcomes […]” due to the economic impact and social isolation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Utilising traditional sign writing materials and techniques to create a series of mirrors, the artworks operate as windows into an alternate reality where presence can be shared but physicality is disrupted. As a metaphor for the psychological impacts of Covid-19, the works highlight the importance of connection, community, and established support networks for positive mental health, and are supported by a site specific artwork that explores themes of separation and confinement.