The 2021 CCH Emerging Artist Prize was awarded to multi-disciplinary artist Ida Sophia (pictured) for her work ‘Regret’, an installation that included hundreds of written expressions of regret contributed by over 500 members of the public.
In talking about her work, Ida Sophia explains: “Regret was performed over 28 consecutive days for six hours a day from 2 June – 29 June 2021.
Regret was a redemptive act. The performance confronted Ida’s regret that she was absent from her Father’s side in his final month. Time spent in the performance, represented the time Ida regretted not spending with him.
Ida invited participation through contribution of regrets. 1,000 weighted pieces of plaster were cast as small writing tablets. After writing a regret, the participant attached it to Ida’s cloak. In this act, Ida physically took on and carried the symbolic weight of Regret(s) for the duration of the performance.
On the last day Ida rose and faced the audience. She then ritualistically cast off the regrets, liberating herself and each participant from their weight. Offering emotional catharsis and resolution, the long-term process underscored the transformative power of durational, live performance.
This work created the opportunity for emancipation from years of carrying regrets, awareness of the toxicity of lingering regrets and self-forgiveness.”
Commenting on this work, the Finalist judges said: “This mixed media work by emerging artist Ida Sophia connects to the Art Prize theme through the examination of Regret as a redemptive act, and its place in the power of healing. This work expands the artist’s solo performance piece, to include multiple participants who contributed written expressions of individual regret… this is an interesting and thought-provoking work, reflecting the theme and addressing the importance of emotional and mental states and their potential contribution to healing.”