'I saw him walking, straight, fierce and bold.
Away, he shouts.'
Ann Braunsteiner’s ‘Sleepers’ come from time spent with those in a stage of life where care for daily activities must be provided.
‘Residents’, as they are called by ‘caregivers’, pay good money to strangers for help in dressing, eating, washing and other necessities. The strangers or caregivers are paid market-driven wages from their employers to take care of the Residents. Disability among an ageing population is projected to grow in years to come within the OECD countries. We romanticize about our elders living and teaching our young, helping share the burden and being helped in turn. But this is not the trend.
Under these strange circumstances where different lives and agendas collide, personalities are unfettered and paraded. Memories, lusts and frustrations become human tokens of being alive. Some are playing their last Joker. Braunsteiner’s ‘Sleepers’ come from experiences with these encountered residents.
‘I still see him passing, once in a while,
and a memory of him turning,
to wave a good bye.’
Born in Austria, Ann Braunsteiner relocated to Nelson, New Zealand in 2009. While primarily working with painting Anne Braunsteiner also spends time drawing and is a published author. Since 2011 she has been working on her second book that works with the idea of the memory palace. With connections in style drawn to artists such as Kirchner, De Kooning, and Kline, Braunsteiner lists American installation artist Robert Irwin, art and film theorist Rudolf Arnheim, and author Haruki Murakami among her influences.