‘'Stage Left’ was both an installation and a residency. The imagery of the exhibition marked a playful approach to looking at societal taboos and difficult social issues such as serious illness and violence. The exhibition approached these subjects, by referencing humour in popular culture, a pastiche of humour itself.
Amanda Jane Graham is an artist and researcher concerned with social issues. Her practice is a trajectory of self-reflection, personal narrative, and memoirs where the viewer completes the experience. This involves delving into memories to create humorous fantasies that can be humorous macabre and disturbing.
Graham’s installation blurred the boundaries of personal experiences and narratives by championing the human imagination to escape its bleak realities. The imagery was immersed in the traditions of Warner Brothers, Looney-Tunes and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, ubiquitous and familiar imagery that was a key to penetrating the unconscious memory of the observer to create spontaneous reactions.
Other elements of the installation included autoethnographic drawings and collage. Graham was utilising a familiar material culture to express personal experiences and create affiliations with the collective memory of the viewer. Part of the work included a residential component that allowed for conversational interaction with the artist who was creating a public platform for communal discourse around social issues. The title of her works also played an important role in her work because it directed the viewer into the thought processes at the time of making the work.