Public Selfcare System is a one-to-one performance, a tandem jump into the unknown, direct action, and a masterclass in the radical act of stopping.
I am an expert in resting in public thanks to a neurological condition that forces me to lie down wherever I happen to be, and stay there until I am well enough to get up again.
As our public health and welfare systems are dismantled, the future of “no money, no care” looks like chronic illness for all those not at the very top of the pile (and trust me, you are not at the top of the pile). In order to carry on living we may all have to learn to stop in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, and rest.
Without access to public healthcare, what remains are shared public acts of self-care. Get ahead of the curve, get your training in now.
Come with me to a place you may have seen, walked past, but never been to. We are going to lie down and have a rest: I will look out for you and look after you. You have right to be here, you have a right to do this. We can do it together this time.
Rhiannon Armstrong is a makes work under the lifelong series title Instructions for Empathetic Living. Conversation and collaboration are central to her practice: between makers of different disciplines, public contributors, and audiences, and she usually makes work for and with those who do not necessarily think of themselves as arts audiences.
Rhiannon’s performance and archive project The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid has been shown throughout the UK and internationally and was commissioned into a critically acclaimed web-based work in 2015. Recent projects include writing for Headlong on the interactive fiction platform Twine, an interactive telephonic work for the William Morris Gallery, and a national tour of the relational performance work for public spaces Can I Help You?.
Rhiannon is also a performer with expertise in music and oral traditions and regularly works with other artists including most recently Rachel Mars, Bobby Baker, Coney, Chris Goode & Co, and J Fergus Evans.