Mic Eales is a sculptor/mixed media/installation artist. He is currently undertaking a PhD titled, Different Voice, Different Perspective: a visual arts enquiry into understanding suicide through original voice narratives, at Southern Cross University.
He is a suicide survivor in the sense that he has twice attempted to take his own life and having lost his brother to suicide in 2002. It was after his brother’s death that he began creating a series of artworks about the personal, social and cultural ramifications of suicide.
He was the 2008 winner of the Windmill Trust Scholarship award for regional artists. The scholarship provided assistance to take his installation - too few ladders - to Italy where he presented his work at the 2nd World Association of Cultural Psychiatry Congress (WACP) in Norcia, Italy.
Since 2008, Mic and suicidologist, Dr Erminia Colucci, have been working together running workshops and seminars on how the arts might be used to provide new insight and understanding into the issue of suicide. Mic has a passionate interest in storytelling through his art and works from his studio on a small farm in northern NSW.
Mic’s creative and provocative way of bringing attention to suicide includes a piece called “Too Few Ladders,” which is based on “‘Snakes and Ladders’ … an ancient Hindu game … used to teach children about the ups and downs of life.”
The piece combines the pages of a phone book (representing how people often hear of a loved one’s suicide) and writings, pictures, and images from throughout Mic’s own life (representing all that his loved ones would have to remember him by if he had died by suicide), along with an element of “Too Few Ladders.”