Richard Lewer

Worse Luck I am Still Here

Worse Luck I am Still Here by Richard Lewer

Artwork Detail

Voiced by Lewer, this animation is based on the real-life tragedy of a failed suicide pact between a pensioner and his chronically ill wife in 2012. After smothering his severely disabled wife with a pillow, Perth pensioner Herbert Erickson, aged 81, killed their couple’s two small dogs and then stuck his hand in a toaster. He later drowned himself at a beach in Fremantle. The beach where he drowned was Lewer’s local beach.

In Worst Luck I am Still Here Lewer depicts the “tragic love story” in a series of simple drawings narrated by the artist. Raw and haunting, the work raises conversations about faith and euthanasia. The title of the artwork quotes Erikson, who told reporters outside court that “I want to be with my partner really, but I’m still here, worst luck.”

The judge for the Blake Prize described the work as “inviting reflection… the format is really very beautiful and the soft compassionate voice of the artist leaves us questions to consider”.

Worse Luck I am Still Here
Richard Lewer
Production date
video animation
4min 47sec
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the artist and {Suite} Gallery, 2020
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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