Born with what society considers a ‘novel’ body, a human variation,[1] Jo Tabone has been the bearer and giver of many powerful stares and has long been interested in this relationship between strangers and their unassailable non-verbal communication. She questions and challenges the ownership of the stare, its social values and regulations within the fabric of society. It is when we look at the other that we get a better idea of who we are and what we are not. I present the viewer with the inescapability of his or her own stare, probing the ‘don’t stare!’ policy our society has taught us, in an attempt to create awareness of the non-verbal communication that has been created. Staring is our way of gathering information and knowledge. Staring at another individual brings into play a dialogue of two beings, the complex intersections of culture, education, place, circumstance and mood of both the starer and staree who is subjected to the unwanted non-verbal communication. A stare is rarely felt without a negative connotation.

Do you own your stare?

[1] A phrase created by Rosemarie Thompson-Garland to refer to people commonly known as disabled (2009)


Filmed during a lock-in residency in Jersey, a group of islanders spent a week together creating, making and performing. This piece was made as an observation on being surrounded by sea, the ebb and flow of the tide, the passing of time, gravity and patterns. This piece was projected during a performance during the residency, as well as part of an installation for the opening night of School of Performance Art, Malta.

Copyright © Jo Tabone All rights reserved.