Seeking Refuge


Exhibition curated by Narelle Phillips of the Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

I am very excited to have been invited to take part in this exhibition. The opening was a great occasion and an opportunity to meet other artists working with the same subject matter.

My main piece in the show “Uncertain Voyage” was also used as the front cover of a new book published earlier this year by Irial Glynn –

Irial Glynn is a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at the Institute of History at Leiden University Netherlands. His research focuses on postwar Irish and Italian migration history, global trends in asylum policymaking from a historical perspective and the links between memory studies and migration studies.



“Uncertain Voyage” 2014 Gouache and enamel on paper laid down on board 122 x 180 cm

Other recent works not included in this exhibition…



Exhibition Invitation

Today was bump in for my exhibition “Uncertain Journeys”.

The image of the boat has been a recurring theme in my painting for three years. Imagining the claustrophobic hull – the hell of uncertainty. The forced migration of people is a defining aspect of the times and the “illegal” journey to Australia by boat is now part of our modern mythology.

I worked night shift with a young man who made such a journey in 2001. Although only 8 years old at the time, he vividly described three nights jammed in with asylum seekers from a variety of countries, sharing the same goal and the same fear in the wilderness of hours huddled together clutching make shift weapons. They had little idea where they were headed, but anywhere was better than the danger and persecution they faced at home.

We have been bombarded with images and discussion in the media regarding the plight of refuges seeking asylum. This reflects upon our collective character as a nation, and resides in our hearts and minds, either to solidify prejudice or to create a powerful sense of injustice.

These pictures have grown out of this turbulence, my perspective – sensitive to the issues, and reflective about the discussion and consequences of government policy.


2. “Night Wishes” 2014 70.5 x 50.5 cm Oil and enamel on board


3. DETERANCE NOT PROTECTION 2015 27 X 33 CM Enamel and graphite on paper


4. “A CERTAIN MARITIME INCIDENT” 2016 120 x 98.5 cm Acrylic on Linen


5. “ON THE HULL” 2015 25 x 34 cm Gouache on paper


6. “RISK THE SEAS” 2015 39 x 49 cm Oil on board


7. “HOPE PEOPLE NOT BOAT PEOPLE” 2015 24 x 29 cm Gouache on paper

SIEV 221 NO.2SIEV 221 NO.3

SIEV 221 NO.5

8. “SIEV 221 OFF CHRISTMAS ISLAND” (each 46 x 60 cm)          oil on board


9. “RAFT ADRIFT No.1” 2015 36 X 24 CM Gouache on paper


10. “LIVES IN LIMBO” 2015 78 x 37 cm Gouache and enamel on paper


11. “RALLY FOR REFUGEES No.1” 45.5 x 60 cm Enamel on board


12. “RALLY FOR REFUGEES No.2” 2015 40 x 50 cm Acrylic on board


13. “THE BURNING OF SIEV 36” 2016 36 x 47 cm Oil on paper


14. “THE DROWNED” 2016 76 x 48 cm Gouache and enamel on paper


15. “BEHIND THE WIRE” 2014 57.5 x 74 cm Enamel on board


16. “TRANSFEREES” 2014 52 X 47 CM Enamel on paper


17. “VOYAGE No.1” 2014 98 x 138 cm Acrylic on board


18. “VOYAGE No.2” 2015 39 x 62 cm Gouache and enamel on paper


19. “WE HIDE OUR SHAME IN THE WITHHELD NAMES” 2014 48 X 63 cm Enamel on paper


20. “THE SURVIVORS” 2015 52 X 64 CM Gouache on paper


21. “IN THE HULL” 2015 46.5 X 48 CM Gouache on board


22. “AGAINST THE WAVES ” 2015 45 x 29 cm Gouache on paper

The Queue

23. “THERE IS NO QUEUE WHEN YOU RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” 2015 64 x 50 cm Ink, pastel and gouache on paper


24. “MEMORY OF THE GUN” 2015 38 x 31 cm Gouache and ink on paper


25. “NATIONAL INTEREST” 2016 78 x 38 cm Gouache and enamel on paper


26. “UNCERTAIN JOURNEYS” 2014 79.5 x 54 cm Gouache and enamel on board


27. “DETENTION” 2014 50 x 63 cm Enamel on board


28. “YOU WON’T BE SETTLED IN AUSTRALIA” 2014 78 x 52 cm Gouache and enamel on paper


29. “RAFT ADRIFT No.2” 2016 37 X 48 CM Gouache on paper


30. “ON THE WIRE” 2015 61 x 46 cm enamel on board

The Family

"The Family" 2015 Gouache on paper

“The Family” 2015 Gouache on paper

In recent months I have concentrated on a series of works on paper on the theme of a family group. This is a theme that has been explored by many artists and I am particularly drawn to the images of Henry Moore during his “bomb shelter” era. I used my own family as a reference, assembling them to make a tableaux then expanding on basic this configuration to explore distortion and other structural variations.









M2C 3



Most of these works began as a simple monotype line drawing, and were taken in different directions using gouache, ink and pastel.


'THE QUEUE' Mixed media on paper 80 x 70 cm

‘THE QUEUE’ Mixed media on paper 80 x 70 cm

There is no queue when you run for your life…

"Crowded" 2015 Gouache  and oil on paper 50 x 50 cm

“Crowded” 2015 Gouache and oil on paper 50 x 50 cm

"Boat" 2015 650 x 60 cm Mixed media on paper

“Boat” 2015 650 x 60 cm Mixed media on paper

More Garden Images

"Cat in the grass" 2015 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 65 cm

“Cat in the grass” 2015 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 65 cm

Even in the minute wilderness in the corner of a modest backyard, there is a certain adventure to be had. Finding creatures that wiggle and squirm under a rock, sticks; stones and dirt that mimic an avalanche; leaves and vines that could be the terrain of a strange new world. A child’s garden is a place where imagination takes refuge, where games find a stage, and where time is strangled by inextricable creepers.

"Child's Garden" 2015 64 x 70cm

“Child’s Garden” 2015 64 x 70cm

"Child's Garden" Mixed media on paper 64 x 70 cm

“Child’s Garden” Mixed media on paper 64 x 70 cm



"Self Harm No.3" 2015 Monotype and gouache on paper

“Self Harm No.3”
2015 Monotype and gouache on paper

I have been working on two distinct themes this year. Continuing the Asylum Seeker pictures as well as the Child’s Garden series. I’m vacillating about putting in a proposal for a show “speak for me”, however I remain uncertain as to whether I have the right pictures for such an exhibition.

"Family Group" monotype 2015

“Family Group” monotype 2015

On the weekend I dressed the kids up with head scarves and took photos as reference for a new set of works on paper. I’ve had the idea of working on a family group for sometime but pushing my approach toward a more abstract configuration. I have always been a big fan of Henry Moore’s drawings and sculptures on this subject which will become evident as I post more of the images.

"Suffering" 2015 gouache on paper 50 x 60cm

“Suffering” 2015 gouache on paper 50 x 60cm

Lifestyle Choice


See the ink to this article…