UNCERTAIN JOURNEYS

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SIEV 221 NO.2SIEV 221 NO.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SURVIVERS

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE QUEUE

'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

Vacillating…

"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

The Survivors

"The Survivors" 2014 Gouache on paper 53 x 65 cm

“The Survivors” 2014 Gouache on paper 53 x 65 cm

It would have been good to put together this exhibition, but it is time to move on now. Thinking about a broader canvas, a “Duty of Care” series that could incorporate recent themes as well as those images still to come. Of course I imagine large monolithic works, gallery pieces that will never see the inside of a gallery. However first I must make space in the garage, a depressing exercise that fills me with dread!

"The Voyage" 2014 Gouache on paper. 60 x 84cm.

“The Voyage” 2014 Gouache on paper. 60 x 84cm.

I’ve worked mostly on paper this year. A size that can be worked on my lap in the lounge room. “The Voyage” was finished last night, and is the last of these pictures.

"Family" 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 45 x 45 cm

“Family” 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 45 x 45 cm

"A new death" 2014 Acrylic on paper 60 x 50 cm

“A new death” 2014 Acrylic on paper 60 x 50 cm

Lost At Sea

"Lost at sea" 2014 84 x 60 cm Gouache on paper

“Lost at sea” 2014 84 x 60 cm Gouache on paper

Last Pictures

"In the hull" 2014 Gouache on paper 51 x 59 cm

“In the hull” 2014 Gouache on paper 51 x 59 cm

The Boat

"The Boat" 2014 Acrylic and enamel on board 98 x 138 cm

“The Boat” 2014 Acrylic and enamel on board 98 x 138 cm

The image of the boat has been a recurring theme in my painting for two years. Imagining the claustrophobic hull – the hell of uncertainty. I worked night shift earlier in the year 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 no idea where they were headed, but for Jamil, fleeing recruitment by the Taliban in Afghanistan, anywhere was a better option than the home he had known. For his parents returning to the motherland remains desirable if not attainable as yet, but not for Jamil, having grown up in Australia, he is now an Aussie, studying medical science at uni, contemplating a gap year, and working shifts to top up the coffers. The idea of returning to Afghanistan now seems foreign, although he wears his ‘boat person’ badge with honor and a wry smile.

"Boat" 201440 x 60 cm enamel on paper

“Boat” 201440 x 60 cm enamel on paper

"Boat" Acrylic on board 60 x 80 cm 2014

“Boat” Acrylic on board 60 x 80 cm 2014

"Voyage" 2013 spray enamel and gouache on paper 100 x 192cm

“Voyage” 2013 spray enamel and gouache on paper 100 x 192cm

"Seeking Asylum"  (bus stop paste-up) Stencil August 2013

“Seeking Asylum” (bus stop paste-up) Stencil August 2013

"Boat" 2013

“Boat” 2013 100 x 192 cm

'Voyage No.2" 2013 spray enamel & gouache on paper 50 x 64 cm

‘Voyage No.2″ 2013 spray enamel & gouache on paper 50 x 64 cm

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