Posted on March 30, 2016
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.
Category: Art, Asylum Seekers, Australia, Belconnen Arts Centre, Boat People, Canberra, Exhibition, Human Rights, PAINTINGS, Politics, Refugees, Uncategorized Tagged: Activism, Art, Art work, Asylum Seekers, Australia, Australian Art, Belconnen Arts Centre, Boat People, Canberra, Exhibition, Human rights, Paintings, protest art, Refugees
Posted on April 30, 2015
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.
Posted on April 20, 2015
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.
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.
Posted on January 22, 2015
I am working on a new street art piece to be placed in a bus shelter that I’m sure Hobit’s and other Middle earth folk would be proud to haunt. This is one from a while back, when I was in the first grasps of the thrill. I do believe in this venue, as an new and ever expanding canvas, which belongs to the accidental critic. I just need a bit more energy!
Posted on December 24, 2014
Posted on August 2, 2014
A new home, we are here, almost – yet still caged and treated like a problem to be dealt with. Some invisible process continues, digging for a reason to send us back. If they dig deep enough, I’m afraid they might reach my heart, and damage all that is left of me. I came with only the heart to start again. I will offer it to them in place of identity papers with my lineage scribbled in a spiral to the core. Unpinning the paper heart, I shall then let it float on the breeze before snagging on barbed wire. Animals are kept in pens, to stop them escaping and sheep behind fences to stop them demolishing the garden. If I could speak words with wings, they would also be ripped by the sharp edges, then plummet no further than the rocks and white breakers surrounding the Island. “Will you tell me what is wrong” – he breathed – conscious of the physical process in doing so. The voice seemed distant, though he longed to embrace it, to drown in it rather than be left. Is it true that some have sown their lips together?
“If you lived in a country governed by a tyrannical regime, and your parents had been killed, and family members had been brutalised and put in prison without trial or in some cases shot without trial, what would you then do? You could not go to the government and ask for papers. That would immediately get you into trouble. So people travel without papers, something recognised in the 1954 Refugee Convention, to which Australia was one of the first signatories.
With regard to Australian policy on Nauru and on Manus Island, ask yourself this: are we prepared to allow our government to establish a regime so brutal that the terror it creates would rival the terror from which people flee?”
Posted on July 26, 2014
The United Nations guidelines on the detention of asylum seekers make it clear that children, protected by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, should not be placed in detention for any length of time. The experience of detention may mimic the experience of human rights abuses, persecution and terror. Detention is highly traumatising for children who are less able to understand explanations as to the reason they have been detained.
|lowcheckkian on More Garden Images|
|crowcries on A Child’s Garden|
|kellyartisthorton on A Child’s Garden|
|crowcries on The Survivors|
|crowcries on The Boat|