current migration and refugee issues in Australia and globally. The work
relates to heightened global anxieties over border-protection and consists
of 56 pictures of children's faces dispersed amongst images of waves.
As this incident occurred during a federal election campaign in October 2001, its use to win votes from an already fearful population (primed to distrust strangers a month after September 11) was viewed by some as cynical. Although every subsequent enquiry has exonerated the refugees involved and exposed the information promulgated by the governing party as fallacious, the momentum of 'world-terror' rhetoric threatened to carry the majority of Australians further towards isolationism.
It is relatively recently that a critical mass of people has emerged to protest against Australia's current refugee policies through the huge peace marches that have strongly linked the primary cause of statelessness to war. Porous Borders seeks to contribute to this positive momentum.
Refugees swimming from the sinking Olong to an Australian Navy rescue craft, 7 October 2001
|Individual paintings and an installation view of Porous Borders 2005, as part of Under one Roof at Span Galleries Melbourne, oil on linen and board, each portrait approx 15 x 15 cms|
The images used are mostly of the artist's friends' children but hidden amongst them are some of the 56 children who were said to have been thrown into the water during the 'children overboard affair'.
installation explores solidarity and diversity, identification and difference
and empathy and alienation: all themes that underpin current international
debates about border-opening and border-protection.
Porous Borders was supported by Arts Victoria and the Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta in Cyprus and by the Perth Institue of Contemporary Arts in WA
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