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REPATRIATION

August 2021

Price On Application

Mixed media – waste materials, food packaging, linocut, charcoal, acrylic and photocopy on tracing paper, food bags and cartridge paper.

128 x 154 cm

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Description

A multi panel artwork made during quarantine in the NT Howard Springs Facility, after purchasing an Australian Government assisted flight from the UK, as the Corona virus pandemic escalated in Australia in June 2021. Our ultimate goal was to be reunited with our loved ones after many cancelled commercial flights home during the previous 18 months. 15 A3 collages were made using waste wrappings from the food supplied, rubbings from natural flora from the site, railings and fences and lino printing techniques. 

The collages represent the 15 days of restricted movement during quarantine, as we were confined to our ‘cells’, agreeing to relinquish our freedom of movement. The impression of an open prison was palpable as we exchanged stories with our fellow detainees, which kept our spirits up and made the whole experience bearable. These feelings were intensified by the ever present anxiety of contracting the virus, updated news of changing state regulations to protect the local populations, and anecdotal stories of strict application of new rules preventing us reaching our home states.

Time passing is an important theme, and many panels feature vertical bars of contrasting materials, emphasising the prison reality of ‘doing time’ – markers recreating the monotony of waiting. One panel features a printed clockface losing its ‘petals’ (subtitled ‘Day 11 Counting The Days’) and others have painted screenshots of a fellow detainee’s notifications as previous flights were cancelled before she got onto this repatriation flight (‘Day 1 Cancellation Stories’ and ‘Day 9 Cancellation Screenshots’). 

Time is a recurring theme in my practice, particularly with respect to the Climate and Ecological Crisis, as we approach the end of our greatest chance to switch track to a regenerative culture of support and respect for all peoples, nature and the planet. This global focus on time is juxtaposed with the highly personal and intimate ‘vivid technicolor of the slow decline of my ageing mother’, as she describes it with characteristic humour.

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