Isle of Refuge brought together 13 prominent and contemporary visual artists’ and offered their personal responses to Australia’s treatment of refugees and the ongoing issues since the Tampa crisis.
This exhibition challenged the notion of national identity, culture and history and highlights the plight of asylum seekers in detention centres in Australia and the South Pacific. Through painting, installation, sculpture and video, the exhibition addressed issues including the conditions inside the detention centres, the children overboard affair, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the artists’ own experiences of refugeehood. Isle of Refuge also explored the history of former refugees who came to Australia in search of safety, compassion and stability and who now form an integral part of the Australian community.
Artists included: Gordon Bennett, George Gittoes, Tim Johnson + Karma Phuntsok, Chris O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa, Sue Saxon + Anne Zahalka, Laurens Tan, My Le Thi, Albertina Viegas, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn, Guan Wei and Mahmoud Yekta.