Imaging the Margin, 2015-17
Collaboration Nathalie Hartog-Gautier and Penelope Lee
Paper casting and de-bossing on hand made paper by the artists.
Photography by John Lee
Imaging the Margin examines the marginalisation of refugees and contemplates our responsibilities as a nation.
It is in this spirit that we honour those who flee to our shores seeking a safe haven. Marooned at its border and relegated to the margins of humanity, refugees deserve more than a moment’s consideration. For so many, the search for refuge ends at the edges of a paradise lost. By offering a new perspective on the literal, conceptual and cultural space of the margin, we engage in critical and theoretical debate about memory, identity and place in contemporary society.
Handmade paper, with watermarked margins and imprinted texts, is the medium used to convey these concepts. Pressed into its surface, words bear silent witness to broken promises and lives lost at sea, while ephemeral images illuminate the contradictions between political and humanitarian values. Paper is strong and fragile; vulnerable to the forces of nature yet lasting over centuries; able to be broken down and remade anew. It is an apt metaphor for the endurance and resilience of those who so bravely seek asylum.