This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

'All We Can't See' · An Exhibition Illuminating The Nauru Files

Art

All We Can’t See’ deserves your attention right now, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s a group exhibition featuring a truly incredible line-up of leading Australian artists, including Laura Jones, Abdul Abdullah, Paul Davies, Ben Quilty
, Luke Scibberas, Aida Tomescu, Joshua Yeldham and many more.

But most importantly, this is a show with a powerful message. Each artist’s work is a response to an individual Nauru File, selected from over 2000 documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper in 2016.

This important exhibition opens this Friday, February 2nd in Sydney.

31st January, 2018

The group exhibition All We Can’t See’ opens tomorrow in Sydney. Pictured here, work on paper by Ben Quilty Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

The showcase is being held at The Yellow House in Potts Point from February 2nd to 10th. Artwork by Megan Seres. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

Artwork by Paul Davies. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

‘Up and Away’ by Laura Jones. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

Artwork by Mark Whalen. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

Artwork by Sam Harrison. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

‘Sea of sorrow, prayer for guidance’ by Josh Yeldham. Photo – courtesy of ‘All We Can’t See’.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 31st January 2018

‘Imagery is immediate, it can override prejudice, language, fear, politics, and speak directly to people’s hearts.’ – Arielle Gamble.

Curated and organised by book designer and illustrator Arielle Gamble, All We Can’t See is the product of over twelve months of tireless fundraising, cold-calling, organising and rallying of troops.

Arielle has never done anything like this before, but her passion and drive is an empowering reminder of the role one small voice can play, even in the most overwhelming, seemingly hopeless of battles.

We spoke to Arielle this week about this amazing project. Her words are so inspiring, we haven’t edited as much as we usually would… I sincerely hope you can find a few extra minutes to read them in full – they deserve our full attention.

How and when did the idea for this exhibition come to you?

Reading Richard Flanagan’s essay ‘Does Writing Matter‘. He described the Nauru Files as, “an extraordinary trove of anonymous short stories… Sometimes, writing can panic us in the same way we are sometimes panicked at the moment of waking: here is the day and here is the world and we can sleep no longer, we must rise and live within it.”

The Nauru Files are stories you read and can’t forget, can’t allow yourself to forget. But when they were published the government and Australian communities carried on with business as usual. It defied belief. Then I realised that although many people had heard of the files, most haven’t actually sat down & read the devastating individual, human stories behind each one. There are over 2000, and they are written as incident reports – official language, names redacted – they aren’t easy going. Though these are Australian stories – they are a direct consequence of Aus govt policy – they are happening so far away, on this remote island. Out of sight out of mind has been an incredibly effective strategy.

My background is in book design – we understand the role imagery can play in asking, sometimes demanding, that people stop, look & engage with stories, even complex and dark ones. Imagery is immediate, it can override prejudice, language, fear, politics, and speak directly to people’s hearts. Art has always been a powerful tool for social and political change because of this – artists have always played crucial roles in documenting and reflecting back ourselves to ourselves – from the uncomfortable to the downright wrong. I felt the files needed this – we needed to create ways to shine light on what’s (still) happening.

So… I took this fledgling idea to my old art director at Penguin Books, Daniel New, and with him it evolved into the concept for the show – calling on prominent Australian artists and the greater public, each person responding to individual files as a way of humanising the stories and engaging people from all walks of life with the realities of Australia’s offshore processing policies.

Your background isn’t in fine art. how did you go about organising such a diverse and impressive line up of artists and venue for this show?

With an incredible & dedicated team – Morna Seres, Heidi Forbes, Daniel New and Georgie Bright of Human Rights Watch. Everyone came to the project as a concerned citizen wanting to help. With backgrounds in design, arts, acting, finance, law, we pooled our resources and got creative, and the project grew from a small idea between friends to the large scale show opening this week.

Individual artists and galleries were approached for initial expressions of interest followed by a successful fundraising effort that included a Kickstarter campaign. The interest has been overwhelming, with many renowned artists asking to be involved.

It was also very important for us to consult with communities and community groups to engage with people who have experienced detention on Nauru first hand – there are a few artists in the line up who have lived or are living through this experience themselves, we are honoured that they have chosen to share their stories and experience through this show.

The show is taking place at Yellow House Gallery in Potts Point, a place with a rich creative history. The gallerists believe very much in this project and have come on as the most incredible sponsors and supporters.

What challenges have you faced in staging the show?

Many! But mostly we have been met with incredible support all along – a testament to the huge number of Australians who are opposed to offshore detention, feel frustrated, helpless and politically unrepresented, and are looking for ways to create and call for change.

What are your hopes for the outcome of All We Can’t See?

That it will encourage people from all walks of life to read the files, connect with the human stories within them, listen to their consciences and start raising their voices.

 

In August 2016 The Guardian published The Nauru Files, leaked incident reports written by staff in Australia’s detention centre on Nauru between 2013 and 2015. 

These files detail 2,116 individual cases of assault, sexual abuse, self-harm, child abuse and abhorrent living conditions endured by asylum seekers in the care of the Australian Government.

You can read the files here.

‘All We Can’t See’ Group Exhibition
February 2nd to 10th
Yellow House Sydney
57-59 Macleay Street Potts Point, Sydney

View Comments

Similar Stories

Creative People

Free to Feed x Hungry Workshop's 'Potluck' Cookzine

The local not-for-profit charity releases its first book of recipes and stories brought to Australia by people seeking asylum.
Elle Murrell

Dream Job

Nayran Tabiei · Cooking Instructor, Free to Feed

In between guiding a group of receptive young participants through the art of tabouli-tiny parsley chopping, the former Damascene chronicles...
Elle Murrell

Art

Kevin Chin · Refuge

The Melbourne-based artist exploring universal themes of journey, transition and sanctuary.
Elle Murrell

This Week

01:00

Gardens

See Inside Victoria’s Great Private Gardens + Art Collections, From Home!

Garden and art enthusiasts, unite! The NGV Women’s Association offers a look inside some of Victoria's most intriguing private gardens, vi...
Sasha Gattermayr

Christmas Countdown

Get The Best Drinks Delivered For Christmas With A 10% Discount!

Stock up your fridge and get your Christmas shopping sorted with 10% off our favourite drinks from Diggin’ In The Cellars.
Lucy Feagins

News

A Limited Edition Trio Of Vessels From Mud Inspired By Margaret Preston

Mud has collaborated with the National Gallery of Australia on a limited edition collection of vessels that pay homage to the iconic Austral...
Sally Tabart
  5 hours ago

Studio Visit

A Studio Visit With One Of Australia’s Most Exciting Young Architecture + Design Firms

Jesse Bennett and Anne-Marie Campagnolo have been married for 10 years, and together, they have created some of the most impressive architec...

News

An Amazing Design Auction To Help Support Bushfire Recovery

Limited-edition ceramics or a weekend on Bruny Island are just some of the incredible items available in this online fundraising auction by
Sasha Gattermayr
  7 hours ago

Homes

A Pascoe Vale South Home With Palm Springs Flair

The delightful family home of Jake Cassar and Naomi Jankowski in Pascoe Vale South, Melbourne counts Palm Springs and David Hockey as design...
Lucy Feagins
  16 hours ago

On The Market

This Grand 1860s Terrace In Melbourne’s Inner North Is Up For Grabs!

An original Victorian gem with all the modern updates in one of Melbourne's most coveted inner-city locations has hit the market - and it wo...
Sasha Gattermayr

Family

BE. Founder Grace Dlabik On Smashing Stereotypes + Parenting A Child With Disability

Grace's son 17-year son Elijah was born with a complication that led to quadriplegia Cerebral palsy. Despite the significant challenges they...
Ashe Davenport

News

Buy A Print From A Local Designer And Raise Money For Mental Health Support

‘With Solace’ brings together 23 local illustrators, typographers, photographers and designers to raise funds for ReachOut.

Design Eye

Lauren Li on Contemporary Curves

Square, blocky shapes are out, and CURVY furniture is in - Interior designer Lauren Li gives us the lowdown.
Lucy Feagins
  8 hours ago

Studio Visit

Designing Vibrant + Joyous Clothes With A Cross-Continental Perspective

Dinzi Amobi unites the London of her upbringing with the Nigeria of her heritage through her fashion + homewares label - Ulo Australia.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

A Weekend Art + Ceramics Exhibition Hosted By YSG Studio

The award-winning interior design studio is hosting a two-day art event in collaboration with The DEA Store.

Architecture

A Coastal Family Home Without Any Coastal Cliches!

A contemporary home for furniture designers - meet Coastal Pavilion by Mim Design, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Shopping

Radiant New Table Linen From Bonnie + Neil, Just In Time For Summer Entertaining!

Elevate your summer dining table with ‘Clover’, the new summer collection from beloved Melbourne design duo, Bonnie and Neil.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

All Of Your Favourite Makers In One Decadent Showcase!

Craft Victoria hosts an end-of-year exhibition for the crème de la crème of the state’s artisanal creatives.

Similar Stories

Creative People

Free to Feed x Hungry Workshop's 'Potluck' Cookzine

The local not-for-profit charity releases its first book of recipes and stories brought to Australia by people seeking asylum.
Elle Murrell

Dream Job

Nayran Tabiei · Cooking Instructor, Free to Feed

The former Damascene chronicles her long and winding journey to a safe and purposeful present.
Elle Murrell

Art

Kevin Chin · Refuge

The Melbourne-based artist exploring universal themes of journey, transition and sanctuary.
Elle Murrell

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.