In 2016, The Guardian published a damning collection of leaked incident reports written by staff in Australia’s detention centre on Nauru between 2013 and 2015. Over 2,000 reports detailed horrific abuses of power and human rights enacted upon refugees, which the Australian government sought to keep hidden from the public.
Following an incredible reception in Sydney earlier this year, an exhibition featuring prominent Australian artists responding to the Nauru Files, All We Can’t See, will make its way to Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs as part of the programming for Melbourne Art Week. Curated by book designer and illustrator Arielle Gamble, the exhibition first showed in Sydney at Yellow House Gallery in early 2018 and featured artists such as Abdul Abdullah, Janet Laurence, and Ben Quilty.
‘Words aren’t working, we want to offer people another way in’, Arielle says, drawing on her background in design to understand the power of image, ‘art can transcend prejudice, race, religion, fear, and speak to our shared humanity’.
Melbourne’s iteration of All We Can’t See has attracted 10 new artists including Abbas Alaboudi, an artist in detention on Nauru; Ravi, a former Nauruan detainee, poet and writer; Khaled Sabsabi, an award-winning artist based in Western Australia; and Stanislava Pinchuk, otherwise known as Miso. All proceeds from artworks sold will go towards the Human Rights Law Centre.
Revisit Lucy’s interview with curator Arielle Gamble earlier this year to learn more about ‘All We Can’t See’ thedesignfiles.net/2018/01/all-we-cant-see/.