Riswan (Merops philippinus) Sri Lanka 2014 50 x 70 cm charcoal and white chalk on paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 20 October – Sunday 26 November 2017

30 Finalists announced
Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize 2017
Official Opening and Winner announced: Saturday 21 October, 5pm

Special guest: 2017 Finalist judge QUT Art Museum Curator, Kevin Wilson.

I’m very happy to have a portrait I made of my friend Riswan selected for this prize.

In our neighbourhood there are many migrants and refugees living in the community. Some live in limbo on temporary protection visas, trying to make themselves at home in a country which may or may not accept them. Some have already wrested out a reluctant acceptance to stay and are settling in to a new way of life. Some, like my family, have been here a generation and feel more Australian than Dutch.

Riswan is a friend, we serve together at our local Salvation Army drop in centre where he has been faithfully helping out every week for the last 4 years. He is seeking asylum from Sri Lanka, wishing to live in freedom from persecution as a Tamil. He came to the studio to sit for me and we chatted about his journey and his hopes for the future. His application to stay has been rejected but he still appeals in the hope he may be accepted.

The Bee eater has become a symbol as I think about our changing attitudes to migrants. Australia has one species (Merops ornatus) which has a close relative in the Bee Eater (Merops philippinus) which migrates through India and Sri Lanka. They look more similar than different.

 

Selected finalist | 2017 | Uncategorized