Kendal Heyes

Pilgrims and Strangers

6 – 21 October 2017

Opening Event: Friday 6 October 6-8pm

Artist Talks: Saturday 21 October 3-5pm

This series is about voyagers on the sea, those who arrive at their intended destination and those who don’t make it, and especially those who are kept on the outside of borders that ideally should be open to them.

Freedom of movement is a basic human right; therefore there should be open borders between states. The principle is that simple. I like to think at some point in the future people will look back and see restrictive national borders as the greatest injustice of this era, equivalent to the restriction of opportunities for peasants in the Middle Ages.*

In the meantime countries like Germany and Canada are at least working humanely in ways that gesture toward a future of open borders, while Australia persists with its harsh treatment of refugees under its secretive offshore detention regime.

These drawings are partly in response to the wilful cruelty of the Australian government in its treatment of refugees. The making of these images one dot at a time is literally an extended meditation on the issue of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by sea. The dot-image format also highlights the media’s often problematic role in representing refugees.

KH 2017

*For discussion of open borders, see Joseph Carens, The Case for Open Borders, in The Ethics of Immigration, Oxford, 2013, p225, and Rutger Bregman, Beyond the Gates of the Land of Plenty, in Utopia for Realists, Bloomsbury, 2016, p214.
Image: Untitled, 2017, ink on paper, 100 x 150cm. Image courtesy of the artist.