Michelle Browne (DAI, 2016) is both curator (together with Mary Knights) as well as one of the participating artists at Border Crossings (Ireland~ Australia) in itself part of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts
Border Crossings (Ireland/Australia) brings together curators and visual artists from Ireland and Australia to respond to cross-cultural issues surrounding the legacy of colonialism & the challenges of reconciliation that are relevant to both countries. Three Irish performance artists Michelle Browne, Sandra Johnston and Dominic Thorpe have been invited to create new, site specific performances by the University of South Australia’s SASA Gallery and the Hawke European Union Centre. The University of South Australia’s Hawke European Union Centre aims to develop dialogue and cooperation between the European community and Australian in regards to migration, asylum and refuge protection.
Border Crossings has been supported as a part of Culture Ireland’s 2016 International Program I am Ireland which commemorates the centenary of the Easter Rising. Australia and Ireland’s histories have been entangled since the first fleet arrived at Sydney Cove to set up a penal colony in 1788. 24% of the convicts that came to Australia were Irish - including hundreds of rebels. All of the Australian artists in the exhibition have Irish heritage. Julie Gough, an Indigenous woman from Tasmania and Yhonnie Scarce an Indigenous women from Woomera a desert location in South Australia that was the site of nuclear testing in the 1950s. Sue Kneebone’s Irish ancestors left Ireland after the Great Famine, in a generation the family scattered to America and Australia. Researching family histories and historical documents Julie Gough, Yhonnie Scarce and Sue Kneebone explore the complexities of cross-cultural relationships and engagements and ponder how was it that some of their Irish ancestors, so long familiar with the tyranny of colonisation so easily slipped into the role of coloniser, dispossessing the Indigenous people of their land, culture and language.
Organisational partnerships between the Trinity College Research Hub, Dublin; and the University of South Australia’s Hawke European Union Centre and the SASA Gallery supported curatorial research.
Border Crossings (Ireland/Australia) is a part of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts Vernissage program and the 2016 Fringe Festival, in Adelaide. Galway Arts Centre has invited the Irish & Australian curators and artists to re-stage the exhibition in July 2016, to coincide with the arts festival.
Border Crossings (Ireland/Australia)
Presented by Hawke European Union Centre & SASA Gallery
Curators: Michelle Browne & Mary Knights
Irish artists: Michelle Browne, Sandra Johnston , Dominic Thorpe
Australian artists: Sue Kneebone, Julie Gough, Yhonnie Scarce
Guest Speaker: Noel White, Irish Ambassador to Australia
Level 2, Kaurna Building, City West campus
Cnr Fenn Place & Hindley Street, Adelaide