Stories In Transit

It took me a long time to make this piece about refugee journeys. Eventually, it will form the centrepiece of an installation that looks at not only the journeys that refugees embark upon but also the reporting and commentary about the subject.

‘Stories in Transit’ begins at the bottom of the tower with an examination of the reasons why refugees leave their homes – war, politics, persecution, religion, climate breakdown etc. These ideas are represented with ‘monsters’ (inspired by medieval stained glass depictions of devils). The journey continues around and up the artwork showing issues like push backs, boat journeys – both successful and not, bureaucracy and people smugglers. The apex of the work is about what refugees want. I call these the pillars of secular spirituality – the freedom to love; to work; to play and to have autonomy over your mind, body and spirit. These concepts are illustrated using different birds – for instance the magpie represents ‘mind’ as it is intelligent and playful.

I intend Stories in Transit to take the form of an installation consisting of a central artwork surrounded by a wall-mounted journey through these ideas. It will be set out like a ‘murder investigation board’ – an investigation into the issues and the surrounding reporting. The concepts represented in the artwork are replicated and physically linked with twine. QR codes take the viewer to news stories that report, discuss and comment on the subjects represented.

Wall-mounted golden glass birds will represent the hopes that every refugee carries with them on their journey.

Visualisation of ‘Stories in Transit’ installation

Still a lot of work to do to realise this project. I have been extremely fortunate to have received funding from the Oppenheim John-Downes Memorial Trust towards the cost of staging this exhibition.

Frame fabricated by Kris Gruber: @minorkeyartphotography

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