Parallax 3 - Deterrence: Stopped at a Wrong Place


‘The fences on both sides of the ocean, shows a woman is  stuck behind bars … The anchor has broken her heart, because she is stopped at a wrong place.’

Woman artist imprisoned on Nauru

This artwork was created for nationwide vigils held on the fourth anniversary of the 19th July policy, by a female refugee held on Nauru. Here is her artist statement.

Artist statement:

’19th July. The worst day of my life’

As an architecture graduate, I look at art in geometric forms, with volume, colors and visual elements harmoniously combined. My inspiration comes from my favourite style Cubism and complimented by expressionism, abstract and modern art.

I usually draw portraits with aspects of the person’s life, textured, hidden and incorporated into their personal story. Their dreams, sadness, loves, hope, happiness flow throughout the drawing.

I’ve painted ’19th July’ to show my own story about trying to seek asylum in Australia and instead of finding safety, I am faced with 19th July 2013 policy, of no hope in limbo, told “You will never make Australia home”.

In this painting the only thing which is in realism is ocean. Because everything that I’ve seen during my travelling is based on lies, but the ocean was real and true. The words 19 July tattooed on the top of the canvas same as in my mind.

The fences on both sides of the ocean, shows a woman is stuck behind the bars, watching the ocean. The sun is brightening in her eyes and in front of her lips. The anchor has broken her heart, because she is stopped at a wrong place.

The hands reach for the sun, a symbol of warmth to catch the freedom of getting to Australia, are coming out from the ocean, Instead of catching the sun, those people are drowning in the ocean.

With fire behind the fences, the spiral gets closer to itself, getting more alone and cloistered, until he sets himself on fire.

There are thoughts of making fire in the woman’s mind, but also some brightness of sun that shows that some hopes still remain and stop her from making fire. In front of her face is an angry man who made the 19 July policy. His bruise face and his compressed teeth shows how he hates the woman because she is an asylum seeker.

The 19 July is the worst day of many people’s lives.”


Please Read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.