These works were greatly influenced by my own family history and background. As a son of an immigrant I know that there's no such thing as a queue jumpers. These are desperate people endeavouring to establish a better life for their family at any cost. In June 2001 the Federal Parliament's Human Rights Sub-Committee unanimously recommended that illegal immigrants who have security clearance should spend no longer than 14 weeks in detention. Other recommendations included plans for children to go to school in the community, upgraded facilities and an urgent review of existing standards. After holding 13 meetings in six centres, the members said they were 'shocked' by the physical impact of the centers and the 163-page report was aimed at improving conditions. Yet despite all these findings the then Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, accused some of his colleagues of being 'naive', and that while he took many of the committee's recommendations on board, he also claimed the MP's were ill-informed. In October that year, in the lead-up to a federal election, the Children Overboard affair erupted with allegations by Howard government ministers that sea-faring asylum seekers had thrown children overboard in a presumed ploy to secure rescue and passage to Australia. These allegations were later proved to be untrue and in fact were a deliberate attempt by the Howard Government to stir public support in favour of more restrictions. These actions by the Howard government inspired me to create this body of work 'No more lies!'. It featured the three main protagonists John Howard, Philip Ruddock and Amanda Vanstone with their lips sown together.This series of work reflect my deep anger and growing frustration at the federal government's callous insensitivity towards refugees and asylum seekers and their despicable assault on the most vulnerable.
|Place of Publication||Wagga Wagga|
|Publisher||Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery|
|Size||3 X artworks; each 60 x 60 cm, digital photograph and vector art|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Event||Conduit Exhibition - Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, Australia|
Duration: 30 Sept 2005 → 20 Nov 2005