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The Sink to the Sea









Span Galleries
Melbourne, Australia
Salt, glass, buttons, maps and mixed media

The Sink to the Sea was part of the Under One Roof exhibition. This exhibition included the work of ten contemporary artists who explored the refugee and migrant experience through the concept of home, loss, displacement and the journey to resettlement.

The Sink to the Sea assembled a series of scattered and interrupted stories. Objects and materials were collected from the domestic realm and shorelines; the associations ranging from the sink to the sea. The materials reflect the uncertainty inherent in the migration process as they have an ephemeral and fragile quality.

We barely notice these unstable and unreliable materials. They are discarded and marginal: glass tossed and refined by the sea, nets, vegetable bags that hold, support and trap objects. Scattered throughout these works are fragmented maps. Usually they record location and are the bearers of orientation and direction.

“We must seek the outcome that Nicola McClelland’s The Sink to the Sea engages with; whereby out of the displaced and fragmented we reform – we recognize and allow ‘new meanings to be revealed.’… In recent times a politician asked a question of us, which also happened to be a lie; ‘what sort of people throw their children into the sea?’ Under One Roof asked a more important and truly valuable question; ‘what sort of people would allow others to exist beyond their humanity?’” (Tony Birch Under One Roof catalogue essay)