It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Island, or Nauru or PNG) (2010)

Private collection, Sydney. 

Australian immigration detention facilities are currently used to detain people who are under Australia's policy of mandatory immigration detention. Asylum seekers detected in boats in Australian waters have been detained in facilities on the offshore islands of Nauru and Manus Island, which is part of PNG, and Christmas Island, previously under the now defunct Pacific Solution and (since 2013 and as of March 2019) under Operation Sovereign Borders.  

The facilities' existence is controversial and has been condemned on human rights grounds and have even been likened to concentration camps by some critics and human rights groups.

I began creating this work in the lead up to the 2010 federal election. I wanted to make a work responding to the situation of boat people cramming onto leaking boats to reach Australian waters at Christmas Island.

I was imagining the asylum seekers decorating themselves in Christmas decorations in anticipation of their arrival and traveling in a Santa Clause themed boat.

This work uses lyrics from the Christmas song “It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, originally recorded by Bing Crosby, with an ominous twist.

Vintage ceramic boat, ceramic Santa, Christmas decorations, vintage porcelain figurines, plastic toy soldiers, vintage Action Man life jackets, toy plastic guns, epoxy putty, epoxy resin, re-touching medium and powder pigments

Made with