Seeking Freedom, Finding Pain

Deborah Milligan

Briagolong, Australia

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Artist's Description

900mm x 900mm. Oil on canvas. 2002.
Original $650 + p&p

In October 2001 three hundred and fifty three asylum seekers – men women and children – lost their lives when their unseaworthy and overcrowded fishing boat, the SIEVX ,sunk. They were seeking refuge in Australia. Around this time the Australian government was engaged in divisive actions designed to create fear of ‘the other’ amongst our communities so people would support their policies aimed at reducing the number of asylum seekers trying to come to Australia. It was working. Many Australians seemed to lose their compassion and empathy over only a few short years and I was appalled whenever I heard people, whom I knew and loved, coming out with racist, angry and frightened comments when talking about refugees. While I was safely working, eating, playing, enjoying my children, painting, studying, people just like me were being tortured or murdered for their beliefs, separated from their families and homelands, risking their lives in unseaworthy vessels in the hope of finding a safe life for themselves and their families.

There but for the grace of god go I.

Artwork Comments

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