Three contemporary artists have drawn upon the site and stories of the former Quarantine Station at Sydney’s North Head to create an immersive exhibition experience in response to issues around migration, quarantine and place. Working with paper, textiles and paint, Jo Neville, Julie Paterson and Fiona Chandler have each created forty panels representing the original forty day quarantine period of detention or isolation imposed upon ships, people, animals or plants suspected of carrying infectious or contagious diseases.
In drawing attention to the unique cultural heritage of this site, we had unknowingly embarked on an ambitious contemporary art project just weeks before COVID-19 was brought to these shores, impacting the community and global travel. The artists have thereby developed both personal and socio-historical narratives in parallel that mark this unprecedented time in Australian history.
This cross-media arts project was inspired by the desire to bring together artists who also practice as designers. While these two disciplines operate independently, as with the fields of art and science, they can also find creative expression together, each aspect informing the other. We look forward to seeing how the 120 panels come together on MAG&M’s walls, floor and suspended in the air and how the audience engages with the installation.
This timely exhibition is presented in partnership with Q Station, Manly, to whom we are most grateful for the site access they provided to the artists and for the enthusiasm with which they embraced what is our third partnership project in the past five years. Thank you to Max Player, Suzanne Stanton and Helen Drew, in particular. Thank you also to Amanda Kaye for her editorial support. MAG&M first connected with the three participating artists when they presented as part of the Creative Women’s Circle in recent years, so thank you to local creatives, Fiona Chandler and Saffron Craig, for bringing this program to Manly. We hope you enjoy the exhibition, associated public programs and workshops, and visit Q Station, Manly to learn more about the living museum which is the source of this creative project.
Presented in partnership with Q Station, Manly.