Post written by Anna de Jong
OnIslands is an arts festival held at Eramboo Arts Environment (Terrey Hills, Sydney). Curated by Selena Griffith, the 3 week long festival showcases the collaborative works of artists, academics (geographers!), designers, musicians, performers, photographers, architects, writers, poets and filmmakers – all of whom will be responding to the theme ‘OnIslands’.
Andrew Gorman-Murray (University of Western Sydney), working in collaboration with Chris Brickell (University of Otago) and myself, will exhibit an installation entitled ‘Over the Ditch‘. This work unites history, geography and visual art through public engagement. Utilising photo media installations and ethno-poetry the installation explores the mobilities of gay men between New Zealand and Australia. While there is a long history of island hopping across the Tasman, the narratives of these journeys are not often shared. The installation is comprised of found and donated photographs from seven men who crossed the ditch. They span a period of eighty-three years, from 1931 through the early post-WWII years to 2014. Many of these men wrote diaries, stories and blogs of their journeys too, and these texts are rendered as poetic verse to add layers to our sense of their experience over the ditch.
This is an exciting opportunity to share some of the stories from my PhD project, as well as those gathered through Andrew and Chris’ work, with an audience beyond academia. So please, if you’re around Sydney’s north shore between November 15th and 30th please visit ‘OnIslands’ at Eramboo.
Anna de Jong is a PhD Candidate with the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research. You can follow her on Twitter @anadejong. Her last post was Kiwi input needed for ‘Journeying to Mardi Gras Study’.