A HUMAN RIGHTS ART SERIES BY COLIN VICKERY
“At what point do people out there declare “enough”?
Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town
With ENOUGH I wanted to make a statement on international affairs in my own way. I wanted to test the capacity of abstraction to comment on real-life, here-and-now issues and inequalities that have stirred the world.
The large-scale abstract images, which range from 1 metre x 1 metre to nearly three metres in length, were produced throughout 2005 and 2006.
They comment on a variety of international issues from this time including the war in Iraq, the detention of asylum seekers in Australia, the blight of terrorism, religious intolerance, and the HIV/Aids epidemic in Africa.
For example, Asylum grew from a media report in 2005 about a traumatised asylum seeker who was forced to urinate in the back of a van during a trip between the Maribyrnong and Baxter detention centres. Danger was inspired by a trip to the USA during a time when terror alerts were sweeping the country.
Mission Accomplished emanates from a speech by George W Bush to US troops declaring victory in Iraq and Don’t Tell The First Lady from a report that AIDS infection rates were climbing in Uganda following the decision, tied to US aid, not to make condoms part of key prevention policy.
There is very little pure photography in ENOUGH a departure for me. Instead, most of the titles began as direct digital scans which were then treated in various ways to produce the completed images.
Looking back on the past two years, I’d have to say that nothing prepared me for the emotional journey I would take with ENOUGH. This is by far the most challenging series I’ve ever attempted. To produce the work it has been necessary to delve into some of the most inhumane events in modern history, something I found very traumatising.
If there is a common thread with my past work it is a hope that art can play a vital role in combating intolerance as well as highlighting the essential connections of all people no matter what their religious, political or cultural backgrounds and beliefs.