Kendal Heyes

Time and the Ocean
July 5 – 27th, 2024


This exhibition brings together three major works from a series of exhibitions called Time and the Ocean, held over four years at Articulate Project Space in Leichhardt, Sydney. This is the first time the three major works have been shown together.

The work began in response to Australia’s treatment of refugees, especially those arriving by boat as genuine asylum seekers in need of protection, who were instead treated as ‘illegals’, ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘criminals’ and were sent to prison camps on remote Pacific islands. It was meant to counter Australians’ apparent indifference to their plight, to keep the issue alive by re-presenting related images in a gallery context.

The original images are all from the public domain, found online, modified and converted to halftones using Photoshop to resemble enlargements from newspaper photographs. This was partly to suggest the role of the press in demonising refugees, and it also suited the pyrographic process of image-making I’d been experimenting with.

These are multi-panel works, consisting of 76x56cm watercolour sheets, each drawn individually and assembled on the wall. They are pyrographic works, each halftone dot burnt into the paper using a pokerwork machine, something like a small soldering iron. Pyrography is a traditional folk-art medium, usually applied to wood. I like the idea of bringing a folk medium into the fine art context.