In May and August, visiting Law and Humanities Artist in residence John Reid (pictured above) engaged with students, staff and members of the public as he worked on his extraordinary, Amnesty-themed, collaged murals in the public space outside the School of Law and Justice at the Gold Coast campus.
The subject of John’s artwork is political or enforced disappearances. This work was initiated in 1982 in response to Amnesty International’s ‘Disappearance Campaign’, triggered by the criminal political climate in Central and South America; and the Australian government’s relationship with Indonesia and policy on East Timor.
The intent of the artwork is to appeal for ethical vigilance against Australian government foreign policies that are fuelled by greed. The conceptual relationship between the artwork’s focus on economic exploitation and its medium of money serves to visually dramatise the intent; and to attract scrutiny of it by the State and subsequently the media. From 1984 to 1987, the artwork was legally contested which enhanced the impact of the work.
‘Untitled’ is a process artwork. Its exhibition is performative and, in addition to the presentation of the collage, includes the creative procedures of its production in the gallery space. During his visit, he was interviewed by Channel 9, with the footage attracting over 150,000 views on their website.
Fleur Kilpatrick, an award-winning playwright and director, visited the SLJ during August and spoke about her play ‘Whale’.
Fleur’s work is a response to the climate crisis. She says, “In a rising ocean of dire facts, there is an urgent need for performative fiction about our present that confronts climate crisis with irreverence, humour and absurdity. To write about climate change in a way that empowers audiences and inspires action is to find a balance between hope and despair: too much or too little of either can paralyse.”
In reference to her play “Whale”, Fleur explains, “Through the lens of the 2017 Max Afford Award-winning play, Whale, I argue for making entertainment out of something as dire as climate emergency. My work uses comedic tactics and absurdist structures to examine Australia’s relationship with nature and our global responsibility from new narrative viewpoints. Whale embraces this moment in time, in its banality, silliness, humour and terror.In a rising ocean of dire facts, there is an urgent need for performative fiction about our present that confronts climate crisis with irreverence, humour and absurdity. To write about climate change in a way that empowers audiences and inspires action is to find a balance between hope and despair: too much or too little of either can paralyse.”
Distinguished European novelist and short story writer, Professor Bernhard Schlink is best known for his international bestseller, The Reader, which became an Oscar-winning film starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.
As the School of Law & Justice’s Law and the Humanities Artist in Residence, Professor Schlink treated a packed house at the Lismore Regional Gallery to a short reading from his novel, The Reader, followed by a discussion of the novel and its themes of desire, memory and guilt with Professor William MacNeil, Dean of Law and Head of School of the School of Law & Justice, in November 2019.