Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Sailing into History: Displacements and Arrivals

June 14, 2016 - August 20, 2016


SAILING INTO HISTORY: Displacements and Arrivals 

Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) in partnership with Museo Italiano.

Curatorial statement and full details on artworks now available online in the SAILING INTO HISTORY: Displacements and Arrivals, Co.As.It. Museo Italiano – Exhibition Catalogue.

Opening event: Tue 14 Jun, 6.30pm
Keynote Speech: Professor Jon Cattapan, Artist and Academic, VCA, University of Melbourne
Ferdinando Colarossi, Manager, Co.As.It Italian Language, Culture and Heritage Department
Live performance: Live performance 7 Songs, Arrival and Displacement in Utopia with co-performers musician Dr Domenico de Clario and dancer Tony Yap.  Long-standing co-performers Domenico & Tony have developed a distinctively way for giving expression to absence and longing.

Forum: From Displacement to Social Inclusion: Tue 19 Jul, 6.30pm, FREE

Chaired by: George Lekakis, AO, is currently Chair of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Board and of the Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service. He was Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) from 2001 to 2011, Chair of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, and has served on many other government and community-based boards. In 2010 George was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles in multicultural organisations.

  • Featuring: Arnold Zable is an acclaimed writer, novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes, Cafe Scheherazade, The Fig Tree, Scraps of Heaven, Sea of Many Returns, Violin Lessons and most recently, The Fighter. He is the author of numerous essays, columns, features and works for theatre, exploring memory and displacement, multiculturalism and the art of story. He has a doctorate in Creative Arts from Melbourne University, has lectured on writing, literature and refugee rights throughout Australia and internationally, and is a patron of Sanctuary, and an ambassador of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He was recently awarded the Voltaire prize for human rights advocacy.
  • Dr Caitlin Nunn is an International Research Fellow in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, England. Her research focuses on refugee settlement, including in relation to youth; identity and belonging; cultural production and media representation; and generational change and intergenerational relations. Caitlin’s current project uses a participatory arts-based approach to explore experiences of local belonging among young forced migrants in regional cities in Australia and the United Kingdom. This recently resulted in the exhibition Belonging in Bendigo, produced with refugee-background Karen young people mentored by local artists.
  • Philip Morrissey is a Murri scholar and Academic Coordinator of the Faculty of Arts Australian Indigenous Studies program at the University of Melbourne. He lectures in Aboriginal cultural studies and Aboriginal writing. He has published on Aboriginal fine arts, film, literature, governance, sport and the public sphere. He holds a Master of Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. Philip was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 1989 and publishes regularly in a range of journals including Artlink, Meanjin, UTS Review and the Australian Book Review.
  • Mariam Issa is a human rights activist focused on supporting the rights of refugees and developing the strengths and confidence of women in Australia and Africa. Mariam fled from Somalia to Kenya in 1991 escaping civil war ahead of arriving in Australia as a refugee in 1998, as a mother with four children and one on the way. Along with her husband Mohammed she settled her family into the largely Anglo-Saxon bayside suburb of Brighton in Melbourne, Australia. There, Mariam cofounded RAW-Resilient Aspiring Women in 2012 – a not-for-profit organisation focused on building community and social spaces for women to connect in. Through her work with RAW Mariam has touched the lives of many women and facilitated many compassionate conversations. Her insights inspire many women to find their strengths, confidence and personal power.

Seminar: Understanding and caring for textile artefacts: a second identity: Wednesday 10 August, 6.30pm-8.30pm, FREE but bookings required: online or call +61 3 9349 9000

  • Speaker: Marion Parker, Textile Conservator with the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne. Marion has worked at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, the City Gallery Wellington, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and Museum Victoria. Her expertise is in textile conservation & collection management, with a particular interest in dress history.

The seminar will be of relevance not only to the exhibited artists and Memory Keepers whose textile works resonate with culture and identity, but also everyone who is the lucky inheritor or custodian of heritage objects crafted from fiber, such as: women’s fashion; handcrafted lace and crocheted items; loom woven linen used to make table cloths, napkins and bathroom towels; cotton embroidered bed linen and undergarments; and decorative items such as doylies. Generally speaking, the aforementioned items would have been lovingly created for young women’s dowry, and in turn have travelled to Australia inside migrants’ cases, parcels and trunks.

Closing events: Thu 18 Aug, Fri 19 Aug, Sat 20 Aug, 10am-2pm embroidery [ricamo], live art performance ‘Tracing Threads of the Past [Tracciando Fili del Passato] by Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo and participating guests

Memory Keepers and artists including: Domenico De Clario; Tony Yap; Wilma Tabacco; Sally Hederics; Istvan Hederics; Elizabeth Presa; Anna Caione; Rosina Byrne; Robert Marnika; Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo; Marcello D’Amico; Madeline Thorburn; Liliana  Barbieri; Rosina Byrne; Con Pagonis; Julie Pagonis; Vivien Achia;  Sally Hederics; Istvan Hederics; various  members of the choir La Voce Della Luna; Carmen Borg; Rossella Picciani; Rita Battaglin; Sabi Buehler; Zora Frank-Durut; and Pina Geracitano.

SAILING INTO HISTORY: Displacements and Arrivals is the latest iteration of a series of site specific expositions produced by MAV under the umbrella of “What Happened at the Pier”, with the express intention of revealing and honouring personal stories of migration by and about those who came to Australia by ship up to 1970s. The objects, artworks and social history profiles in the exhibition reflect the social history and memories of migrants who came to Australia by ship and disembarked at Port Melbourne to make a permanent home in Australia for themselves and for future generations. Now more than ever, these  social history profiles and newly created art works displayed at Museo Italiano are  significant not least because of the ongoing tension between what is considered important and therefore is recorded in the annals of  Australian History and what is considered trivial and gets left out. The ongoing tension between cultural values of some “old Australians” and the values of  new as well as old established migrants, displaced people and the many refuge seekers whose sole aim is to work in peaceful coexistence, and to make a permanent home in  Australia for themselves and for future generations; between Christianity and other faiths and beliefs. Above all, they invite us to reflect, learn and gain a deeper understanding of the prevailing social, economic and political forces at play in places of origin of the MEMORY KEEPERS whose life we honor and celebrate with this exhibition.

It is in recognition that apart from “The First Australians” we all came from somewhere else, and that community connections are like Arteries that oxygenate pathways for peaceful inclusive societies, that Multicultural Arts Victoria sought the collaboration and support of Museo Italiano to research, document and display the MEMORY KEEPERS migration stories. And to reiterate that , at the heart of What Happened at the Pier #2  is the Memorialising of the prevailing social political and/or economic circumstances which “motivated’ millions of people to leave all and everything they had ever known, to head into the unknown, in this instance, Australia, which up to the 1970s, it was largely an unknown quantity. Through the  process  of action research and individually curated brief but significant personal histories, we give recognition to the fact that apart from the first Australians we all came from somewhere else; and it is our belief that this (socially) archaeological work will offer the public the possibility of gaining new insights as to who we are, and how some of us got here.

Multicultural Arts Victoria takes pride in its record of discovery, development and promotion of our cultural diversity, heritage and cultural expression. We value this important relationship with the Museo Italiano that has enabled us to reflect on the memories and emotions of the courageous people who are our history.

Artist Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo statement:

‘Tracing Threads of the Past [Tracciando Fili del Passato]: embroidery [ricamo]’ is a collaborative live art performance installation. A homage to my Calabrian heritage. The performance attempts to re-imagine traditional methods of women’s work “making”, by re-interpreting and translating the experiences of Calabrian settlers to North-West Victoria (where I live) in a contemporary visual art and sociological context.  Dressed in typical 1950s Italian fashion, I will create a series of embroideries [ricami] inspired by those handmade by settlers from Calabria for their own glory boxes before migrating to Australia in in the 1950s. The participatory live art performance at Museo Italiano is part of an ongoing series of live art performances and installations. It will be active between 10am -2pm, from Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 August 2016. Interested individuals are invited to bring in a piece from their own (or family members) glory box, share their stories and join me in the embroidery circle to create their own piece of embroidery.  The general public is invited to visit and interact at any time over the duration of the live performance. Previous site specific live art performances of  ‘Tracing Threads of the Past [Tracciando Fili del Passato’, include: 1- SEWING [cucire], in the window of The Art Vault in Mildura, Victoria (15-21 March 2016), where  at a treadle powered Singer sewing machine, I created a 1950s Italian immigrant woman’s wardrobe. 2- ‘Tracing Threads of the Past [Tracciando Fili del Passato]: EMBROIDERY [ricamo], in an empty shopfront in Red Cliffs, where I created embroideries based on Calabrian proverbs, and biancheria (linen items ) similar to those my own mother made for her own glory box before migrating to Australia in the 1950s.  (23 May-5 June 2016); and will continue on with weaving, spinning and crochet. Based in Mildura, Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo is a multi-disciplinary artist, mother and writer, whose arts practise explores notions of belief, religion, spirituality, and the Italian-Australian experience.

Image:  Sailing into History exhibition opening

This exhibition is part of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s “What Happened at the Piers” project curated by Lella Cariddi that honours the memories of immigrants and refugees who travelled to Australia by ship through the historical entry points of Princes and Station pier in Port Melbourne. It was first presented as part of MAV’s 2015 Piers Festival at Princes Pier with satellite exhibitions and events at the Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre, St Kilda Library and East Melbourne Library.


June 14, 2016
August 20, 2016