Developed and produced for 'The Social', an exhibition curated by Megan Monte at the Campbelltown Art Centre, NSW.
I am a seventh generation Australian with a direct paternal link to a convict ancestor who arrived here in 1815, but my mother is Malay and I am a Muslim. It has been my experience growing up here that despite my family’s 200-year history on the continent, I am continuously put into a position where I have to justify my colour, my name and my religion. While I was born here and identify myself as an Australian, I have been engaged by a portion of the community that denies my right to do so. The idea that I should somehow ‘go home’ is confusing, and in this body of work I wanted to deconstruct the idea of home and what that means in the contemporary multicultural Australian context. Taking from Robert Hughes’ account of early settlement in Fatal Shore and Babette Smith’s Australia’s Birthstain, I believe Australia has a tenuous relationship with the concept. Our History seems to reflect an; ‘it’s mine because I said so’ approach. This post-war need to identify ourselves as apart from our neighbours, and the lingering colonial mentality of European racial superiority has left us with an insecure and fractured cultural identity. What is home in this country, if it is not the place you plant your flag?