For many birds, fish, and mammals, migration is about survival. For millions fleeing war and persecution today, the motivation is no different. A guest of ten years in Australia, my experience of being so warmly accepted here has been an immense privilege. To those seeking asylum within our communities, I wish to extend the same true welcome.
Native to Australia, the welcome swallow is a small, friendly and handsome bird. While its foreign cousins are known to be epic travellers, here on Country where conditions are fair and life isn’t bad, the species tends to stay put. Sometime in the early 1900’s however, a brave few individuals rode the wind across the ditch and introduced themselves to New Zealand – not unlike my own one-way flight to Australia in 2007. Having successfully populated nearly every continent on the planet, swallows enjoy the luxury of being welcomed wherever they choose to rest their wings. Drawing great arcs across hemispheres along the flight path, their celebrated return heralds the arrival of spring – representing hope, new life, and relief from the hardships of winter.To evoke a sense of place, this garland is constructed from silk dyed with native plant material gathered from my surrounds, connecting the colours of the land with the colours of the bird. May the wearer of Welcome Swallow know the freedom of its namesake, the lightness of its feather, and be received with open hearts and open minds upon
Materials: 2018, yellow gum (eucalyptus leucoxylon), lemon scented gum (corymbia citriodora),
native indigo (indigofera australis), silk