Island Welcome - | Alice Whish
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Alice Whish

Island Welcome

Alice Whish

Crossing the shore line


I am interested in adornments that are ephemeral and celebratory. Garlands are among the most beautiful of these forms with their fresh flowers. When bestowed on another, they are life confirming, a sign of appreciation, acknowledgment and welcome.

The opportunity to work in my colleague Helen Earl’s ceramic studio coincided with the invitation to be part of Island Welcome. By exploring the material characteristics of porcelain I have been able to construct a garland that has the opposite qualities that we would find in a garland of fresh flowers. My garland has an absence of colour and texture. A heavy weight and the hard white forms of leaves, pebbles and sharp barnacles make it uncomfortable to wear.  It is not a joyous welcome.

What was ephemeral and life confirming in the fresh flower garland, is now transformed to stone.

I invite the viewer to imagine wearing this uncomfortable, garland and to consider the welcome we offer refugees. Australian policy is focused on, boarder control, which is hostile and unwelcoming. I encourage us to imagine a different type of welcome one of integration, of kindness, acknowledgment and hope.

Materials: Porcelain, silk thread, 2o18