Island Welcome - | Vicki Mason
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Vicki Mason

Vicki Mason

Garland for Azizeh

In December 2016 I met a young Iranian refugee woman through the Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers group. Detained on Christmas Island for two years in the Immigration Detention Centre there, this garland is a tribute to her. Presented are two pictorial elements drawn from a heartrending conversation we had about her experience of arriving in Australia.

Azizeh spoke about the chance she had one day to climb a frangipani tree that she had fallen in love with that was growing outside the detention centre. Through it she felt something of the warmth and beauty of Australia. The frangipani flower symbolises this while also referencing the Pacific island tradition of welcoming strangers through its use in leis and garlands. The grey chainlink fencing she was faced with for two years is its antithesis. She spoke of the land and her initial welcoming experiences in paradoxical terms, of being both welcomed and hurt at the same time.


Title: Garland for Azizeh

Materials: Bamboo, powder coated brass, cotton, silk, various base metals

Dimensions:  36 x 36 x 5.5 cm

Year: 2017

Photographer: Andrew Barcham

Island Welcome
welcome garland