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Responses from the Heart

The installations of hearts have created thousands of responses on cloth in Australia and in Britain. Further art works have been/are being created from cloth responses.


7Intent & Open Hearts.jpg

Around 800 selected responses from Australian installations during 2016 formed the basis of Intent, which consists of six white voile cloth panels with attached messages, measuring around seven metres in length. The tent is supported by custom-made single vertical steel poles linked by horizontal ones.

The tent form implies a shelter that is basic, makeshift and unstable. The responses repeat across the tent: empathy, hope, despair, shame and the wish for change. The intention of providing shelter is clear but the tent itself is flimsy; the solution is not yet found and safe haven is not guaranteed. Made up of words, this tent cannot provide stable shelter but does suggest a collective desire for inclusion of those excluded under current policies.

Intent has been shown as part of the 2017 NAS postgraduate exhibition and as part of Moving Hearts at the Migration Museum in London in March 2018.

Cloth from Nauru and Manus Island

People in detention on Manus Island and Nauru participated in the Connecting Hearts Project by writing messages on muslin and sending them to the artist. These messages were published in the Guardian Online in November 2016.

Twenty cloth responses are drawings done by children and families in detention on Nauru during 2016. Twenty written responses are from single men detained on Manus Island during the same period.

Some of these messages have also been displayed as part of other installations, including the Heart Spiral at Circular Quay 2016 and Stairway to the Heart in 2018. In these instances the messages were reproduced as multiple small leaflets, each containing one drawing and one piece of text. Participants in these public installations were invited to take away a leaflet when they wrote their own response.

A further artwork using the original cloth responses is currently being developed.