Peter Adams

  • Boat People by Peter Adams

    Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People by Peter Adams

    Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People by Peter Adams

    Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams

    Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams

    Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams

    Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams

    Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams
  • Boat People (detail) by Peter Adams

What's an artist supposed to do? For sure, aesthetics is a very large consideration in my sculpture, but the real passion for me involves moving beyond the boundaries of beauty and into the political/social/environmental arena.

We certainly need to surround ourselves with beauty, but the question I pose is this: can a message be told within the aesthetic?

Since 2003, I have carved two Boat People sculptures, each carrying several 'passengers', and a more substantive nine-boat fleet of people seeking asylum away from the ravages of their countries of origin. As I nestled each stone (person) into its berthing, I would be moved, sometimes to tears, sometimes to anger, but always to frustration at Australia's two major political parties - Labour and Liberal - for demonising people fleeing war zones: war zones usually the result of our country's involvement in the bombing of their homeland.

The Boat People sculptures are a simple means of expressing that a journey anywhere involves risk. Not just 'a risk well worth taking', but a risk born of necessity. Whether it's Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or elsewhere, no family wants to leave the place of their birth. To get on a boat is a perilous journey. But it sure beats being executed.

Peter Adams is a sculptor and environmental activist who lives and works in Tasmania.

Website: www.windgrove.com

The work of Peter Adams is further explored in Jay Griffith's article Sailing for Sanctuary, published in the March/April 2016 issue of Resurgence & Ecologist.

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