MATERIAL WORLD

PRODUCED BY MELBOURNE FESTIVAL FRINGE IN FEDERATION SQUARE

  • DIRECTORS: Jessica Wilson and Ian Pidd
  • DESIGNER / BUIDLER: Alex Sanson
  • PRODUCER: Kath Melbourne
  • PARTICIPANTS: Melbourne Based asylum seekers on bridging visas.

A strange house sits on the pavement of Federation Square; as if it has simply landed in this environment of harsh edges, from another place. It is colourful, eccentric and reminiscent of the gingerbread cottages of fairy tales. On closer inspection, the detail becomes clear.

The house is constructed of thousands of objects and items of clothing. This ‘soft’ and personal collection is sucked into a time-preserving plastic that holds it to the walls. The public experience the house from the outside and then enter the four rooms on the inside. Once through the front door, a maze of rooms unfolds; a wall covered in dolls made over many months, each with a tag and note to a loved one at home; a tiny slot through which an animation is viewed, a kitchen with a story embroidered on the table cloth and a very very small bedroom.

Material World was a collaboration between Melbourne Fringe and participants from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. It was a special project exploring the experience of asylum seekers who come to Australia searching for a home. The nature of this community made it challenging to bring people together for workshops, so we undertook an enormous series of personal visits to individual asylum seekers, with each engaging in the making of an object that contributed to the final 'whole'.