Sydney-based artist Alex Seton is best known for his refined technical skill in carving Wombeyan marble, a legacy of his childhood growing up in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales near a local quarry. His multi-disciplinary practice incorporates photography, video, sculpture and installation to develop a relationship between the various language structures of these mediums.
In his marble works, ephemeral everyday items including clothing, inflatable objects and our nation’s flag become enduring relics of our culture, provoking a contradiction between the material’s permanence and the subject’s ostensible plasticity.
“‘Refoulement’ continues a body of work begun about asylum seekers with Someone died trying to have a life like mine, taking up the issue from firmly on our shores. It asks us to consider the attempts of people to reach Australia at great personal risk and the safety and privilege in which we live our day-to-day lives. The works in Refoulement do not offer simple readings of the complex and problematic issue of asylum seekers. Rather inflatable life boats and palm trees embody the double standard at the heart of the issue; they are both rock solid and full of hot air. Upright life jackets stand for the individuals risking their lives at sea to reach our shores, each with their own story.”