Hope in the Unknown
This piece is from the collection, In The Time of Refuge.
In the 2016 Refuge Lab, my first encounter with Refuge, Susan Davies from Save the Children explained that, at that time, animals were better catered for in relief centres than children.
This statement gave a focus to my work on Refuge and led me to primarily create offerings for and with children and young people.
Places To Go In A Crisis: Heart
Image description: A collage of a teenage boy sitting inside a cocoon of white and cream tulle netting, wool and different textured fabrics. He has a bright and dark red arrangement of material draped around his neck and a cream woollen jumper wrapped around his head so only his face shows. The background is dark violet at the top, fading into light lilac at the bottom.
I have selected three images for this collection from the project In Case Of…, a collaboration with students from St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, a school catering for young people who are disenfranchised and disengaged from education. The images were created by the students working alongside designer Emily Barrie and photographed by Lizzy Sampson.
For the project, they mined their personal experiences of living in crisis and trauma to offer an alternative instruction manual for preparing for a disaster – one that focused on emotional and psychological preparedness.
Places To Go In A Crisis: Red
Image description: A collage of a teenager sits inside a large makeshift cubby house structure of different coloured, textured and patterned materials and a polka-dot umbrella. The background is salmon pink in colour.
These students, who had experienced a range of challenges during their lives, including exclusion from mainstream education, poverty, disadvantage, mental ill-health, child protection and youth justice matters, had much to contribute to a conversation about resilience and navigating uncertainty.
Places To Go In A Crisis: Coconut Island
Image description: A collage of two teenage boys draped in different patterned and textured material sitting on wooden stools gazing out. The boy on the right wears a red and dark green lei around his neck and leans his hand on his chin and the boy on the right holds a yellow cup up to his mouth. The floor is scattered with blue, yellow and white materials and pillows and there are three reals of wool placed either side of them. The background is bright sky blue in colour.
My time working on In Case Of… was guided by a quote from Rebecca Solnit in Hope in The Dark which continues to act as a moral and artistic compass for me in these challenging times.
Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty there is room to act.
Header Image: Nest by Kate Sulan, Refuge 2016: Flood, Photo by Bryony Jackson.
Image description: A woman holding a black texta and wearing a bright orange oversized vest with ‘EXERCISE’ written on the back looks at a large cardboard Cubby Registration sign leaning against a wall. Behind her stands two young children, a girl in a brown Scouts uniform and a boy in a red long sleeved top. A woman stands behind them scratching the back of her head. To the far right on the ground is several cardboard salvation army boxes with blankets inside.
About Kate Sulan