Immigration Place

An inspiring gathering place for Australians to celebrate their migrant heritage.

MADA undulating campus copper installation

“There is an exceptionally lyrical and powerful quality to this proposal that fascinates, provokes interest and demands exploration. The sculptural expression presented interprets and melds immigration with our indigenous history and looks forward to a progressive Australian future” – Immigration Place Jury

Immigration Place will be a nationally significant commemorative place in the Parliamentary Zone in Canberra. Immigration Place aspires to be a place where Australians and visitors can reflect on and celebrate our migrant history and the contribution of immigrants and immigration to our nation’s community and culture. It will be a meeting place, a focus for collecting and sharing stories and a place of welcome for migrants and new citizens.

Migration is a highly complicated and affectively fragmented experience. For all the many happy and affirmative migration stories one can also frequently describe migration experiences as unsettling and difficult, sometimes even traumatic.

We express this layered and fragmented story of migration in a range of symbolic ways.

In plan our proposal can be approached from a number of key points from the outside, across a field of native grasses. Once inside these break into multiple, rippling pathways that wind around the striated womb like columns and shallow pools of water and landscape. As one moves through the space a proliferation of tiny speakers inside the structure quietly broadcast spoken word recordings of the collected migration stories. The alternately spaced layers of steel used to build the form, echoes both the density of migration experiences and indeed is a graphic illustration of the accumulation of these stories in the National Archive.

Our Immigration Place proposal is simultaneously an elusive object, a poetic immersive environment and a dynamic celebratory gathering place.

Callum Morton, Artist
Andre Bonnice, Monash Art Projects
Nigel Bertram, NMBW
Charlotte Day, Curator
Bob Earl, Oculus
Paul House, Ngambri Custodian
Nikos Papastergiadis, Writer, Theorist
Daniella Trimboli, Writer, Theorist