Apologies

Apologies, 2018

Engraved Perspex, chains, large bulldog clips, embossed paper and screen-printed paper.  Dimensions variable

This exhibition draws its title from a lesser-known costs appeal by conservative Australian radio host, Andrew Bolt and his media network against Aboriginal woman Pat Eatock in her successful application for a declaration that they had breached section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Despite losing their case, Bolt and the network unsuccessfully attempted to seek legal costs against Eatock on the basis that she had failed to secure a better judgment than their offer to compromise the case; their apology. Etching parts of the judgment and apology onto either side of successively receding and fading Perspex pages, the work asks viewers to consider the framework of colonial histories in which the judgment, the law and apology exist. Accompanied by a series of prints overlaying the judgment in black ink, the work was first displayed in 2018, the 10th anniversary of the then Prime Minister Rudd’s apology to Aboriginal Stolen Generations. It asked viewers in that critical moment to think about the notion of costs; not only in monetary terms, but intergenerational trauma.