Migration as Art

National Exhibition Register

  • Border Protection
    Stephen Copland Border Protection, 2007
    oil on canvas on ply
    miniatures-various sizes

About the exhibition

This exhibition will open a space for critical investigation and dialogue into the subject of migration and the role of visual arts practice being incorporated into this discourse. The exhibition will investigate an archive of visual art from 1990-2010, the close of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century by Australian artist Stephen Copland.

This exhibition demonstrates a mobility of art practice where as a consequence of the investigation of travel and migration, three series of interdisciplinary works united by the subject of human movement (forced and unforced) separated by time and the sociological shifts during that time and space.

In an era of global mobility and border debates Copland’s art contributes to the symbolic and subjective aspects of identities in transit and offers audiences new interpretations and insights into their own migrations and experiences.

The archive represents two decades of visual art interpreting themes of migration: migration for family reunion, the migration of asylum seekers and a personal migration for work as a single continuous body of work. The focus of the archive is revealing how artists can contribute to the ongoing debate around migration and human rights through art.

  • The Migration Series (1992-2002) Heritage and identity
  • Raft-The Drifting Border (2004-2014) Seeking asylum
  • Transit (2007-2013) Migration for work


“The Migration Series” (1992-2002) describes the discovery of my Cuban grandmother’s diary that led to a decade of national and international exhibitions into heritage and identity. The second series, “Raft-The Drifting Border” (2004-2012) is an ongoing body of art interpreting the darker side of migration and refugees seeking asylum in Australia. The third series titled, “Transit” (2007-2013) is a series of artworks that interprets the symbolic and subjective aspects of identities in transit in a globalised world. The archive develops a narrative between personal stories, identity and political observations over two decades.

Artists and Curator

Meredith Brice

Stephen Copland

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
30/09/2019 - 01/02/2022
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Audio Descriptions, Catalogue/Book, Education Kit, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Mobile Phone App, Public Program Opportunities, Public Workshops
Primary contact
Meredith Brice
0434 912 963
Secondary contact
Stephen Copland
0452 373 731