"Tides" Counihan Gallery Melbourne 2002

                © May 2011 George Alamidis
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tides alms to explore indigenous and migrant perspectives on the notion of belonging in Australia in the context of the refugee crisis and the local experience of ethnic diversity.

ln celebration of Reconciliation Week, tides highlights the parallels in experience between indigenous and migrant peoples in relation to the suffering of dispossession, cultural dislocation, alienation and assimilation endured both historically and today by many indigenous and migrant peoples. ln demonstrating the shared nature of their experiences, Tides seeks to stimulate dialogues in the community regarding the transcendence of cultural prejudice.

For many people their identity is deeply and inextricably linked to their sense of belonging to a certain place. The inheritance of generations of ancestral connection with that place is a critical element in the make-up of an individual's sense of who they are. Leaving, whether forcibly or by free will, or having others stake claim over that place can lead to a deep sense of loss and alienation.

Large social and political forces are at play as tides of people come and go everyday to and from places of great cultural diversity, yet the fundamental nature of their experiences of loss and suffering is constant and can be a powerful binding force. The artists involved in tides are both indigenous and migrant people who through collaboration, have actively engaged in an exploration of the commonalities of their changing experiences of belonging.

tides seeks to explore the possibilities of reconciling notions of difference within and between communities in this country and celebrating the great synergy the coexistence of diverse cultures can create.

We would like to acknowledge lan Hunter (Wurundjeri Representative), Multicultural Arts Victoria, Josie Camilleri (KODE) and Maree Clarke, Curator of "A shared' search for belonging ?Lost & found' for their generous assistance with this exhibition.

Louise Allgood & Michelle Guglielmo