justiceINjustice: 24 MARCH – 20 MAY 2018
Curated by CAROLYN MCKAY
OPENING 6PM FRIDAY 23 MARCH 2018
90 Hunter Street Newcastle NSW 2300
Wednesday to Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 11am – 3pm
About the Work No System to Fail
No System to Fail is a multi channel site-specific installation made in response to the aboriginal deaths in custody case of Eddie Russell. Eddie Russel was a profoundly intellectually disabled young indigenous man who suffered from hearing loss and a history of PTSD who took his own life in Long Bay Jail while supposedly under “observation” in December 1999. His death was subject to the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and he was also subject to the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In 1993, he was badly beaten and racially vilified by eleven officers of the Bathurst police force, the effects of which gave him night terrors and further debilitated his condition for the rest of his life.
Save for a powerful few, save for a few in authority, those seeking justice all too often find injustice. Justice for those on the margins, those who are poor, with a disability or in a minority, is all too often elusive.
justiceINjustice is a collaborative exhibition featuring seven contemporary Australian artists and three criminal lawyers. Through this project, miscarriages of justice, official corruption, wrongful detention, investigative failures and mistreatment of those on the margins will be explored via several high-profile cases that underline issues of the injustice and marginalisation.
This significant project has been developed with lawyers Karen Wells, Ray Watterson and Robert Cavanagh. Cavanagh and Watterson are co-founders of the internationally acclaimed University of Newcastle Legal Centre, highly regarded for their public interest advocacy work. Wells developed her approach to the practice of law through working on public interest cases whilst a student at the Legal Centre.
justiceINjustice will include the commissioning of six new works developed through a unique process of research and collaborative conversation between the artists and lawyers who have been directly involved with the particular case each artist is addressing. Case material, information about the inner workings of each case, the lawyers’ perspectives, and conversations with family members, have enabled the artists to produce deeply informed works that give audiences new ways of considering cases well known through the media.
Cases include the high profile public interest cases of Cornelia Rau, Roni Levi, Azaria Chamberlain, Eddie Russell, Kathleen Folbigg and a number of Hunter missing children’s cases. Cases have been included with the knowledge or permission of clients and/or their family members wherever possible. Curated by artist and criminologist Carolyn McKay (University of Sydney Law School) in collaboration with The Lock-Up, the exhibition features artists Corinne Brittain, Rob Cleworth, Blak Douglas, John A Douglas, Leah Emery, Lezlie Tilley and Richard Lewer.