Pillars of Déplacement

Photograph of a pillar made of stacked bright orange life jackets

Event details

MC Square
687 Doncaster Road
VIC 3108


Artist Paul Handley’s Pillars of Déplacement traces his journey through the migrant settlement camps of Europe to the island shores of Lesbos, variously between 2016 and 2019, a period of social and political flux for the region. Geopolitical tensions and conflict at this time in countries including Syria and Afghanistan led to the displacement of thousands of people who were forced to seek refuge in foreign lands.

Despite it being a fundamental human right to seek asylum, this flow of refugees destabilised social fabrics across multiple communities and led to a wave of resistance from governments and local communities in the areas where the refugees sought asylum.

This exhibition represents the artist’s firsthand experience of this tension through a collection of documentary images, objects and artworks that stand as symbols hope, such as his sculptures inspired by the life-jacket graveyards of Lesbos. The exhibition acts as an artistic shrine to all the displaced and lost across the globe and throughout history, spurring reflection on migration and people movement and the ramifications it has on communities and countries.

Exhibition opening

Featuring opening remarks from Manningham Mayor Cr. Andrew Conlon, as well as Paul Handley in conversation with Manningham Art Gallery curator, Davey Warnock.

When: Saturday 17 April, 2.00pm to 3.30pm.
Cost: This is a free event but places are limited. 

Artist talk

Join Paul Handley for a conversation about his experiences travelling through the migrant camps of Europe and the process of translating those experiences into artworks.

When: Thursday 22 April, 11.00am to 12.00pm.
Cost: This is a free event but places are limited. 

Portable Protest Pod - workshop for youth (13-18yrs)

In this workshop for secondary school-aged youth, participants will discuss the history of protest and the art of creating impactful signs and performances.

When: Saturday 1 May, 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
Cost: Tickets are $5 per person. Places are limited. 


Image: Paul Handley, Pillars, 2021, wallpaper pigment print, 240 x 360cm.


More Information

Manningham Art Gallery

Located at the entrance to MC Square, Manningham Art Gallery presents a diverse range of contemporary art exhibitions and related public programs throughout the year. See all upcoming exhibitions.