Imaging the Margin: Journeys, Borders and living on the edge. Nathalie Hartog-Gautier and Penelope Lee
This exhibition examines the marginalisation of refugees and contemplates our responsibilities as a nation
Imaging the Margin is a collaborative art project being undertaken by Nathalie Hartog-Gautier and Penelope Lee. It situates the medieval illuminated manuscript in a critical and theoretical exposition of memory, place, identity and living on the edge. An interpretation of the margins of illuminated manuscripts as a site of political discourse sees this project examining medieval representations of marginalisation in the context of contemporary Australian art and culture.
To assist in the execution of this project we have been granted access to the rare medieval manuscripts at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris and awarded a residency scholarship by the Art Gallery of New South Wales at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Our examination and analysis of the artistic conventions of medieval manuscripts, available at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal and related library collections, provided a rich and unique source of conceptual and artistic material and ensured more innovative and inspired artworks than would otherwise be possible. The Studio at the Cite provided the ideal creative environment necessary to collate and synthesise the manuscript research, into a meaningful and challenging, contemporary artworks.
By examining and analysing the artistic convention of medieval manuscripts, we aimed to create a unique contemporary large format, hand made artists' book visually modelled on our research findings. Current political commentary and the narrated experiences of Australian migrants and refugees provided the textual content of the book. Graphic 'illuminations', drawn from the medieval model within a contemporary context, will provide the visual content.
We believe that in situating the medieval manuscript in contemporary art practice, this exhibition offers a new perspective on current perceptions of border protection, inter-cultural migration and social marginalisation and that the presentation of such a perspective will be of interest and pertinence to both International and Australian audiences.
Image credit: Nathalie Hartog Gautier & Penelope Lee - Article One 2015