From 21 December 2019, join us in our Forum community gallery to discover the Connecting Hearts project. Artist Penny Ryan’s work was developed in response to Australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers, and has travelled around the world since 2016. The project invites members of the public to make anatomically-correct human hearts from clay, then inscribe messages on their creations to express connection to people moving across the globe to seek refuge. This art activism presents an opportunity for individuals to become part of the collective, and actively ponder our shared, connected humanity.
In March 2019 Ryan held ten workshops at the Migration Museum to teach visitors to make clay hearts, and discuss the current situation for those seeking refuge. Some participants were recent arrivals, some had been in Australia for decades, others had family connections spanning generations. In total, 188 visitors made 461 hearts, which were then brought together for a large spiral installation on the Confer Lawn at Adelaide Botanic Garden. Visitors to the garden were invited to walk the spiral, pick up a heart, unwrap it and record a response to the question ‘who belongs?’
Connecting Hearts: who belongs? brings together Penny Ryan’s artwork, Australian grass-roots activism, and individual, delightful artistic creations in a display of hundreds of clay hearts, as well as messages of hope, friendship and support for those who need it most.
Connecting Hearts: who belongs? Opens 21 December 2019 and runs until 30 June 2020