Ship of fools

an exhibition by Therese Ritchie 2004


I have lived and worked in the Northern Territory for twenty years enjoying a quality of life unique to this environment whilst Indigenous friends and communities experience increasing calamity and social dysfunction that is nothing short of traumatic.

I feel as if I live in a ‘crash site’ where cultural differences create paradox and collisions. Where an infectious ‘front line’ trauma eats into the sense of community and faith, whilst inspiring a raw emotional language that has defied political reasoning, government policy, projection or aspiration.

The aim of Ship of Fools, is to express my experiences within this ‘crash site’.

The body of work relies upon already established pictorial concepts and ideas demonstrated in existing artworks from Australia’s past and juxtaposes these with contemporary images and photographs. The end result is a series of large digital prints and a corresponding narrative, created over a two year period spent visiting and documenting the activities and behaviour of the people (and animals) who inhabit or ‘use’ the Darwin coastline from the Nightcliff Jetty to Bullocky Point.