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Rug Emporium (5)

Melissa Usher

Issue #67, April 2004

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These images of patched, worn but richly worked carpets echo the adjustments made when people have to leave their home and culture behind because it is no longer safe to remain there. At this time, the images particularly relate to peoples of the Middle East who have fled and arrive in Australia.

The carpets are patched together, sections from burnt, torn and damaged rugs joined up to make a new whole piece, some carpets have at least one section "raw", plain, without patterning, indicating the new country and culture that the person is confronted with and has yet to learn to fit into. They have not had the opportunity to make steps toward integrating into their new country, and the opposite, that the established inhabitants of the new country have themselves not had any opportunity for contact with the new arrivals, is also true.

That the carpets are torn and patched indicates the trauma that was experienced by the carpet owner both before they fled their homeland, and on the journey to safety.

Ochres of the desert - carpet image by Melissa Usher
Ochres of the harsh Australian desert.
Many Asylum Seekers, are detained behind razor wire, vast distances from the Australian community while their credibility is assessed. This incarceration is known to take as long as 3-4 years.


Desert terrain - carpet image by Melissa Usher
A scarf and misaligned strips of patterned carpet are laid on top but not permanently fixed to the rough terrain of the Australian desert.


Copyright © 2004 by Melissa Usher. All images copyright © 2004 Melissa Usher. All rights reserved.

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