Collection Online

welcome to Australia
2004

Artist/s name
Medium
type C photograph
Measurements
110.8 x 224.4 cm (image) 127.0 x 239.3 cm (sheet)
Place/s of Execution
Woomera, South Australia
Edition
ed. 3/7
Accession Number
2005.499
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds from the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2005
© Courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

This photograph depicts the exterior of the former Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre in South Australia. In December 2004, Laing obtained permission to photograph the site, one that became notorious for the treatment of detainees. In 2003, as a result of intense public pressure, the Australian Government closed the centre and moved the detainees to Port Baxter. Woomera remains, however, a notorious place in the Australian consciousness.

The artist has stated that Welcome to Australia represents ‘a wedge through the landscape – a blockage, an eyesore, an echo of controversy and a closing off in terms of both a view and a sense of possibilities of Australian identity’.