82 cm x 61 cm, ink on paper.
This is a text-based artwork I made to record the statements made by refugees and migrants arriving in Greece and Germany during the summer of 2015. Many have fled war, walked across deserts and crossed seas in small unsafe boats. I watched amazing scenes on TV showing people walking in their thousands along footpaths, railway-lines and motorways to reach Austria and Germany. Many migrants were interviewed by TV presenters as they landed on the coasts of Greek Islands. More were interviewed at railway stations in Austria and Germany. I was struck by how many of them were able to respond in excellent English and only a few needed interpreters at that time. I was affected very emotionally by the stories told by those people, the risks they had taken, the drownings and the journeys that had ended in disaster. The hardships endured by these people made a strong impression on me; and children in particular seemed to be taken to the limits of endurance. What is quite shocking is that thousands of people who followed on after the initial wave, are now 'trapped' in southern and eastern europe, living in tents or sleeping rough with no cooking, washing or other facilities.