The following is an extract from our opening speech at HYPHENATED. All images courtesy of Gianna Rizzo.
One thing I love most about being a part of Peril is evenings like this one – being able to collaborate with Asian-Australian writers, artists, performers and curators. Learning from them, and standing alongside them to change the game when it comes to how Australian writing and art is represented.
It was such a pleasure to have been able to commission these poems to respond to the works of the Hyphenated artists, many of whom we have interviewed and featured, or have written or edited for Peril in the past. A special shout-out to Nikki Lam, our inaugural Visual Arts Editor.
I’d like to offer my gratitude and appreciation to Eunice Andrada, Eileen Chong, Jeet Thayil and Eleanor Jackson, for responding so thoughtfully and making new meaning from the works exhibited here tonight. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to collaborate with you—including Janette Hoe, our performer this evening—and of course the powerhouse curators behind Hyphenated, Tammy and Phoung, and Kali at The Substation.
Poetry and art are both forms that speak to us on our most basic level, we respond to it physically. We speak to it and it to us. For the makers, it is how we understand the world and our place in it. Thank you for allowing Peril to share this space, and my thanks to the Australian Council for providing us the support to make this project happen. And here’s to our own inexorable Eleanor Jackson and Allison Chan for doing all you do for Peril.
Before I leave you all to what I’m sure will be an excellent night of art and poetry, I’d like to thank you, too, for being a part of this conversation. Here’s to many more to come.