The Australian government's attitude towards asylum seekers and immigrants has inspired many things: anger, disbelief, sadness, public outcry, plenty of well-written words and more. In Michelle Stemm, it has sparked a series of silverware pieces, with the silversmith combining her research into the impact of human migration and her chosen art form.
Displaying at Artisan from August 26 to November 4, Empathy to Infiltration is the end result — and you won't find any ordinary silver platters here. The showcase visually depicts Stemm's findings through reclaimed serving items decked out with familiar symbols and recognisable motifs. Each creation is designed to express messages that Stemm considers pivotal in shaping the way the country currently thinks and feels about refugees.
If you didn't think tableware could make a statement, you haven't seen this. To inform her work, the Brisbane-based practitioner conducted one-on-one interviews and researched social and print media in 2016.