As a non-profit exhibition space striving to show diverse, open and thought-provoking art, we’ve had some excellent group exhibitions at fortyfivedownstairs over the years. One of the more important exhibitions we have hosted was the incredibly moving All We Can’t See: Illustrating the Nauru Files in 2018.
Curated by Arielle Gamble, the exhibition depicted individual interpretations of the leaked Nauru files exposed by The Guardian in 2016, illuminating the stark human cost of Australia’s policies of offshore detention.Distinguished artists including Ben Quilty, Janet Laurence, Abdul Abdullah, Blakdouglas, Stanislava Pinchuk and Hoda Afshar formed a growing visual petition about the urgency of the humanitarian crisis taking place on Manus and Nauru.
All We Can’t See urged viewers to read and engage with these important stories. The Nauru Files are Australian stories. They are the consequence of Australian government policies, and they have shaped our national identity. The question remains today – can we live with these truths?
Proceeds of sales from the show proudly supported the Human Rights Law Centre, and the exhibition was an official event of Melbourne Art Week in August 2018.