Talking our way home, by noted Adelaide artist Shaun Kirby, is an installation of five glass and steel boats on the River Torrens. The origami-like boats appear translucent and fragile. It suggests movement and transport, and the idea of a journey.
Kirby was born in London in 1958. In the mid-1960s, he and his family migrated to South Australia by ship. Many Britons moved to Australia after the Second World War on the Australian Government’s “Ten-Pound Pom” assisted migration scheme. It was meant to boost the population, under Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell’s mantra “populate or perish”.
Kirby lived at the Elder Park Migrant Hostel, on the site of the present Adelaide Festival Centre. His installation is intentionally nearby. The piece evokes the artist’s own journey and one many new Australians took at the time.