DUNEDIN PUBLIC ART GALLERY //The Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Programme // 2019
As a social practice artist, Tiffany Singh creates socially engaged art outcomes which are based on the importance of cross-cultural dialogues between the artist, community partners, and the audience. Singh’s works often revolve around a defined system of exchange, which invites and encourages both people and objects to move in and out of gallery spaces. These systems of exchange align with organisations specific to the community where the project is taking place – anchoring the interactions, conversations and wellbeing outcomes in the local community.
For the Make A House A Home Project, developed specifically for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Singh is aligning with the Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Programme, Dunedin. As one of seven refugee settlement locations in New Zealand, Dunedin provides multiple levels of support to those establishing new lives here, from day-to-day support and community orientation, to the establishment of housing. Singh has connected this project with the Red Cross’ aim to ‘turn houses into homes for families’ through community donations and support.
In this work Singh has produced 108 handmade prints, which comprise of healing materials such as indigo, turmeric, rose, salts and earth. On four set days, starting on World Refugee Day (20 June), members of the public will be able to donate items to the Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Programme in exchange for one of Singh’s prints. These donated items will be placed on the shelving surround the prints, with the shelving filling up and the grid emptying as the project progresses. At the end of this exhibition, all items will be donated to the Red Cross and divided amongst the families, acting as a small token of welcome and support.
Through this project, Singh has provided a space for individual exchanges to become part of a much larger collective outcome – one that provides the opportunity to consider the new migrants who have entered Dunedin (and Aotearoa), the Red Cross Resettlement Programme and what it means to make a home in a new country. Each print represents one small part of the larger project and its ambitions, forever linking those that have entered the exchange process - Lauren Gutsell, Curator, Dunedin Public Art Gallery