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Unpromised Land
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To find out more about this work, visit it at "Haven".
plant intaglio and print applied to paperclay; glass, water, earth, oil, ash
approx 280 cm x 45 cm


This piece was commissioned for "Haven", an exhibition exploring Tasmania as a place of refuge.

In the 1940s Critchley Parker Junior, a wealthy eccentric with an abiding passion for the development of the Tasmanian frontier, proposed a fanciful scheme for a major re-settlement of Jewish refugees in the wild country around Port Davey. A deluded romantic bent on fulfilling his own neo-biblical prophesies of a ‘New Jerusalem’, Parker disregarded the advice and aspirations of his colleagues, and perished, as the result of his own obsessive failings, in the heart of the Tasmanian wilderness. However well-intentioned, Parker’s plans to create a safe homeland for his Jewish refugees, devoid of conservationist values and more suited to a script from a reality TV survivor program, were doomed, as indeed contemporary Jewish attempts to peacefully settle the Holy Land appear to be.

‘Unpromised Land’ reflects on the links between these two tragic narratives.

Helen Light, Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia, discussed this work when she opened Haven at Craft Victoria in Melbourne. You can read Helen's speech here.


Listen to Pip McManus talk about Critchley Parker  (1 m 38 s, from ABC radio's 'Hindsight', 7 November 2004)