Berni Searle

Seeking Refuge, 2008
Single-channel video projection, duration: 5 min 56 secs

Seeking Refuge is premised on the idea that “humanity ceaselessly seeks sites of refuge and reference points for values in territories offering possibilities for identifications and putting down roots” (Bamako Encounters African Photography Biennial 2009).
“Rather than dealing with the migration of people from neighbouring African countries, which is often accompanied by traumatic experiences and drastic consequences. In this work, I chose to focus on the tenacity of people to survive in places which are often threatening and harsh, highlighting the instinct for survival and the will or desire to make these new places of encounters ‘home’, guided by the wind, the sun, the stars and the moon. The landscape is explored as a place in which one can ambiguously find a place of rest within the seemingly inhospitable landscape, between day and night, light and dark and one in which there is a potential to be engulfed, succumbing to the extremities that the landscape presents.

Work originally commissioned by Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas, Canary Islands