A few weeks ago I attended the exhibition Bleeding Hearts: Human Rights and Cognitive Dissonance in the Lucky Country by artist Eliza Phillips at the Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey. Eliza Phillips is a mixed media artist who uses vintage and found objects to create thought provoking pieces. Pieces that dig at the very fabric of our society and question our assumptions and prejudices.
The pieces themselves are stunning. Her assured pairing of a model of a human heart with a vintage scale to ask the question, 'What is the cost of human kindness?' was genius. The black baby doll in a vintage pram with the word, stolen, in gold calligraphy across his chest was heart breaking in its vulnerability. Until I saw this exhibition I had no idea art could be used for activism and social justice in such a deep and powerful way.
It was good for me to step outside my safe, everyday bubble and think about much bigger issues. Indigenous rights, women's rights, the plight of refugees are all things we sweep under the carpet. With this confronting and thought provoking exhibition Eliza Phillips forced me to open my eyes and think about how unlucky so many Australians are.