Island Salon celebrates the polyphonic Australian woman’s voice.
A constellation of imaginings, reverie beyond genre.
Cultural politics in the public sphere.
Cicatrice of many, queer, psychic.

Island Salon is open to exploration, expansion and dissection. We collectively enjoy the various implications and connotations of ‘island’ and ‘salon’. We celebrate collaboration, conversation, and contributing new and forever expanding networks to the Australian arts ecology.

ISLAND ~ conjures thoughts of bounded, isolated ecosystems; echoing past journeys, exploration, colonialism, fear, isolation and paradise. Reinforces the need for human relationship and the nature of perseverance and survival albeit without society, technology, civil life. Although typically representing the unknown, island is often valued as a political, spiritual space in the mind. Island’s border is the ocean; elusiveness, mortality, nature, the sublime. Tropical getaway, pirate gateway, illegal refugee colony; luxury tourism, plastic wasteland; tax haven, fresh life. Not without ‘one thing’, waters, nothingness.

“Humans can only live on an Island after forgetting what it represents. Islands are either from before or after humankind”.
Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts

“We are going toward the sea. I have swollen. I am carried away. Sometimes at night love comes up so quickly and so high, and if we have no little boat perhaps it is because we want to roll breathless under the ocean floor.”
Hélène Cixous, The Book of Promethea

“Just look around you: artificial islands mimic genetically manipulated plants. Dental offices parade as car commercial film sets. Cheekbones are airbrushed just as whole cities pretend to be YouTube CAD tutorials”.
Hito Steyerl, Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?

COCKATOO ISLAND. The largest island within the largest city in the largest island in the world was called Waremah by the Eora people. In 1871, the Cockatoo Island prison became a reformatory school called Biloela (Black Cockatoo) for girls and wards of the state. The World Heritage listed island is one of the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts. Cockatoo Island became the Commonwealth Naval Dockyard in 1913, remaining a dockyard until 1992 and has been a Biennale venue since 2008.

“At present these persons, for the most part, are committed to Biloela, and a more unsuitable, unhopeful place cannot well be imagined…Several of them have been sent to a gaol hundred times… One poor creature a woman has recently completed her 400th sentence.”
The Annual Prison report for 1900.

SALON ~ a gathering of self-educated people under the roof of an inspiring host, held to amuse one another, to challenge the taste and knowledge of participation through conversation. Salon presents political views made public, an exchange of ideas and views, a promotion of philosophy and challenge to authority.

Acknowledging the words of Claire Bishop in her book Artificial Hells,
“Participation is important as a project: it rehumanises a society rendered numb and fragmented by the repressive instrumentality of capitalist production. [No longer reliant on the construction of objects to be consumed by a passive bystander], instead, there must be an art of action, interfacing with reality, taking steps – however small – to repair the social bond.”

Island Salon is an ongoing platform for conversation and collaboration, initiated by Sophie Kitson, Angela Garrick, and Danielle Zorbas. Recognising a desire and need for a multitude of voices to be recognised within the Australian arts ecology, the project exists to showcase and foster ongoing representation of female practitioners across a wide range of platforms and practices.

For more information please contact

Join the conversation and like our Island Salon Facebook group.

Island Salon would like to thank Underbelly Arts, NAVA, Young Henrys, Arc at UNSW, Women in the Arts, and all those who have graciously offered their time and help to realise our project in its various incarnations.

Website designed by Chris Petro (c) 2017