Matthew Galloway

The Freedom of the Migrant

16 May — 23 Jun


Image: The Freedom of the Migrant, Matthew Galloway.

The Freedom of the Migrant

Matthew Galloway

Exhibition Preview: Wednesday 15 May, 5.30pm
Exhibition Runs: Thursday 16 May—Sunday 23 June

Thursday 16 May, 12pm: Exhibition talk with Matthew Galloway & Jamie Hanton

In 2016, it was reported that Sir John Key presented a startling economic forecast to members of the Auckland business community. He speculated that if an Isis operative posing as a refugee during the migrant crisis carried out a terrorist attack in the heart of Europe, it would benefit New Zealand by making our country more attractive to high net-worth consumers looking to escape constant uncertainty and instability.

The report, written by NZME Head of Business Fran O’Sullivan, and published in the New Zealand Herald on 26 March 2016, questions how New Zealand politicians could position this country to take advantage of its perceived distance from current global forces, as a bolthole deep in the South Pacific.

The Freedom of the Migrant explores the central themes introduced in Key’s hypothesis, addressing the impact and legacy of dominant political narratives constructed around terrorism and refugees, and their influence on our collective perceptions of border control, freedom of movement, and national identity.

The Freedom of the Migrant (2019) builds upon an exhibition of the same title curated by Lauren Gutsell and Lucy Hammonds, and developed and exhibited at Dunedin Public Art Gallery 21 April – 12 August 2018.

The Physics Room and Matthew Galloway would like to thank Signtech for their generous support of this exhibition.


Based in Dunedin, Matthew Galloway holds a MFA (2012) from the University of Canterbury. His research-based practice is concerned with the potential for art to challenge the status-quo and uses the tools and methodologies of design to investigate issues of identity, understanding of place, and the political implications of both. In 2016, Galloway participated in ARTifariti Biennale, Tindouf, Algeria. In 2016, he received a Merit Award at the National Contemporary Art Awards for Fountain is a Copy? — a collaboration with Ella Sutherland.

Recent solo exhibitions include: The Freedom of the Migrant, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2018); The Ground Swallows You, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, NZ (2016). Recent group exhibitions include: Provincia 53. Art, Territory And Decolonisation, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Leon, Spain (2017); Melfas. Línea orgánica, Museo de arte contemporáneo del Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); This Time of Useful Consciousness, The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, NZ (2017); Beyond Exhausted, The Physics Room, Christchurch, NZ (2016); grammars, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, NZ (2016); Beachhead’s PEACE OF MIND, Artspace, Auckland, NZ (2016).