11 December 2004–29 January 200511 Dec 2004–29 Jan 2005
Pat Hoffie’s exhibition, titled Drift, considers the SIEV incidents (the acronym for Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel), and in particular the SIEV X incident of October 2001. It resulted in the loss of 353 lives of the 400 passengers, and has, as a consequence as Hoffie noted, merged with all the other SIEV incidents in the Australian public consciousness. The ensuing controversy concentrated on Australian actions as directed by the federal government. What was the right course of action, as the human tragedy was unfolding? The official government position shifted the ethical issue to a political one: the refugees became pawns in a debate.