The Refugees’ Crisis

An art installation by Terence Quinn MA to be shown at The Oxford Italian Association event in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières on 26 February 2018 at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University. The artwork took its inspiration from the book ‘The Optician of Lampedusa’ by Emma Jane Kirby, published by Penguin.


The Refugees’ Crisis was first exhibited at UAL Camberwell College of Arts MA Show in July 2017.


An artwork inspired by a true story of refugees escaping harrowing lives in their homeland, and eventually striving to reach mainland Europe by sea. Emma Jane Kirby, BBC European Correspondent was one of the first reporters to arrive on the scene in late 2015.

On a boating weekend off Lampedusa, the Italian island’s optician, his wife Teresa and three other couples came across hundreds in the water. ‘The Refugees’ Crisis’ narrates the experience of Leo a refugee rescued from the clutches of the sea after a perilous crossing from Tunisia, and Teresa who was hospitalised by the emotional torment haunting her afterwards.  

The artwork begins with two life-size 3D scanned and printed plaster sculptures (of actors taking the parts of Leo and Teresa), set on transparent plinths surrounded by projections of the sea.

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.18.25

You then don headphones and listen to a binaural recorded narrative which starts as Leo and Teresa unexpectedly discover each other from across the sea, and rises in pace and tone as the situation unfolds.

After that you are able to wear special glasses which enable a view of the physical exhibit with large holograms of the same plaster sculpture of Leo placed all around the room. You can walk around the plaster sculptures and holograms as though all are physically present in the same space.

Here is a short clip of the entire exhibit seen at UAL Camberwell College of Arts through Mixed Reality glasses, the Microsoft HoloLens. This is followed  by the complete film of the two narrators as seen through the HoloLens.

The art installation at UAL Camberwell College of Arts was the subject of a BBC Radio4 iPM documentary featuring Terence Quinn and Emma Jane Kirby.


Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 19.22.13


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s