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Australian art

Contemporary art

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By your side



Claudia Nicholson

Colombia, Australia

1987 -

In collaboration with Miss L, Miss J, Miss M, Miss H, Miss V and Miss T


By your side 2019 was co-created by artist Claudia Nicholson and six young people whose families are currently seeking asylum in Australia. Nicholson often collaborates with community groups, such as choirs and dancers, to create performances that celebrate their shared experiences.

In the work, the young people perform a dance that they choreographed with each other. They dance in pairs, with their sister or cousin, and are dressed in their own clothes with lo-fi disguises. Matching sweatshirts and sequinned dresses meet plastic superhero masks and bright green face paint. These costumes mix play and make-believe with an everyday reality – many people seeking asylum do not have their faces documented in public due to the risks they, their friends and their families may face here or back home.

By your side is a powerful expression of who these young people are, their connection to each other, and their imaginative independence. It explores the sense of belonging that comes from a connection felt between people – a deep bond that is carried across time and geography – as well as acknowledges the complexities that arise from the very concept of ‘belonging’.

Videography: Akil Ahamat and EO Gill
Editing: Akil Ahamat
Dramaturge: Sarah Rodigari
Music: Chun Yin Rainbow Chan




Media category

Time-based art

Materials used

three channel digital video, colour, sound


1/1 +1AP


duration: 00:03:38 min, aspect ration: 16:9


Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2020


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Claudia Nicholson

Works in the collection


Artist information

In collaboration with Miss L, Miss J, Miss M, Miss H, Miss V and Miss T

Works in the collection