|Image: My Woomera Project|
An imposing Ikara missile, reconstructed in plywood and at actual size, is the centre of My Woomera Project (What do you fear?) The video installation uses the Ikara missile as a way to explore the nature of politically or culturally institutionalised fears within the Australian context.
The Ikara missile was developed by the Australian military in the 1960s. It is somewhat like a small, unmanned plane that is designed to launch torpedoes at distant submarines. Ikara missiles were tested at the Woomera Missile Testing Range and deployed by the Australian, British and Brazilian navies.
For this project, the Ikara is a symbolic object, evoking the changing resonance of Woomera as a place and its long and troubled history: from missile and atomic testing range to asylum-seeker detention centre.
Hennessey is interested in exploring two notions, what the artist describes as "firstly the changing nature of Woomera, and its relation to Australia's perception of itself as under threat; and secondly the juxtaposition of what we are supposed to fear as a nation and what we fear as individuals."