Thursday, May 30, 2024

Female muslim art show explores culture and identity

Bankstown Arts Centre’s latest exhibition, In Essence, examines the relationships and formative experiences of artists through a group of female Muslim artists from Canterbury-Bankstown, wider Sydney and Melbourne.

The exhibition is the first by An.Other Collective, a community of Muslim women creatives, and includes 14 artists from Sydney and Melbourne.

Their artworks reflect their experiences as culturally diverse females, children of migrants and mothers, using mediums including installation, sculpture, textile, written word, video, photography, ceramics, printmaking and painting.

Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor, Bilal El-Hayek said In Essence explores the importance of “artist collectives”, which are exhibitions curated by a group of artists under their own management.

“In the art world, the collectives have been on the rise globally,” Mayor El-Hayek said.

“This exhibition is also particularly relevant to the Canterbury-Bankstown community, as it represents the voices of culturally and linguistically diverse women from a Muslim background but are not necessarily of Middle-Eastern descent.”

Curators and exhibition artists, Vina Purwantoro and Wasielah Noorsjamsi said the process of creating the exhibition had been a bonding experience.

“It’s been really nice coming together and making this exhibition possible,” Ms Purwantoro said.

Ms Noorsjamsi said that without each other’s input and collaboration, the group’s work and the exhibition could not have happened.

“This exhibition has allowed us to discover parts of each other we haven’t met before,” she said.

“The process has been incredibly personal and has left us with a stronger sense of sisterhood and camaraderie.”

Exhibition artists are: Farhana Ismail, Fatimah Jannah, Fazilat Rafiq, Hafiroh Santoro, Heba Moubarak, Lia Maula, Lifi Hakim, Mayy Abuljebain, Medina Siregar, Nailah Masagos, Ronia Ibrahim, Saafiyah Hussain, Vina Purwantoro and Wasielah Noorsjamsi.

In Essence will be at the Bankstown Arts Centre from until Saturday 4 November. For more information, visit

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