Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The invisibility of Islamic art in Australia

By Sam Bowke
Ekramy Hanafy – Contemporary Khayamiya, 2014. Hand-stitched cotton applique on canvas. Bowker Collection. Photograph courtesy of Timothy Crutchett
AUSTRALIA---For some Australians, Islamic art might evoke artworks and architecture designed within religious contexts. These are usually centuries old and not located in Australia. The most recent contributions to this field include the extraordinary glitched carpets of Faig Ahmed of Azerbaijan, the feminist photography of Lalla Essaydi and Hassan Hajjaj from Morocco.... If Australians are to engage with Islamic art internationally, we need to participate within the present. The Islamic Museum of Australia (in Thornbury, Melbourne), which opened in 2014, can play an important role in this process as a mediator between researchers in universities, objects in our galleries, and the Australian public. [link]
Phillip George - Inshalla surfboard, 2008, fibre glass, carbon and digital decal. Image courtesy of the artist and the Islamic Museum of Australia