No Looking Back

Islam and Identity in Contemporary Australian Art

  • Sam Bowker CSU
Keywords: Islam, Australian, Art, Contemporary, Muslim

Abstract

This is a critical review of changes in the two years since I wrote “The Invisibility of Islamic Art in Australia” for The Conversation in 2016. This includes the National Museum of Australia’s collaborative exhibition “So That You May Know Each Other” (2018), and the rise of the Eleven Collective through their exhibitions “We are all affected” (2017) in Sydney and “Waqt al-Tagheer – Time of Change” (2018) in Adelaide. It considers the representation of Australian contemporary artists in the documentary “You See Monsters” (2017) by Tony Jackson and Chemical Media, and the exhibition “Khalas! Enough!” (2018) at the UNSW.

These initiatives demonstrate the momentum of generational change within contemporary Australian art and literary performance cultures. These creative practitioners have articulated their work through formidable public networks. They include well-established and emerging artists, driven to engage with political and social contexts that have defined their peers by antagonism or marginalisation.

There has never been a ‘Golden Age’ for ‘Islamic’ arts in Australia. But as the Eleven Collective have argued, we are living in a time of change. This is an exceptional period for the creation and mobilisation of artworks that articulate what it means to be Muslim in Australia.

References

Aucott, Belinda. ‘Review: Enough! Khalas!’ UNSW Galleries. ArtsHub, Friday 6 July 2018. https://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/visual-arts/belinda-aucott/review-enough-%D8%AE%D9%84%D8%B5-khalas-unsw-galleries-256030

Aydemir, Cigdem. 'Image and Voice: Muslim Women in Contemporary Art'. MA Thesis submitted August 2015 for the University of Sydney. 62 pages. http://cigdemaydemir.com/aydemir_ca_thesis.pdf

Balla, Paola. ‘Work to Be Done’ in frieze, issue 199, November/December 2018 (Accessed 31 October 2018) https://frieze.com/article/across-australia-artists-are-disrupting-colonial-mindset

Bowker, Sam. “The Invisibility of Islamic Art in Australia.” The Conversation. 28 July 2015. https://theconversation.com/the-invisibility-of-islamic-art-in-australia-44714

Catalogue for No Added Sugar - https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/32338026/no-added-sugar-catalogue-casula-powerhouse

Nicholls, Christine. ‘Waqt al-Tagheer: Time of change” The Conversation 2 March 2018. https://theconversation.com/waqt-al-tagheer-time-of-change-explores-the-diversity-of-muslim-australian-identities-91916

Cue, Pamela. ‘Fashion Diplomacy in Action: Showcasing Australian Modest Fashion in Malaysia’ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2018 https://blog.dfat.gov.au/2018/01/22/fashion-diplomacy-in-action-showcasing-australian-modest-fashion-in-malaysia/comment-page-1/

Deep Dirt Collective, “You Will Not Be Easily Erased” 2016 (Artspace, Sydney) https://www.artspace.org.au/program/ideas-platform/2016/deep-dirt-collective-you-will-not-be-easily-erased/ (Accessed 10 December 2018)

DFAT/CAAR - Rekindling: An Australian Islamic Artisans Tour of Morocco. 7 September 2018 https://dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/foundations-councils-institutes/caar/grants/grantees/Pages/rekindling-an-australian-islamic-artisans-tour-of-morocco.aspx

Dow, Steve. ‘I have a post 9-11 mentality: Creating art while Muslim in Australia’ The Guardian. Thursday 1 March 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/mar/01/i-have-a-post-911-mentality-creating-art-while-muslim-in-australia

Dunn, Kevin, Rosalie Atie, Virginia Mapedzahama, Mehmet Ozalp, Adem F. Aydogan. The Resilience and Ordinariness of Australian Muslims. Report from the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia and the School of Social Sciences and Psychology of Western Sydney University. 30 November 2015. http://apo.org.au/node/59176

Eleven (edited by Nur Schkembi). Waqt al-tagheer: Time of Change ACE Open, Adelaide. 3 March – 21 April 2018. https://eleven-collective.com/projects/

Fairley, Gina. ‘Review: Waqt al-Tagheer - Time of Change’ ArtsHub. Wednesday 14 March 2018 http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/visual-arts/gina-fairley/review-waqt-al-tagheer-time-of-change-255369

Frangos, Daniela. ‘A Time of Change’ Broadsheet 26 February 2018.

Goldie, Matthew Boyd. Imagining the Antipodes: Place, People and Voices. Routledge. 2009

Jackson, Tony, David Collins and Zac Grant. You See Monsters. Documentary film. Directed by Tony Jackson. Melbourne: Chemical Media, 2017. URL: https://www.youseemonsters.com/

Knights, Mary. ‘From nothingness to belonging’, The Australian 21 September 2011. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/visual-arts/out-of-nothingness/news-story/0dd835431ddbaba814697fc199101e21 and also Longing Belonging (AGNSW) 1997 https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/207.2002.a-b/

Lien, Julie ‘No Added Sugar: Engagement and Self-Determination.’ Artlink. September 2012. https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/3860/no-added-sugar-engagement-and-self-determination/

Morsi, Yassir. ‘Melbourne’s Islamic Museum of Australia: The white washed ‘I’ as an Apollonian celebration of liberal myths’ Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 16 June 2015.

Moulton, Kimberley. ‘Sovereign Art and the Colonial Canon: Are We Lost Until We Are Found?’ Sovereignty, 1995, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.

Neale, Margo. ‘Learning to be Proppa’, ArtLink. March 2010 https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/3359/learning-to-be-proppa-aboriginal-artists-collecti/

Neylon, John. ‘ACE Open welcomes patterns of change with Waqt al-Tagheer.’ Adelaide Review. 6 March 2018.

Patrikios, Alexandra. ‘Crooked Rib Art’ Broadsheet. 30 September 2010 https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/art-and-design/crooked-rib (Accessed 10 December 2018)

Pelican Magazine ‘There is no one kind of Muslim art: Words with curator Hamida Novakovich’. August 12, 2016 http://pelicanmagazine.com.au/2016/08/12/no-one-kind-muslim-art-words-curator-hamida-novakovich/

Ryan, Louise. ‘Negotiating Difference: Islamic Identity on Display.’ Presented at the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Conference in Adelaide, 22-24 November, 2011. Published by the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia. 2012.

Shaw, Wendy M. K. ‘The Islamic in Islamic Art History: Secularism and Public Discourse’ Journal of Art Historiography. Number 6, June 2012.

Shkembi, Nur. (et al) Waqt al-Tagheer: Time of Change. Adelaide: ACE Open. 2018.

Silkatcheva, Ana. ‘Islamic Art at the National Museum is spectacular, but misses opportunities to bridge a cultural gap.’ The Conversation. 5 July 2018 https://theconversation.com/islamic-art-at-the-national-museum-is-spectacular-but-misses-opportunities-to-bridge-a-cultural-gap-99364

Smith, Barnaby. ‘Cigdem Aydemir on race relations and cultural identity’ Art Guide Australia. 1 December 2017. https://artguide.com.au/cigdem-aydemir-on-race-relations-and-cultural-identity
Published
2019-07-17
Section
Articles