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Refugee and Asylum Seekers Explore the meaning of Home through art

Refugee and Asylum Seekers Explore the meaning of Home through art

26 September 2018

Artwork created by refugees and asylum seekers will be showcased at Walker St Gallery and Arts Centre next month as part of the annual Home Exhibition.

The exhibition celebrates the work of six artists from across Australia and each work touches on what a home is and how the word resonates with different people.

After an extensive EOI process the City of Greater Dandenong and Exhibition Partner IKEA Springvale awarded $1000 to the selected artists to create work for the exhibition.

IKEA Springvale Store Manager Julian Pertile said IKEA Springvale was delighted to be part of the Home Exhibition for 2018.

“This initiative plays a vital role in helping Asylum Seekers and Refugees establish themselves as artists in Australia,” he said.

Comedian and Writer Sami Shah is the exhibition ambassador for 2018 and will attend the opening night in October.

“This is work that is inspiring, it celebrates diversity and more importantly it celebrates adversity,” Shah said.

Greater Dandenong Mayor Councillor Youhorn Chea said the Home exhibition recognises and nurtures the talents of refugee and newly-arrived artists.

This year three of the artists are from Hazara Afghani cultural backgrounds, one is from Tibet, one is from Egypt and another from Iran.

“The City of Greater Dandenong is now officially recognised as Australia’s most culturally diverse community,” he said.

“It is a vibrant and welcoming place and for many refugees and asylum seekers Greater Dandenong is the first place they call home after arriving in Australia.

“For this reason Home seems like a fitting title for an exhibition which celebrates the positive influence refugees continue to have in our community and others.”

This year’s exhibition features the paintings of Tadros Hanna, photographs from Zia Atahi, masks in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition by Lobsang Dhoyou, pyrography by Mirwais Janbaz, installation art works by Adelaide-based Elyas Alavi and prints and drawings from Amir Tehrani Homa.

Cr Chea said each artist was also provided with a mentor to further their artistic pursuits.

“This exhibition creates a space for these artists to meaningfully participate in their new country and their new home,” he said.

“It also assists these artists in developing professional pathways.”

To celebrate the launch of the Home Exhibition Ikea Springvale will also be hosting an artistic workshop on Sunday, 14 October from 11am to 2pm. The miniature art workshop will incorporate live painting on furniture, artwork on display from the Home artists, food tastings and live cultural music.

Home will open at 6.30pm Thursday 18 October at Walker St Gallery and Arts Centre in Dandenong and will run until 24 November.

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