The heartbreaking and triumphant stories of asylum-seekers, migrants and refugees will be shared in a new exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum opening next week.
As part of Refugee Week 2022, Settled/Unsettled explores the deeply personal and profound stories of war and conflict, and exile and displacement.
Artists include Iraqi born Hedar Abadi who worked as a painter during the dictatorship period of Saddam Hussein before fleeing the war-torn country as a political refugee, Iranian artist Mehrdad MehrAeen who explores themes of loneliness and isolation through his art, and emerging artist Raneen Shamon who fled Iraq via Jordon and arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2017.
Other exhibiting artists include Pakistani-born Mehwish Iqbal, and Australian contemporary artists Angus McDonald and Penny Byrne, exploring the social justice issues facing asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
They are joined by East German-born, Northern Beaches local artist and Archibald Prize finalist Kathrin Longhurst. Her series of ten large portraits of refugees living in greater Sydney aim to empower women.
“I hope to build a connection between cultures, communities and social backgrounds and to bring these faces to a larger audience around the country, creating understanding and insight through these paintings.”
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said Council was proud to share the stories of migrants and refugees.
“From heartbreaking to empowering, these stories will challenge us to think about how we can all welcome and support asylum-seekers, migrants and refugees in our community,” Mayor Regan said.
“Take a look through the lens of an asylum seeker, refugee or new migrant and explore what it means to be exiled, displaced, unsettled and then settled.”
The free exhibition runs from 24 June to 31 July 2022. Settled/Unsettled is presented in partnership with Settlement Services International, supported by Community Northern Beaches and The Social Outfit.