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3 October – 2 November

HOME is an exhibition for artists with an asylum seeker and refugee background. The exhibition showcases artists as artists, rather than framing their art practice within the bounds of their migration story. Their artwork may or may not speak about the refugee experience. Instead their works reflect their interests as artists.

In 2019, HOME continues its ambition to showcase emerging and established artists from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds and celebrate the enormous contribution that they bring to our community, both in the City of Greater Dandenong and beyond.

To further their development and accelerate their access to Australian art opportunities, the artists in HOME have been provided with a mentor. The mentors assist the artists with both creative and art industry development advice. In 2019, the mentors are Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Mohamed Abumeis and Shini Pararajasingham. Each artist has also been awarded $1,000 courtesy of IKEA Springvale to assist with the preparation of their artworks for this exhibition.

The works in the exhibition cover a diverse range of ideas and issues, many which we are all grappling with, from change to sustainability to peace. The resounding theme that echoes throughout the exhibition is one of identity – finding, creating and celebrating our own individual identities and where we fit in broader society –feeling at home within ourselves, within our community and within our world.

The City of Greater Dandenong is now officially recognised as Australia’s most culturally diverse city. It is a vibrant and welcoming place and for many refugees and asylum seekers is the first place they call home after arriving in Australia. It is 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.

HOME will be on exhibition at Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre from Thursday 3 October to Saturday 2 November 2019. The exhibition launch event is on Saturday 5 October from 2pm to 4pm.  The exhibition and its launch event are free for the public.

Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre is open to the public Tuesday to Friday, 11am–5pm and Saturday, 11am–3pm during exhibitions and events (closed public holidays).


Exhibition opening Exhibition Dates Workshops and Events

About the Artists

Baaqiy Ghazali

Baaqiy Ghazali

Baaqiy Ghazali is a Malaysian born, Melbourne-based visual artist and illustrator. She graduated with Bachelor of Design (Architecture) from Deakin University in 2015. Her works include paintings, drawings, murals and small sculptures. Baaqiy has exhibited widely in Melbourne and across Australia.

Inspired by observations of her surroundings as well as her triumphs and losses, her figurative style is heavily inspired by Japanese manga, the natural world, fantasy beings and landscapes. Her work showcases the influence of her life in Malaysia and Australia, as well as her transition from male to female.

Read information about a workshop which Baaqiy Ghazali will be running on Saturday 26 October

Salah Murad

Salah Murad is a Melbourne-based artist whose multi-disciplinary practice includes drawing, painting, clay modeling and metalwork. Salah has been exhibiting in Melbourne since 2014 at the Mesopotamia Art Group, the Al-Anqae festival and the Al-Shanasheel Festival. He has previously worked and exhibited at Bashford Gallery and Franklin Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, the USA and has shown extensively in galleries and festivals across Baghdad and Jordan.

Salah’s vibrant and colourful works are inspired by childhood, and his works often explores the theme of peace.

Salah Murad
Sha Sarwari

Sha Sarwari

Sha Sawari is a multidisciplinary visual artist born in Afghanistan, who has lived in Australia for the past 18 years. Sha holds a diploma of Graphic Design, a Bachelor of Fine Art, and an Honours degree in Visual Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Sha has held numerous solo exhibitions across Australia as well as participating in many group exhibitions. He has received multiple prizes for his work, such as a High Commendation and The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, 2015 and the Fiona Myer Award for Excellence, VCA, 2018.

Inspired by Francisco Goya’s famous etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Sha’s most recent work A Moth to a Flame refers to the contemporary situation of refugees and asylum seekers. In this work, the subject is wearing a traditional Afghani cloth made of silk on which printed news clippings of negative reports of refugees are printed.

Zakiria Tahirian

Trained at the Hatif Art School in Pakistan, Zakiria Tahirian is now a practicing artist based in Melbourne. Zakiria has previously exhibited as part of HOME, as well as widely both in Australia and internationally. In addition to his artistic practice, Zakiria has also worked as a curator, exhibitions coordinator and workshop facilitator.

Zakiria’s recent series of work shines a spotlight on daily life and explores our own personal lives and surroundings, using his own experiences as inspiration.

Zakiria Tahirian
Zahra Ali and Saba Hakim

Zahra Ali and Saba Hakim

Zahra Ali is a Melbourne-based artist and designer studying her first year of a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Architecture. Zahra’s practice includes textiles, digital design, drawing, painting, calligraphy and woodwork and her work often combines Middle Eastern and Australian influences.

Saba Hakim is a Melbourne-based artist. Since settling in Australia, Saba has raised a family and become a successful Intellectual Property and Business Lawyer and established MADE (Muslim Adolescent Development & Education) an organisation that uses visual arts with children and adolescents as a form of expression and exploration of important issues such as identity, culture, belonging and spirituality.

For HOME 2019, mother and daughter Saba and Zahra will be intricately painting a large wooden chest with vibrantly coloured Islamic rosette patterns and floral motifs, replacing the generic flowers with Australian flora. The work will be created from recycled and second-hand materials exemplifying the concept of a second chance in which to flourish. The work reflects the necessity of this mixed cultural interaction in encapsulating and forming their identity, as well as how much they treasure the jewels that both worlds have given them – their ‘treasure chest’.

     Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre      HOME 2019 is proudly
supported by IKEA Springvale


Image credits: (Top to Bottom) Zakiria Tahirian, Untitled, ink and gold on paper, 2019. Baaqiy Ghazali, sacred place, ink on paper. Salah Murad, Dance, acrylic on board, 2009. Sha Sarwari, A moth to a flame, digital photograph, 2019. Zakiria Tahirian, Untitled, ink and gold on paper, 2019. Saba Hakim and Zahra Ali, Untitled, fabric. Courtesy of the artist.