Casula Power House Art Centre presents a landmark exhibition Refugees bringing together more than 65 works by 22 world- renowned artists – including Yoko Ono, Ai Wei and Anish Kapoor – each of whom share a refugee background. The exhibition was opened the last July 29th and will run until September 11th 2016.
Last Friday I attended this interesting exhibition, where the focus is on “Refugees” a combination of modern and contemporary art, are expressed through of great artists whose experiences are reflected in one of the themes that has until now been very controversial and politicised.
Artists like Khadim Ali, Frank Auerbach, Christian Boltanski, Yosl Bergner, Judy Cassab, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Lucian Freud, Mona Hatoum, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Guo Jian, Anish Kapoor, Inge King, Dinh Q. Lê, Nalini Malani, Helmut Newton, Yoko Ono, Aida Tomescu, Danila Vassilieff, Ai Wei Wei, Ah Xian and Anne Zahalka.
The exhibition seeks to stimulate discussion around the contentious issue and work towards humanizing the current refugee crisis. Yoko Ono was exiled from Tokyo during the great fire-bombing of March 9, 1945 and sheltered with other family members in a bunker; whilst Frank Auerbach was seven years old his parents sent him by train to the UK after which they died in concentration camps. Dinh Q. Le escaped the Khmer Rouge in 1978 when he was ten years old, Max Ernst was arrested by the Gestapo but managed to escape with the help of Peggy Guggenheim and Khadim Ali was raised in exile in Pakistan, his grandparents had escaped a massacre of Hazaras in Afghanistan.
Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun commented, “As more migrant and refugee communities are now calling Liverpool their new home, Liverpool aims to lead the way in social cohesion and community harmony initiatives. The rich cultural diversity increases innovation, creativity and prosperity. It introduces new ways of thinking, beliefs and interests in the community. The Refugees exhibition will be a powerful mechanism in engaging the community through the exhibition, public programs and national forum.”
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, in Sydney’s southwest, is located in one of the most diverse local government areas in Australia with 40% of the population born overseas and over 150 languages spoken. On 9 September 2015 the Australian Government announced it would accept an additional 12,000 humanitarian entrants displaced by the conflict in Syria. NSW and in particular Liverpool and Fairfield LGA are set to receive almost half of the total refugee intake.
REFUGEES Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 29 July – 11 September 2016.