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Muslim artists exhibition launched in Shepparton

By Liz Mellino

The Australian Muslim Artists Exhibition was officially launched in Shepparton earlier this month, exploring the Islamic culture through art.

Launched on Saturday, March 14, the Australian Muslim Artists: a La Trobe University and Islamic Art Museum Touring Exhibition includes the work of four finalists of the inaugural Australian Muslim Art Award.

Curator Associate Professor Jacqueline Milner said the work displayed the diversity of the artists’ engagement with their Islamic cultural heritage, including textile works, a sculptural installation exploring different materials, a ‘'commanding portrait that questions our digital personae, and a series of dioramas that include the detritus from conflict zones''.

“The artists — Soraya Abedin, Fatima Killeen, Abdul Abdullah and Azza Zein — hail from a variety of states and backgrounds, but all identify as Muslim and Australian, and are concerned to amplify and complicate the way these identities are understood,” Ms Milner said.

“In putting the exhibition together I wanted to bring these erudite and sensitive perspectives to the wide and diverse audience of the Shepparton community.”

The mission of the Islamic Museum, which co-sponsors the award with La Trobe University, is to provide educational and cross-cultural experiences and showcase the artistic and cultural heritage of Muslims in Australia and abroad.

Shepparton La Trobe campus head Elizabeth Capp said the exhibition was a perfect example of this in action and complemented La Trobe’s mission of improving communities through education and diversity.

“We have really appreciated the opportunity to work with the Islamic Museum of Australia, exhibiting artists, and La Trobe Art Institute to bring these beautiful Muslim artworks to Shepparton,” Ms Capp said.

La Trobe University's Shepparton campus remains open to the public and the community are able to attend to view the exhibition. Given the current conditions due to the coronavirus attendees are urged to follow social distancing rules put in place.