Khadim Ali: Australian fauna made in praise


27 August 2018

Khadim Ali, Drawing Mythical animals in praising words

We’re working towards an issue on migration for March next year. It will include remarkable artists from elsewhere working in Western Sydney, supported by an impressive network of public galleries.

An example right now is the Daneha exhibition at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. It features a stunning series by Khadim Ali, rendering iconic Australian animals in calligraphic form. Here’s what he says about them:

The works at Daneha exhibition is inspired by 17th 18th Century Afghan/ Persian tradition of evaluating the nature around them – drawing mythical animals in praising words. This tradition came into practice after the Fatwa of Banning the imageries of bodies that contain a soul. The artists started this practice to keep the imageries alive and giving a legitimate relation with social faith.

My works in this show portray the transition of refugee’s perception. The way they adapt their nature with their traditional understanding and giving a new meaning to the multicultural society of Australia. I have redesigned these praising Arabic/Persian text into Australian native animals drawings and cut them in brass to make it closer to Australian national flower, the golden wattle. And also representing Australia as their precious golden country.

One of the historic works that inspired Khadim Ali

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