AMA is an annual exhibition showcasing the work of emerging and established Australian Muslim Artists. AMA provides a professional gallery setting for artists to exhibit, enhancing profiles, and providing exposure to new audiences.
AMA provides a platform for emerging and established artists to exhibit work in a professional gallery setting, enhancing artists' profiles and providing exposure to new audiences.
In addition to the exhibition, AMA is an ever-growing online database of artists and art professionals, providing a platform for professional networking, between local and international artists, within the arts industry and cultural institutions.
Leslie Eastman is a graduate of Melbourne University and RMIT and has held over thirty solo and collaborative exhibitions nationally,
at venues such as ACCA, Linden and Experimental, and internationally.
In ‘For the Being of Time’ the twin mirrored rotating forms suggest ideas
of the circulation of moving bodies in time and space.
The motif of the timekeeper has a distinct relationship to the human heart which in its rhythm is a
governing device around which the human metabolism circulates. This is a metaphor for a mechanical model of the human
being—the Being of Time—and by extension the mechanical universe.
There is another esoteric understanding of the heart and the mirror that is well known in Islam. Whether metaphor or actual, the
heart may be understood as the felt centre of the human being, who is required to seek out knowledge.
‘During a recent stay in Palestine, I became overwhelmed with helplessness, feeling powerless to directly change anything.
My observation of the society was oppression trickled down from Israel to Palestinian authorities, to workers, families, parents - how they
treat their children, how the children play with each other and finally, down to the animals. There is an abundance of stray cats
in Palestine and to feel like I was directly making a positive impact, I would walk around town every night feeding them.
I visited the Al-Aqsa mosque and upon entering the prayer room of Mohammed, I remembered a story my parents told me as a child: Mohammed went
to pray and found cats asleep on his prayer mat, to avoid disturbing them he cut around the cats, took the rest of the mat and prayed beside them.
This memory struck a nerve, reminding me to show compassion to all beings.
The work is an exploration of tensions felt between differing forces and the ideas of diaspora and home.
Particular focus has been applied to personal feelings of dispersion
felt between my Australian born culture and Middle Eastern blood culture, and the tensions felt of my religion situated within the dominant culture.’
‘My artistic practice investigates sub-topics of postcolonial and migrant narratives,
specifically within the context of my own cultural identity.
I am a first generation Australian, my parents are Lebanese and migrated here to escape civil war.
This in betweenness of world and cultures informs my practice greatly, and I use it to discuss relevant
political issues. My practice explores this viewpoint in relation to the contemporary Australian and global
society, and current political issues such as refugees, racism, otherness, stigma, language, Islamaphobia,
terrorism and power relations within society. As of late, I am interested in my own experiences and narratives
of cultural identity and stereotypes. I plan to focus on anthropological and historical studies with particular
focus on my own perspective as a first generation Australian and investigating if and how that differs from others
by using “ethnographies of the particular”, i.e. narrative and experience drove artwork and writing. In discussing
geopolitical issues, research and firsthand experience are important to the sincerity of my work, providing a surprising amount
of relativity and perspective into my life as an Australian.’
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