Master of Creative Arts - Research
Faculty of Creative Arts
Tzavaras, Annette, Transforming perceptions of Islamic culture in Australia through collaboration in contemporary art, MCA-Res thesis, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 2008. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/120
My creative work investigates the negative space, the ‘in between space’ that leads to new knowledge about other artists and other cultures. The fundamental and distinctive elements of Islamic pattern in my paintings in the exhibition Dialogue in Diversity are based on my own experience of misinformation as well as rewarding collaboration within a culturally blended family.
This research explores the continuity of the arabesque and polygon. I experiment with the hexagon and its geometric shapes, with its many repeat patterns and the interrelatedness of the negative space, or the void indicative of the space between layers of past and present civilizations that are significant fundamentals in my paintings.
The thesis Transforming perceptions of Islamic culture in Australia through collaboration in contemporary art traces the visual history of Orientalist art, beginning with a key image of Arthur Streeton, Fatima Habiba, painted in 1897 and contrasts Streeton’s perception with that of important Islamic women artists working globally such as Emily Jacir who participated in the Zones of Contact 2006 Biennale of Sydney.
A core element of my research is working with emerging artists from Islamic backgrounds in Western Sydney. The February 2007 exhibition Transforming Perceptions Via . . . at the University of Wollongong brought together artists from east and west.
By adopting the Islamic pattern in my paintings, I hope to strengthen the interaction between the Christian and Muslim interface in Australian contemporary society. My work contemplates the human aspects of relationships and responsibilities within the cross cultural spectrum.