GOING OUT ON A LIMB FOR ART
MEHWISH Iqbal wants thousands of people to look at her legs – the more the better. Her legs are works of art.
They are her way of illustrating the theme of the latest exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre, Diaspora-Making Machines, or what generates the worldwide dispersal of people from their original homelands.
The artist’s work consists of multiple casts of her own leg, made in porcelain to underscore the fragility of refugees on the move.
On close inspection, each leg is inscribed differently with scenes and text based largely on stories she heard from women at a migrant group at Mt Druitt associated with SydWest Multicultural Services. “Every leg carries a story about the movement of refugees on foot,” Iqbal said. “A lot lose their lives on those journeys. “There is no defined destination. They are fleeing for survival, and they don’t know if they will make it.” Iqbal, who migrated from Pakistan 12 years ago to study for her Master of Fine Arts degree at UNSW, said a big catalyst for her art was a visit in 2014 to Turkey, where she witnessed the effects of the exodus of 80,000 refugees from war-torn Syria. Iqbal is one of eight artists with works at the exhibition, which runs from Thursday, September 29, to Saturday, November 5.
EXHIBITION AT BLACKTOWN ARTS CENTRE
Picture: Alex Wisser