Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

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.


Pic­ture: Alex Wisser

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