Lara Chamas: The entrance to Paradise lies at your mother’s hands

Lara Chamas: The entrance to Paradise lies at your mother’s hands

Image: Lara Chamas, Mumma Making Kibbah, 2020, video still. Courtesy of the artist.

An exhibition by Master of Fine Art student Lara Chamas.

Derived from a quote from The Prophet Muhammad, the title of this exhibition – The entrance to Paradise lies at your mother’s hands – strikes out feet and replaces it with hands. Hands allude to the mother’s agency, what she creates, gives, passes on, feeds you with, that’s where heaven lies. This exhibition aims to tell a story, and each object flows on to another in a constellation. Featured are semiotic and semantic disruption of visual language and lexicon, splicing the two together to illustrate the ambivalence and juxtaposition between love and war, nurturing and violence, and nourishment and destruction of the body, so prevalent in the Middle East.

Lara Chamas is a first generation Australian-Lebanese artist, based in Melbourne. Her practice investigates topics of postcolonial and migrant narratives, specifically within the context of her cultural identity. Fleeing from civil war, her parents migrated to Australia, where she was born. Her practice explores this in relation to contemporary Australian and global society, and current political issues, such as; colonialism, refugees, racism, otherness, stigma, language, Islamophobia, terrorism and power relations within society. Currently completing a masters by research in fine art at Monash University, central to her research is the expansion on these notions in a more historical and anthropological sense. With discussing geopolitical issues, research and first-hand experience is important to the genuinity of her work. Middle Eastern historical and cultural comparatives provide a surprising amount of relativity and perspective into contemporary Australian culture as experienced by the artist.

This exhibition is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

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