Casula exposed to Landless Bodies

Six Moroccan artists have traveled to south-west Sydney to put a unique exhibition together at Casula Powerhouse Arts Museum which launched this weekend. 

The artworks featured in Landless Bodies was entirely created by female artists who’s works expose various political problems and how the female identity transcends geographical boundaries.

The exhibition comes after a year of intercultural exchange between the Powerhouse and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Canberra, and The National Foundation of Museums of Morocco, established by the King of Morocco.

Curator Lizzie Marshall said the artworks were created for the show or sourced directly from the artists.

“I was lucky to take a diplomatic exchange and that’s when my curatorial journey began by looking at other artists work,” Ms Marshall said. “It’s taken a long time to curate this exhibition.

“It could possibly an Australian first that Moroccan artists have come to Australia to work with a cultural institution and we’re delighted to have these artists as our guests and it’s great for it to be happening in south-west Sydney.

“This exhibition’s not about difference, it’s the commonalities between us all.”

Fairfax Media interviewed artists Safaa Erruas and Fatima Manmouz who’ll be making their Australian debut.

Ms Erruas, 42, is from Morocco and is part of minimalist art group Collectif212.

Her works are renowned for stark white works pierced with needles and other metallic objects are warning signs and meditations on the silent wounds we maintain in an unconscious dream and times it’s also to evoke feelings of fragility, uncertainty and hope.

Pointing to one artwork she explained what it was about.

“This artwork was inspired by Ipathia, who was part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a philosopher, astronomer and mathematician who lived in Alexandria,” she said.

“She was beautiful and she was educated. She had all these traits but society wasn’t ready for them so she suffered because of it. They killed her in terrible way. Today I think women are restricted too but in different ways. 

“I’ve used flowers that are often used by a woman at weddings. It represents virginity and beauty and it introduces softness. The stings are like a veil and alludes to fragility but at the same time there are which disturb it.”

Artist, Ms Mazmouz from Paris takes a different approach with her art.

She said her work is inspired by her own experiences which often question identity, the body, language and dialogue.

“My work is about broken bodies. My parents migrated from Morocco to Paris,” she said.

“You’ll see my artworks feature the uterus. It’s where life starts. There was this political problem which relates to abortion. My art also incorporates a lot of red and this represents our roots and power from within.”

  • Landless Bodies will be show at the Casula Powerhouse from October 6 to November 11.