Gallery open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (Thursdays until 7pm)
Hawke Building Level 3, UniSA City West campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide MAP

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Nexus Arts

How can we understand conflict when the media bombard us with incomprehensible facts and figures every day? Our over-saturated brains begin to filter out situations of emotional urgency as dry data reality, while we glaze over the profound implications of human suffering. Illusion investigates how art and artists can restore empathy and provide context to news reports where the numbers of victims are counted, but not comprehended.

In this exhibition that traverses both Nexus Arts Gallery and the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, visual artists Elyas Alavi, Avan Anwar and Sha Sarwari’s practices consider conflict, displacement, news headlines and empathy as broad international concepts, while commenting on personal, cultural and collective experiences within an Australian context. Through a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach, emerging South Australian curator Priya Pavri asks these Australian migrant and refugee artists to respond to themes ingrained in the award-nominated Virtual Reality artwork Death Tolls (2016) by Iranian artist Ali Eslami, premiering in Australia for Illusion.

The artists will transform the galleries into a tactile and sensory experience that reflects on first-hand accounts of human suffering and takes us back to the emotional realities that data often ignores. South Australian academic, writer and poet Dominic Symes, will be invited to reflect on the exhibition and examine how we extract the meaning from an absence of constructive dialogue. 

Illusion asks that we consider our moral and political responses to the humanitarian implications of conflict and displacement.

Illusion is co-presented and exhibited at both the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, Hawke Building, 1 to 29 July,
and Nexus Arts Gallery, Lion Arts Centre, 17 June to 19 July.

Creative team: Elyas Alavi (SA / Afghanistan), Avan Anwar (VIC / Kurdistan), Ali Eslami (Iran), Sha Sarwari (VIC / Afghanistan), Dominic Symes (SA)
Curated by Priya Pavri (SA)

Images credits: Top Left: Elyas Alavi, Hang Series; Top Right:  Sha Sarwari, National IconBottom Left: Avan Anwar, Displacement; Bottom Right: Elyas Alavi in the Studio


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