Iranian refugee, artist and engineer Majid Rabet is facilitating a series of creative workshops for newly arrived artists in the lead up to the SSI New Beginnings Festival for Refugee Week 2018, staged at the Refugee Welcome Centre, Lilyfield.
The exhibition project is artistically driven by Mr Rabet and other artists from refugee backgrounds and fosters an environment of understanding and support among the artist community.
Pairing technology with art, Mr Rabet uses innovation to help other artists to develop their art projects. He has created a hot wire machine from scrap material that makes laser cuts into styrofoam and is referring to this during the workshops.
Mr Rabet’s artistic practice began after arriving in Australia in 2010 and spending two years detained in immigration centres. He uses art as a form of therapy to overcome the trauma that he has suffered as a refugee.
“Art doesn’t need a translator. It’s one language for everyone, and everyone can speak it,” Mr Rabet said.
His first touchstone with a local arts organisation in Australia was the Refugee Art Project.
“When I was in Villawood, Refugee Art Project came to visit me and I began working with the limited mediums available to me. The tools I made are in the Powerhouse Museum, including a paintbrush I made with hair from a local cat who befriended me,” he said.
Through the New Beginnings Festival, the SSI Arts and Culture program has given people like Mr Rabet the chance to connect with others through the universal medium of art.
“For people with trauma backgrounds, this allows them to express things that, in any language, sometimes words don’t exist to adequately express.”
SSI Arts and Culture Producer Raphael Brasil had the pleasure of visiting the creative studio of Mr Rabet in Parramatta and was astonished by the innovative methodologies used to create art.
“Majid is a designer, an inventor, a technologist and, beyond everything else, an artist engaged with life,” Mr Brasil said.
“I was amazed at his creations as most of them were made from scrap materials. From a sunflower-inspired solar panel to sculptures and musical instruments made entirely from recycled materials, Majid takes art and technology to a whole new level.”
The exhibition will open during event times and by appointment during Refugee Week between June 20 and 30, 2018. Inner West Council has supported the SSI New Beginnings Festival for Refugee Week through Open Inner West 2018.
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