Friday, June 1st, 2018
Leila El Rayes
Artist News

Leila El Rayes is currently exhibiting her work as part of The Inner Apartment, a group exhibition at Nishi Gallery, Canberra.  Curated by Nur Shkembi, and featuring work by artists Shireen Taweel and Hoda Afshar, The Inner Apartment examines the experience of Australian Muslims in a contemporary context whereby the line between what is kept sacred, and what is considered to be public domain, has been blurred.

Curator Nur Shkembi elaborates: “Many Australian Muslims now see themselves as a part of a community that is grappling with the uncomfortable reality that their once personal rituals of faith have, in recent years, become the object of public debates relating to national identity and national security.

This social condition implores our efforts as a nation to reflect upon the long-standing history of cultural exchange and dialogue between Islam and the ‘west’, with the desire to know one another within the poetics and beauty of our shared humanity once again.

The exhibition explores the local presence of the Australian Muslim history which includes the subtle, spiritual and socio-political undertone within the fractured beauty of a centuries old visual tradition as subsumed in the contemporary works of the artists.”

The Inner Apartment is showing from 20 April until 22 July, 2018.


Leila El Rayes, Dancing in the Crevice of Desire series, 2018.

Leilaelrayes_Nishi 2_1200h_3

Leila El Rayes, Dancing in the Crevice of Desire series, 2018.

Concurrently, Leila is showcasing work at UNSW Art & Design in a group exhibition titled Enough خلاص Khalas, curated by Associate Professor Phillip George and Nur Shkembi. 

The exhibition explores and looks to transform the experience of Australian Muslims currently living in a climate of “fear and dread”. “From the daily media beat-ups, to outright racist leadership taunts directed at Muslims, this modern day Orientalism relentlessly depicts Islamo-fascist terrorists, creeping Shariah and the fantasy of infantilised Muslim women. Many Australian Muslims have had enough.”

Enough خلاص Khalas also features work by Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Hoda Afshar, Safdar Ahmed, Khadim Ali, Eugenia Flynn, Alia Gabres, Karam Hussein, Zeina Iaali, Khaled Sabsabi, Ms Saffaa, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Mehwish Iqbal, Fatma Mawas, and Shireen Taweel.

Exhibition runs until 14 July, 2018.