Media Release with Rahila & Sandra

A Tale of Two Laneways - Bridging the Cultural Divide to Inclusion, Belonging and Home

Artist Rahila Zeeshan grew up worlds away in Karachi, Pakistani where she experienced both the buzz of thriving businesses and upmarket shops and the abject poverty of the city’s slums. This early understanding of the diverse living experiences made a lasting impression on her.

‘As a migrant, having lived in three different countries, and making a new home in Melbourne just two years ago with my young family, made me realise the importance of belonging and connection’.

While raised in Australia, local artist Sandra Tobias’s own migrant roots date back to the 1950s when her family arrived in Melbourne from Ireland & England. A passionate artist and art educator of many years, her work is rooted in a humanistic connection to country and place.

Space2b’s Face2face program, has brought together these two artists and their wonderful collaborative works can be seen in the “Laneways-Mera Ghar- My Home” or “Laneways Homeways” exhibition.

This forthcoming May exhibition is the third of five in the Face2face series which brings together the collaborations of culturally varied artistic pairings: a CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) migrant artist with an established artist to explore a theme of their choice, each creating a body of works as well as a co-created masterpiece.
Afghani artist Humaira Fayazi participated in the first exhibition of the series.

“This project offered me an amazing opportunity to run my first exhibition in Australia, work closely with another artist and exchange ideas and skills by creating together. I felt I was part of something important. I felt valued and heard.”

Rahila and Sandra discovered a shared interest in the urban pulse of cities and this led them to dedicate their exhibition to the exploration of the connections between street art, laneways and homelessness. Their focus is on the many lives led in these laneways which, for some, become their actual homes. Hence the exhibition’s name of “Mera Ghar”, the Urdu term for “My Home”.

Homelessness was a theme that Rahila and Sandra frequently encountered in the laneways and It was important to them that the issue be recognized and honoured properly.
Sudanese-born youth worker Gum Mamur, of the Les Twentyman Foundation, which works to keep at-risk youth from living on the streets, will introduce the exhibition by addressing the plight of homelessness for young people from refugee backgrounds.

The Face2face series also includes workshops run by each pairing. Rahila and Sandra will be teaching “Egg Tempera Painting”, a traditional painting process that uses egg yolk to bind pigments.

Space2b Social Design: Established in 2013, an art and design social enterprise supporting and empowering newly arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum through creative enterprise, workplace training and business mentoring to achieve financial independence and inclusion.

Face2face is kindly supported by the Helen Macpherson Trust and the City of Port Phillip.

Face2face 3: Laneways Homeways’ Opening Night & Q&A: 13th May 6-8pm at Space2b, 144 Chapel St
Egg tempera painting Workshop: Wednesday 19th May

Space2b: Violet Browne ArtSpace Gallery Manager
M: 0412 705 700



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