CANBERRA artist Fatima Killeen has won the $10,000 Australian Muslim Artists Art Prize, the first woman to do so.
Killeen, a first-class honours painting graduate of the ANU’s School of Art and Design, won the prize for her for her Collagraph print on paper, “The Crooked Narrative”.
A well-respected member of the ACT arts community, she was born in Morocco, but has lived here with her husband and family for many years.
Her work has been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions with residencies in Australia, Jordan and Morocco and her work is held in the Australian War Memorial, the Australian National University, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the National Museum of Australia and the Islamic Museum of Australia, which hosts the prize she has just won.
She has been the recipient of the International Honour Award for Moroccan Art and Culture, and the Australian/African Award of Excellence in 2016.
Her winning image of a man-made grenade was designed with the pomegranate in mind and is in part a pun on the French word for “hand grenade”.
The surface of this explosive armament, Killeen says: “Resembles the outer skin of the pomegranate when it dries. Yet, the pomegranate is also a symbol of life and fertility, and is stated as sacred in both the Bible and the Quran. The juxtaposition of the destructive weapon and the fruit is a reminder of our connection to nature in search for peace and love.”
The scarlet heart shape in the image, she hopes, symbolises the tension between the memory of old blood and old feuds with the desire to establish a common ground of co-existence in our conflicted societies, while shades of blue in the background represent collective memory and non-aggression.
Australian Muslim Artists Art Prize is an annual shortlisted exhibition that provides a platform for upcoming and established artists to share their work. This year, 17 artworks by contemporary artists from across the country are presented in an online gallery, where visitor may vote in the People’s Choice.
Australian Muslim Artists Art Prize continues until November 19 here.
Who can be trusted?
In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.
If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.
Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.
Ian Meikle, editor