Karin Mayer and Ahmed Al Khalidi
February 1 to 28, 2011
Two artists living in each others countries express their impressions of their respective cities with images from the street in the February exhibition, part of the 'Festival of Alternative Arts' at Jacaranda Images.
Karin Mayer is an Australian living in Jordan while Ahmed Khalidi is a Jordanian living in Australia. This exhibition is a collection of their collaborations showing the artists' relationship with their respective cities and how political, economic and cultural forces shape their combined view of the urban environment. Rather than engaging in the singular internal dialogue, Karin and Ahmed see similarities of their existences along with disparate elements.
The images come thick and fast, as if you are driving through the streets of one city and turning a corner into another, visually recording all the surroundings in layers and colour – billboards with graffiti, distant views with closeups, and words hinting at the emotional impact of the situation each artist finds themselves in.
The background of each artist comes to the fore as they interpret the street. Much of their imagery is influenced by their new surrounds through the various visual elements confronting them on a daily basis. While the artists have never met, their mutual respect for each others work is obvious and the process of connecting though visual conversation only, is one that each have found enlightening as well as creating a nostalgia for their cities of origin.
The exhibition is part of the initiative of the Embassy of Sweden in Jordan, in close cooperation with both Jordanian and international partners. Called the “Festival of Alternative Arts”, it includes a large number of different activities - concerts, exhibitions, workshops, debates, etc all originally inspired by the “Gaza Graffiti” exhibition and book by Mia Gröndahl. A number of different organisations and institutions have joined forces to celebrate urban art in Jordan, to encourage alternative forms of expression and to launch a debate amongst artists and citizens about the nature of art and its accessibility to a wider audience. It is hoped that this initiative will be the first in series of annual “Festival of Alternative Arts”.
Karin Mayer is an Australian freelance photojournalist and is the Founder of La Salle Nu(e), a design agency/conceptual development consultancy. In the ten years to 2007 she worked as a commercial photographer within the areas of fashion and architecture, photojournalism and also as a senior researcher, dramaturge and cultural adviser for the Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane Festival, La Boite and Queensland Performing Arts Complex. Her photography and feature articles have been published nationally in magazines such as Cream, Rolling Stone and internationally for COLORS and Repubblica D Casa (Italy).
Karin is based in Amman, and is currently working on a UNESCO project to support elections in Iraq. She has also worked in Afghanistan under contract for the French NGO AinaWorld, presided over by the world renowned National Geographic photographer Reza Deghati. Karin continues to apply her expertise to the development and sustainability of media pluralism in the developing world.
Ahmed Al Khalidi
Ahmed Al Khalidi is a graphic designer, illustrator and artist with over 14 years experience in graphic and digital media. He has worked on a number of projects ranging from online media, motion graphics, publications and illustrations in Sydney, Adelaide, Amman, London, Doha and
Ahmed has participated in International Biennial of Contemporary Art 2007 in Spain,
Squiggle Art Gallery in Sydney, Amman Theater & Art Festival. 2007, the International Salon of Contemporary Artists, Oeiras, Portugal in 2002, the Jordanian Art exhibition, at the National Art gallery, in March 2003 and the Graphic Art exhibitions held at the Darat al-Fnoun in 1995.
He has had two solo exhibitions in Amman - 'West & East, at the French Cultural Center in 2004 and 'Beyond My Circle' at Makan in 2006.
His work has been published in the children’s books Contes Traditionnels Palestiniens for the Tamer Institute, 2009, and The First Flower on Earth and The Rain Song both in 2008 for the same institute.
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