Please join us in The Exhibition Space for Swapped at Birth, an exhibition by Jordanian born, Adelaide based artist Ahmed ElKhalidi, with creative collaboration by Rua Hashlamoun.
Opening night 12 February, 6-8pm
Artist talk Saturday 16 February, 3pm
Continues 12-23 February 2019
Adelaide artist Ahmed ElKhalidi documents the journey from Jordan to Australia. Ahmed uses symbolic patches of memory in digital collages to explore places where two familiar environments are interchangeable. The exhibition shows at The Mill during Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019.
ElKhalidi explores the crossover of life, perception and memories from his birth country and his adopted country. For ElKhalidi this was by choice, although he acknowledges that, for many others, this crossover is by circumstance.
ElKhalidi delves into memory, childhood experiences and family photographs from his Palestinian heritage.
Using a blend of recent and historical photography, words, symbols and photojournalism, ElKhalidi reveals a personal story of identity where each environment is swapped, overlaid and blended. Creative collaboration by Rua Hashlamoun records the works of two artists’ stories. They ask the viewer to question the memories the viewer might keep in the same situation. A visual storytelling, this exhibition both resonates with, and facilitates, connections for the many with similar experiences as migrants or refugees.
"I try to raise questions about what memories of 'home' we choose to recall. I high-light issues such as identity, immigration, and social justice, and challenge/question the role of art in social change. The concept of home for me can be a physical or a psychological place. It changes according to our circumstances, as a place of belonging. It could also be a place of displacement and confusion.
Our memories may be filled with gaps, like our early childhood memories. These memories can fade and become lost. So I like to play with photos and language to preserve them. I like to explore the importance of words and sentences, and to create visual short stories." - Ahmed Khalidi
Jordanian artist Ahmed Khalidi studied graphic design at the Applied Science University in Amman Jordan, completing his studies in 1994. He is a photographer, graphic designer, illustrator and artist, and has worked on projects including online media, motion graphics, publications and illustrations in Sydney, Adelaide, Amman, London, Doha, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. ElKhalidi draws his inspiration from urban landscapes, and includes graffiti, advertising imagery and typography in his work from his studio YADURA Design Studio, in Adelaide, Australia.
Jacaranda Images gallery is located in Amman, Jordan. Through principal, Australian Barbara Rowell, the gallery is dedicated to showcasing works on paper by a range of artists. Barbara works particularly to develop cross cultural ties between Australia and Jordan. The gallery also conduct tours of Jordan for artists and art lovers through 'A Brush with Jordan'.
The exhibition was held in Amman in 2018 under the patronage of the Australian Ambassador. Its Adelaide iteration is made possible with the assistance of the Council of Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR), which supports projects that enhance economic, cultural and social relations between Australia and the Arab world.