It is through language that we connect, give meaning to our existence, create cultural value and comprehend the nuance of other cultures. Vernacular aims to explore the influence of language through the experience of displacement, loss, and hope. This exhibition examines how language poses the ability to cause division and have the power to unite.
“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, to all the rooms inside.” Khaled Hosseini, Afghan-born American novelist
In his recent artworks, Sha Sarwari has opted to incorporate the opulent aesthetic beauty and fluidity of Farsi script, particularly the Nataliq script, with the richness of Hazaragi vernacular. Sarwari aims to make visible Australia’s cultural diversity and question the dominance of English language in linguistically diverse country such as Australia.
Sha Sarwari is a multidisciplinary visual artist born in Afghanistan and has been living in Australia for the past 18 years. Sha holds a diploma of Graphic Design from TAFE (2005), a Bachelor of Fine Art from the QCA Griffith University (2015), and Honours degree in Visual Arts from VCA Melbourne University (2018). In his work, Sarwari gives form to the notion of statelessness with a pointed reference to the political discourse around migration, identity, place and nationhood. His work speaks of a place exist between two worlds in which frustration is countered with hope, failure and resilience go hand in hand and compromises that are made in negotiation for survival. In 2018 he was awarded the Fiona Myer Award for excellence at VCA, Melbourne University, and a finalist in the Blacktown art prize. In 2017 he was awarded Most Critically Engaged Work at CCP Salon, Australian Centre for Photography.
Image: courtesy of artist, Sha Sawari .