FROM FIRE – Ali Tahayori + NC Qin: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Ali Tahayori

9 Dec 2023 - 3 Mar 2024

This exhibition by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre unites the artistic practices of NC Qin and Ali Tahayori. Both these contemporary artists have gained recognition as ‘ones to watch’ after years of innovative and explorative creative practice. Their unique and distinctive use of glass and mirror stands out and has become a hallmark of their work, along with the use of their personal histories and experiences.

Together in FROM FIRE they explore how challenging it can be to forge your own identity and feel a sense of belonging in Australia, their home. Whether ingrained from birth, or passed down via intergeneration memory, rigid cultural values and laws clash with their way of life in Australia and their sense of self. Like many who have migrated or been raised within cultural systems worlds away from where the live, work and love, questions about who they are, and where they belong persist.

Enduring the fire and observing your identity split, reflect, fade, shatter, refract, intensify, crack and somehow re-form stronger than ever all in one motion, again and again, is a common experience and it is conveyed via the symbolic power of glass, performance, mirrors, language and light in this intimate exhibition.

Glass Armour (Performance) by Qin and OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE by Tahayori ultimately tell a compelling narrative about the courage and emotion that it takes to fight for belonging and self-authenticity in a disorientating and hostile world. 

Tahayori’s piece OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE is made from many tiny pieces of mirror meticulously cut and placed by the artist. Each tiny piece is carefully arranged and installed to convey new messages and meanings. The fragmented mirror, already laden with Iran’s culture and history, becomes the medium to tell Tahayori’s personal story. Integral to the work and his practice, he integrates poetic language (in both Farsi and English), and light to show how hard it is to grasp a sense of home and belonging when it is always shifting in and out of legibility and oscillating between safety and danger.

Exhibition Launch: Sat 16 Dec 2023