Artist Statement 2023
The work examines the cultural ecologies surrounding lost and stolen artefacts in the Al-Jazira region, commonly called Mesopotamia, which lies between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Through tangible and visual means, it serves as a vivid representation of sculptural deities, architectural forms, and vessels lost to time. Rather than replicating the pieces, the intention is to draw inspiration from them. The resulting eccentric forms boast unique colour schemes, pleasing curves, and delicate edges, inspired by archaeological figures and decayed architectural sites.
I seek to reinstate some of this lost history, while at the same time highlighting the fragmented nature of its archives. The work also pays homage to clay, the foundational material used and skillfully developed in ancient Mesopotamia.
Ara holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture) from RMIT University (2012) and a Masters in Social Science Environment and Planning (2014). The interdisciplinary practice explores the relationship between cultural landscapes and the natural ecosystem. The ceramic works are hybrid ecosystems, models of utopian cities, and sculptural experiments. The work is also imbibed with numerous ideas centred upon conceptions of “the studio,” and the conceptual domain of socio-environmental politics.
Ara exhibited his work at both national and international exhibitions. His body of work has been supported by organizations such as the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, and the City of Melbourne.