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Archibald finalist kicks off 2019 Arts Program

Archibald finalist kicks off 2019 Arts Program An exhibition by Archibald finalist and women’s activist and lawyer, Amani Haydar, will launch Bankstown Arts Centre’s program in 2019. No  

An exhibition by Archibald finalist and women’s activist and lawyer, Amani Haydar, will launch Bankstown Arts Centre’s program in 2019.

The work of the local advocate and artist from Chester Hill, will feature MALIKA \ QUEEN of the Home throughout January, which celebrates the way women create a sense of home, fitting in and overcoming adversity.

But Mrs Haydar’s work hasn’t always been about celebration, with tragedy casting a shadow on her life in 2015, when she lost her Mum to domestic violence.

"Art is definitely a way I expressed my sadness and grief but it was also the thing that empowered and healed me in a way," she said.

"At first, I found it difficult to articulate something so vulnerable and traumatic, so I used art to express my emotions.

"To my surprise, I found it was a gateway to me beginning conversations with others, who felt connected to my story and compelled them to tell me theirs."

In a bittersweet tribute, Ms Haydar, who is also an executive board member of Bankstown Women’s Health Centre, has even incorporated her own personal memories in her collection, including growing up in an Arab-Australian household.

"One of the paintings features cans of hummos, patterned textiles, and pickled olives, which are all reminiscent of my childhood," she said.

"I’ve manifested my own and other women’s struggles and endurance in these works, as well as the joy and vibrancy women bring to everyday life and community."

Mayor Khal Asfour said Ms Haydar’s work recognises and honours the importance of women in the community.

"I’m glad we can assist artists, such as Ms Haydar, to communicate important messages and themes through the displaying of their work," he said.

Ms Haydar’s exhibition will be followed in March by the work of Anney Bounpraseuth, which coincides with International Women’s Day, while the Rohingya Women’s Group also showcases pieces as well.

There will be an artist talk on Thursday 24 January, from 6.30-8pm.

For more information, go to or call 9707 5400.

 8/01/2019 1:12 PM