Adiafa / Diyafa: Gifts of Exchange, Nicole Barakat and Paula do Prado — 15 October to 12 November 2011

Nicole Barakat and Paula do Prado

Artist Talk: Saturday 15 October 2011 at 3pm
Exhibition Dates: 15 October to 12 November 2011
Workshop: Saturday 5 November 2011, from 3 to 5pm

About Adiafa/Diyafa: Gifts of Exchange

Gifts of welcome and hospitality are common ground to nicole Barakat and Paula do Prado’s Arabic and Spanish-speaking family worlds. Adiafa is a Spanish word originating from the Arabic word diyafa, meaning hospitality.

The collaborative exhibition of contemporary textile works Adiafa/Diyafa: Gifts of Exchange, explored the making of textiles and craft objects as a process and a theme of welcome or departure in multiple cultures.

Journeys made by the artists to their countries of heritage were taken as creative starting points. Over several months they made work in response to letters, postcards and other correspondence, including objects of cultural significance and little gifts carefully packed and brought back. Here, travel was the catalyst for change, shared knowledge and a form of cultural transmission. Embedded in their exchange was a politics of experience and an acute awareness of repercussions, intersections, shifting margins and borders, decisions made and unmade. The true gift of exchange is the ability to initiate a distinctive dialogue.

On another level, the exhibition referred to the theatrical locale of Kings Cross, a place simultaneously centre and periphery, a historic, social and cultural hub, and a crossover point of demographic extremes.

Adiafa/Diyafa: Gifts of Exchange saw the artist’s own gifts travel beyond the gallery walls via an in-person workshop, in which techniques, conversations and objects were collectively shared and furthered. This allowed for an ethics of care and mutual resiliance to echo long after the exhibition’s close, passing it on to a new circle of participants-made-friends.




Gifts of Exchange: Paula do Prado (left) and Nicole Barakat (right)
Gifts of Exchange, 2011: Paula do Prado (left) and Nicole Barakat (right).    



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Nicole Barakat, 'Baladna' (Longing, Habibti and Tears), 2011. Found materials. Nicole Barakat, detail, 2011. Nicole Barakat, 'Mother Tongue', 2011. Found cloth, hair, thread.
Nicole Barakat, detail 2011, mixed media.  



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Paula do Prado, Black House (Red/Hostile), 2011.
Part 1: Acrylic on found woven fabric sample, 31 x 30 cm (detail)
Part 2: Acrylic on cotton patchwork quilt with felt backing, 35 x 17 cm (detail)
Paula do Prado, Camo/Cambio I, 2011. Acrylic and beading on found material. Paula do Prado, Absence/Presence, 2011.
Acrylic and applique on linen.


About the artists

Nicole Barakat
is an artist and performance maker. Her practice embodies the love and patience that characterises traditional and contemporary textile process combined with an instinct for manipulating the familiar. Her works and performances draw on writing, storytelling and collaboration. For example, she created ‘Common Thread’, a collaborative textile installation for the site-specific Minto Live festival at Campbelltown Arts Centre in 2011. Barakat says: 'I see creativity and imagination at the forefront of my practice and commitment to positive social change'.

Paula do Prado is a visual artist who works with painting, bannermaking, photography, textiles and artist books. Her work explores themes of race, gender and cultural identity by drawing on family folklore. Do Prado migrated to Australia in 1986 as a young child from Uruguay and one of her earliest memories is of her mother, aunts and cousins gathering to knit and crochet together. Currently she has work in Tamworth Textile Triennial and in Global Backyard at Latrobe Regional Gallery.


Nicole Barakat thanks Paula do Prado, Chadi Sankary, Gemma Yared, Gillian Christie and Barbara Barakat. Paula do Prado thanks Mama, Papa, Anthony, Nicole Barakat, Abuela Elsa, Tia Miriam, Tia Tere, Tia Nilda, Gabriela Martirena-Grima. Paula do Prado is represented by Gallerysmith, Melbourne. The artists acknowledge and pay their respects to Elders both past and present.