Friday 27 May 2011

About Mary Roberts

Mary Roberts, the John Schaeffer Associate Professor of British Art, University of Sydney, is a specialist in nineteenth-century art. Currently writing a book on cultural exchanges between European and Ottoman artists in 19th-century Istanbul, she is the author of Intimate Outsiders. The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Duke UP, 2007) and has co-edited four books including most recently, The Poetics and Politics of Place. Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism (2011).


  • About the exhibition
    Refer to Source connects two artists who use age-old stories to reflect on contemporary geo-politics: Ali Baba Aurang is Afghanistan’s finest advocate of siamask or ‘practice in black’ calligraphy and Barbara Campbell is a well-regarded Sydney-based performance artist. Each artist refers obsessively to source works: Ali Baba Aurang to the celebrated mystical poems by Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, popularly known in the Orient as Mowlana) and Barbara Campbell to The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Alf layla wa-layla, Les mille et une nuits and the story of Scheherazade, a Persian queen who collects a thousand books of histories and legends of past Kings, retelling one each night to avoid her death.

2.ka-openingrefersource.jpg 4.opening-1v2.jpg
Opening remarks by Mary Roberts at XAP. Khadim Ali - opening remarks on the work of Ali Baba Aurang at XAP.  




opening-sourcev2.jpg 6.opening-window.jpg
Robyn Backen and Craig Judd at opening of Refer to Source Barbara Campbell holding 'The Portrait Group' 2001. Photographed by Anne Ferran