Culture: Islamic art display starts in Christchurch - aims to educate the community about the Muslim culture

(from The Migrant Times; the original story is here

The multicultural expressions of Islamic arts is a collection of treasures from the Christchurch Muslim community, which are on display at the South Christchurch Library between April 2 and 9.  

The display mainly shows embroidery, calligraphy and photography. It includes four categories which are; architectural art, textile arts, calligraphy and decorative arts.

The 40 different ethnic Muslim groups in Christchurch brought together all of the items to show what is meaningful to them and the Muslim culture. Pieces in the display have come either from their own homes in Christchurch or from their countries of origin. Each display will have an explanation of the meaning behind the piece of art so as to help visitors develop a better understanding of Islam. In all, the display has over 16 different countries represented.  

Dr Raqayya Sulaiman-Hill thought of the idea last year and received funding from the Creative Community Fund to make the display happen. “Muslims often get a lot of bad publicity so I thought it was a good idea to show the Muslim community in a good light, as well as exhibit the beauty and the diversity within our community.”

She said people often think that art will just be paintings and sculptures but art in the community includes a lot of design and pieces in everyday objects decorated with Islamic aesthetics. “These everyday objects have a large sense of beautification for us and it’ll be great to see people appreciate what we do.”

- by Brooke Sullivan, who is a second year student at New Zealand Broadcasting School, Christchurch