There is a vibrant and distinctive Islamic art heritage in Australia which deserves to be examined on its own terms. The curation of art and material culture exhibitions in multicultural Australia, where diverse interest groups contest historical narratives, presents exciting opportunities for public engagement. Both Islamic and Indigenous art share the impact of European Orientalism, social marginalization and recent politicization, and thus seek an earnest focus for cultural critique and contemporary reconciliation.This paper looks at the differing ways that two major institutions explore revised representations of, and relations between, South-East Asian, Islamic, and Indigenous Australian visual cultures to create a distinctive Australian vision of Islamic art. This is a vision that rejects the centrality of the expanded Middle East and showcases the formation of vibrant pluralist identities. The institutions are the Art Gallery of South Australia - whose Islamic art collection, commenced in 1916, forms the only permanent display in a public institution in Australia* - and Charles Sturt University, which teaches a unique Islamic art subject developed through the experiences of regional Australian students. *This is due to the ongoing work of James Bennett, Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, to whom this chapter and original conference presentation is indebted.
|Title of host publication||Curating Islamic art worldwide|
|Subtitle of host publication||From Malacca to Manchester|
|Place of Publication||Cham, Switzerland|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Name||Heritage Studies in the Muslim World|