Heather Shimmen in International touring Exhibition ‘Beyond the Veil’

In News September 26, 2019



Heather Shimmen & Zakia Arghandiwal 
My wish is for peace in my country  

Unfolding Projects: The Handkerchief Project 2018

Australia – Afghanistan | Curator: Gali Weiss


Beyond the Veil is an international art project with the participation of 100 women from five continents and includes visual artists, authors, poets and social activists. The exhibition portrays art on veils and scarfs each symbolizing characteristic customs and cultural motifs that represent the background of each artist.
After Venice, the exhibition will be shown in Poland, Israel, France and the United States.

The Handkerchief Project is a collaboration initiated by artists in Australia as an act of exchange with women in Afghanistan. As Australian women living in privileged circumstances in a country whose military is involved in Afghanistan, we feel a responsibility to connect to Afghan women living in circumstances of war and immense hardships. By presenting and exchanging our personal worlds of art and text we are creating a meeting place – despite the challenges of difference – in the space of an artwork.

Twenty Australian women artists created mainly print-media imagery in line with their artistic practice on individual handkerchiefs. These handkerchief ‘pages’ were delivered to a Vocational Centre in Kabul run by Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities (OPAWC), with an offer to Afghan women who are learning literacy skills to relate to the imagery with their writing and embroidery.

Despite challenges of communication and the circumstances of a country in conflict, the embroidered artworks made their way from Australia to Kabul, and back. In Beyond the Veil, the artworks and embroideries are re-presented as print on fabric, with the additional input of photographer Susan Gordon-Brown and Jerusalem Fine Art Prints.

Participants: Australian Artists

Ann Cunningham, Anne Riggs, Annelise Scott, Annique Goldenberg, Barbara Kameniar, Catherine Pilgrim, Christine Willcocks, Di Ellis, Gali Weiss, Heather Shimmen, Jennifer Kamp, Karena Goldfinch, Kath Armour, Marian Crawford, Marta Brysha, Rosalind Atkins, Silvi Glattauer, Tanya Ngerengere, Tess Edwards, Tracey Avery.

Participants: Afghan writers / embroiderers

Arzoo; Aziza; Aisha Ahmadi; Kreema; Mursal; Mursal (2); Madina (2); Marva; Mina; Nile; Nazira; Salma; Sameen Gul Ahmadi; Fawzia; Frishta; Shabana; Seema; Sumaya; Shogofa; Shogofa (2); Fahima; Fatima; Mahtab; Malalai; Hamida; Hajira; Hosnia; Razia; Taqwa; Fatana; Farzana; Zakia Arghandiwal

Some participants have chosen to withhold their names.