'Romanah (Pomegranate)' - Ayad Alqaragholli
In the Middle East the pomegranate is an important historical and religious symbol. In the Koran it is said that Adam proffered a pomegranate, not an apple to Eve and that on ascension into paradise one will feast on this heavenly fruit. The pomegranate is a motif enmeshed in many aspects of Arabic culture and is considered to bring good fortune, with bowls of pomegranates commonly found in the entrances of Iraqi households. I use this symbol in my work as a metaphor for both my previous life in southern Iraq and the new 'Paradise' of Australia and in particular Perth that has embraced me and my family as grateful migrants.
However I retain a deep concern for the politically unstable situation that continues in my homeland and use recurring motifs of chairs, ladders, oil barrels and sleeping cats to reflect the often 'dormant' and self-absorbed attitudes in particular of governments and political factions in the Middle East.
Although I seek to convey a sense of optimism and hope for the future in my sculptures, I also invite the viewer to look deeper into the human face of cultural conflict that my work endeavours to represent.