Australian Art


13/Nov/2010 - 22/Jan/2011

VENUE: City Gallery

A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City takes visitors on a journey through the streets and laneways of Melbourne, exploring expressions of worship and cultural diversity.

The City of Melbourne presents A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City What: Curator Talk with Christos Tsiolkas and Zoe Ali When: Saturday 13 November, 2pm Where: City Gallery, Melbourne Town Hall, 110 Swanston St, Melbourne Cost: Free, bookings essential Contact: More info: Through the compelling images of photographer Zoe Ali and text from Christos Tsiolkas, A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City takes visitors on a journey through the streets and laneways of Melbourne, exploring expressions of worship and cultural diversity. Future Melbourne (People and Creative City) Committee Chair, Cr Jennifer Kanis said A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City was a chance for Melburnians to explore the city’s many cultural layers. “Melbourne is a city globally significant for the diversity of its faiths and places of worship. We are thrilled to work with two renowned Melbourne artists on a public exhibition that reveals and celebrates the true cultural diversity of the city,” Cr Kanis said. A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City presents text relating to city life from the Bible, the Koran and the Torah combined with Christos Tsiolkas’ own observations about life and faith in 21st century Melbourne. These wildly divergent yet compatible texts are presented alongside 159 black and white photographs of places of worship in Melbourne by Zoe Ali. Zoe Ali’s photographs depict all 61 of the places of worship within the city of Melbourne, plus selected favourites from neighbouring areas. Each photograph captures the perspective of a passer-by; peering at doorways, gazing high to the distinctive rooflines or taking a moment to appreciate ornate detail. Ali and Tsiolkas introduce a further level of depth to the exhibition with their selection of objects and artworks from the City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, focusing on Melbourne's places of worship as far back as the 19th century. Co-curator of A New Jerusalem: Faith and the City, Christos Tsiolkas, said the exhibition asks visitors to contemplate the meaning of worship in their city today. “The multitude of language, religions and culture which makes up this city is one of its most vital joys and one of the great pleasures of being Melburnian; our aim was to express this and create a space where people can explore it for themselves,” he said. Zoe Ali said visitors to the exhibition could be surprised at the number and variety of places of worship within the city of Melbourne. “We walk past these many places of worship every day and rarely give them a second glance. Through the images, we wanted to capture the essence of each architectural wonder, while bringing a simultaneous sense of mystery and welcome,” she said. The City Gallery is an initiative of the City of Melbourne and hosts exhibitions which draw upon its vast Art and Heritage Collection. The exhibition is free and open to the public until 22 January 2011. For further information, visit ENDS About the Curators Christos Tsiolkas and Zoe Ali are long-term collaborators, exploring questions of exile, longing, faith and identity through image and text. Both Melburnians, this is their fifth collaboration. Christos Tsiolkas is the author of the novels Loaded, The Jesus Man, Dead Europe (winner of the 2005 The Age Fiction Novel of the Year) and The Slap (winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Prize for Literature). He is also a playwright, scriptwriter and essayist, and has worked collaboratively with artists across a range of media. Zoe Ali began studying photography under John Cato and has since had work exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the National Gallery of Victoria, Annex Gallery (Kuala Lumpur), The Mall Gallery (London) and had work appearing in M.I.L.K. For further information, images or to arrange an interview please contact The PR Edge: Nicola Letts 03 8416 6770; 0404 766 643


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