Considering pattern in the works of Sarah Goffman and Raafat Ishak
Opening Wednesday 22nd August until Sept 16

Ingrained and repeated patterns both cultural and material, are re-cast and re-purposed with new symbolic and display outcomes by the artists Sarah Goffman and Raafat Ishak in this exhibition at True Estate. For these artists who both spent childhoods on the move internationally, experiencing various cultural, political and economic situations, the effect and affect of home travels with them. Meaningful connections are shaped in the domestic and the gallery space through the artworks intentional placement, composition and display, to recreate and reinvent the original home anew.

Sarah Goffman’s Border Designs create a mass ornament of blue and white surfaces and objects from re-deemed single-use plastics and cardboard to inhabit the gallery space. Her remodeled food packaging forms clever imitations of collectible, heirloom crockery - from the garden to plate, stories of food and flavour are also aroused by Goffman's objects. Embellished with wave patterns, floral emblems, curliques and arabesque motifs all combine in Goffman’s impressions of the homely Blue Willow and other recognisable patterns to create new imitations and bastardisations of these iconic original designs she describes as “re-visiting the palace of Versailles meeting Versace grotesqueness”.

In Raafat Ishak’s Trinity Portraits five intimately scaled painted portraits of school friends left behind in Egypt were painted referencing tiny black and white photographs traditionally given as souvenirs to a friend who is travelling over a long distance. In the portraits each friend is given a sleeping dormitory (new home) at Trinity College (Univeristy of Melbourne), as a way to entice them back. They are proclaimed as the architects of the dormitories and given hats depicting the buildings, their names also change to reflect their new status, for example Ahmad Clarke and Osama Bishops. The hats are Jewish Kippahs on Muslim boys’ heads and occupying a Christian institution, the perfect home.

The curatorial premise of the True Estate gallery is to evoke conversations around contemporary art and the everyday, the home and domestic scale, inheritance and real estate, urban myths and true crime. Goffman and Ishak remind us how symbolic and material re-arrangement can invent new stories of the present and the future.

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