The entrance to Paradise lies at your mother’s hands
Lara Chamas

Exhibition Dates | 6 February – 28 March 2021
Gertrude Contemporary | 21-31 High Street, Preston South

Opening | Friday 5 February, 6-8pm
This is a free event, no booking required. However, capacity limits apply.
First in, best dressed.

Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell. All visitors will be required to register their details on arrival. See additional information on COVID-19 safety measures currently in place here.



Derived from a quote from The Prophet Muhammad, the title of this exhibition strikes out feet and replaces it with hands. Hands allude to the mother’s agency, what she creates, gives, passes on, feeds you with, that’s where heaven lies. This exhibition focuses on the Matriarchs of the artists family lineage, their lives and stories, ultimately, shaping the artists own situation of herself in this timeline. Storytelling features the primary tool of knowledge sharing, passing down recipes, pain, memories.

This exhibition aims to tell a story, and each object flows on to another in a constellation. Featured are semiotic and semantic disruption of visual language and lexicon, splicing the two together to illustrate the ambivalence and juxtaposition between love and war, nurturing and violence, and nourishment and destruction of the body, so prevalent in the Middle East.

Lara Chamas is a first generation Australian-Lebanese artist, based in Melbourne. Her practice investigates topics of postcolonial and migrant narratives, specifically within the context of her cultural identity. Fleeing from civil war, her parents migrated to Australia, where she was born. Her practice explores this in relation to contemporary Australian and global society, and current political issues, such as; colonialism, refugees, racism, otherness, stigma, language, Islamophobia, terrorism and power relations within society. Currently completing a masters by research in fine art at Monash University, central to her research is the expansion on these notions in a more historical and anthropological sense. With discussing geopolitical issues, research and first-hand experience is important to the genuinity of her work. Middle Eastern historical and cultural comparatives provide a surprising amount of relativity and perspective into contemporary Australian culture as experienced
by the artist.

Lara Chamas' exhibition is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Image | Lara Chamas, Mumma Making Kibbah, 2020, video still. Courtesy of the artist.