Art has long been used as a means of expressing cultural and religious identity, as well as creating a sense of belonging within a community. In Australia, a country with a rich and diverse cultural landscape, the use of cultural and religious art in the home has become increasingly important in fostering a connection to one's heritage and identity.
For many Australians, cultural and religious art serves as a reminder of their roots and a symbol of their beliefs and values. Whether it be Indigenous art, Islamic calligraphy, or Chinese calligraphy, the presence of such art in the home can be a powerful tool in connecting individuals to their cultural and religious heritage. It can also provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, especially for those who may feel isolated or disconnected from their culture.
In addition to fostering a connection to one's cultural and religious identity, the use of such art in the home can also serve as a means of expressing oneself and one's beliefs. For example, a person may choose to display artwork that reflects their political or social views, such as a poster advocating for environmental conservation or a painting depicting the struggle for human rights. By doing so, they are creating a space that reflects their values and beliefs and signalling to others who enter their home what is important to them.
Beyond personal expression, cultural and religious art can also serve as a means of connecting with others who share similar beliefs and values. For example, a person who displays artwork depicting their religious beliefs may find that others who share those beliefs are drawn to their home, creating a sense of community and connection. Similarly, a person who displays artwork that reflects their cultural heritage may find that others from the same culture are drawn to their home, leading to opportunities for cultural exchange and connection.
Overall, the impact of cultural and religious art on creating a sense of belonging and identity in the home cannot be overstated. From providing a reminder of one's roots and beliefs, to facilitating personal expression and connection with others, the presence of such art can be a powerful tool in fostering a sense of community and identity in a diverse and multicultural society like Australia.
In 1971, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra opened its doors, showcasing a collection of Indigenous Australian art alongside works from European and American artists. This was a significant moment in Australian art history, as it recognized the cultural and artistic contributions of Indigenous Australians and helped to foster a greater sense of understanding and appreciation of their culture.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a new generation of Australian artists began incorporating multicultural themes and influences into their work. This included artists like Tracey Moffatt and Fiona Foley, who used their art to explore themes of identity, race, and cultural heritage. Their work helped to push the boundaries of what was considered "Australian" art, and fostered greater diversity and inclusion in the Australian art world.
In the 2000s, the rise of the internet and social media platforms like Instagram allowed for greater visibility and exposure of cultural and religious art in the home. People began sharing photos of their homes and the art and decorations that they used to express their cultural and religious identity, creating a sense of community and connection online.
In 2013, the Islamic Museum of Australia opened its doors in Melbourne, showcasing a collection of Islamic art and artifacts. The museum was founded by Moustafa Fahour, a Lebanese-Australian businessman who wanted to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Islam and its cultural contributions in Australia. The museum has since become a hub for interfaith dialogue and cultural exchange and has helped to foster greater connections between Muslim Australians and the broader community.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many Australians to spend more time at home, leading to a renewed interest in home decor and personal expression. This included a greater appreciation for cultural and religious art in the home, as people looked for ways to connect with their heritage and express their values and beliefs in their living spaces. The trend towards incorporating cultural and religious art into the home is likely to continue in the years ahead, as Australians seek to create a sense of belonging and identity in an increasingly complex and diverse society.