Rushdi Anwar is a Melbourne-based artist originally from Kurdistan. Currently he is working between Australia and Thailand. His work often reflect on the socio-political issues of Kurdistan, Iraq and The Middle East. He poetically draws from personal experience and memory concerning contemporary issues displacement, Identity, conflicts, trauma and impact of colonialism. Based on His background as a Kurd who has lived through recent violence of the region. His works reference to both recent and historical geopolitical unrest that extend to generate discourse about the status of social equity. Which exploring these issues through an investigation of form, material and processes of making. His installation, sculpture, painting, photography and video practice recalls the everyday plight of socio-political persecution, fundamentally expressing the necessity for care, attention and redemption.
Rushdi have degrees from the Institute of Kirkuk-Kurdistan, and the Enmore Design Centre in Sydney; further completing a Masters of Fine Art, and a Doctorate of Philosophy Art (PhD), at RMIT University in 2016, with a thesis on ‘The Search for Meaning: Material and Form in Context of Socio-political Issues’.
He has held solo and group exhibitions widely in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Kurdistan, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USA and Vietnam.
Exhibitions include: “The Tides of the Century” The Ocean Flower Island Museum, Danzhou, Hainan, China (2021); the 2nd Bangkok Art Biennale 2020, “escape routes”, Thailand (2020); the 13th Havana Biennial, Project “Intercambio”, Cuba (2019); The National 2019: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW); MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2019); The 12th Gwangju Biennale 2018, Gwangju, South Korea; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art “Temporary Certainty”, Sydney (2018); 21st Biennale of Sydney 2018, Project “What’s Left Behind” collaboration with artist Brook Andrew, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Art and Artists Public Galleries Summit 2018, Carriageworks, Sydney (2018); 20th JAALA International, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (2017); Gertrude Contemporary “Forever Transformed”, Melbourne (2017); Melbourne Festival 2017, Centre for Contemporary Photography; Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (2017 and 2015). MARC Gallery, Melbourne (2017); The Artist Project; Contemporary Art Fair, Toronto, Canada (2016); Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia (2014); JAALA, Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki, Japan (2014); The National Gallery Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand (2013); Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Sydney, Australia (2013); Ne Na Contemporary Art Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2014); Immigration Museum, Melbourne, Australia (2010).
He has received grants and award from; Australia Council for the Arts (2020, 2018, 2016 and 2011); Creative Victoria’s VicArts Grants program (2016); The Artist Project: Contemporary Art Fair, Installation Zone Award, Toronto, Canada (2016); Australia-Thailand Institute (ATI) (2012, 2014); Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) (2012).
His works are held in collections of Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Australia; the Australian War Memorial Contemporary National Collection in Canberra; The Gene and Brian Sherman Collection, Australia; Da Nang Fine Arts Museum collections, Da Nang, Vietnam; The Kurdistan Regional Government, The Ministry of Arts and Culture, Slemani, Kurdistan-Iraq and in private collections in Kurdistan and Australia. Also residencies from RMUTT University- Thailand (2017), Ne Na Contemporary Art Space, Chiang Mai-Thailand (2012 and 2015) and Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Sydney (2013).
He have facilitated, curated and delivered numerous exhibitions, forums and lectures at Universities and various galleries and art spaces, including the ‘Hua Krathi Project’ at Federation Square, Melbourne, 2013, and the recent workshop ‘Concepts of Injury and Repair’ at Australian Center for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne, 2017.
Following several artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, he co-founded and co-coordinated the Australian Thai Artist Interchange, Melbourne (2012 – 2016), an organisation founded to enhance cross-cultural exchange, awareness and appreciation of art and culture between Thais and Australians.