In Essence Exhibition

In Essence Exhibition
Arts Centre

In Essence

Curated by Vina Purwantoro and Wasielah Noorsjamsi

An introspective pilgrimage into identity,

Culture and faith, awakened by lived experiences.

In Essence-92.jpg 

This exhibition was a showcase of An.Other Collective's tapestry of love. Through various art forms, mediums and expressions, the exhibition shares their complex, yet endearing, relationships with formative experiences

that have led them to embrace their identity, faith and culture.

Exhibition artists:

Farhana Ismail, Fatimah Jannah, Fazilat Rafiq, Hafiroh Santoro, Heba Moubarak, Lia Maula, Lifi Hakim, Mayy Abuljebain, Medina Siregar, Nailah Masagos, Ronia Ibrahim, Saafiyah Hussain, Vina Purwantoro, Wasielah Noorsjamsi

Dates: 23 September-4 November

Public programs:


On Collectivism - Panel discussion

Friday 20 October 2023

Bankstown Arts Centre on  Friday 20 October held 'On Collectivism –a panel discussion on artist collectives and their impact on the contemporary arts ecology.

Moderated by Western Sydney based visual artist and cultural practitioner, Khaled Sabsabi, the discussion focusd on the social and creative contexts of artist collectives and the significant role they play in shaping contemporary art discourse in Australia and beyond.

Members of Sydney-based collectives, Betchouf, Refugee Art Project and An.Other Collective, shared their insights into their efforts in building community and amplifying the voices of unsung cultures and individuals within the world of Australian contemporary art and design.


Moderator: Khaled Sabsabi

Panelists: Vina Purwantoro - An.Other Collective, Faid Ahmad - Betchouف, Zeina Ali - The Refugee Art Project


About the panellists:



Khaled Sabsabi

Khaled Sabsabi is a prominent Western Sydney multidisciplinary visual artist and cultural practitioner. His creative practice is community engaged, having worked in detention centres, schools, prisons, refugee camps, settlements, hospitals, youth centres, public and private galleries in the Australian and international context. His art questions rationales and complexities of nationhood, identity and change, with continual transfer between the material and the philosophical.

Khaled has produced more than 65 major mixed media and installation-based works to date and exhibiting in over 90 solo and group art exhibitions in Australia and abroad. Khaled also participated in the 5th Marrakech Biennale, 18th Biennale of Sydney, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Sharjah Biennial 11, 1st Yinchuan Biennale, 3rd Kochi Muziris Biennale, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2018 and the 21st Biennale of Sydney.

He is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.


Vina Purwantoro

Vina Purwantoro is the co-founder of An.Other Collective, a community of female Muslim creatives currently spanning Sydney and Melbourne. With a background in visual communications and spatial design she has worked across various scales within the built environment ranging from interiors to urban landscapes.

Influenced by her training in design, she is deeply intrigued by the overlooked contexts that shape the human and spiritual experience, using her art as a platform for reflection and connection. Inspired by the sentiments of the Dada movement, her art practice revolves around shaping allegories that use the banal and the unconventional as a vehicle to challenge and prompt new ways of seeing.


Faid Ahmad -Betchouف

Betchouف is a collective working towards representing South West Asian and North African artists (SWANA) living in diaspora. They practice experimental types of hosting to create support networks and familiar spaces. As they move through communities, Betchouف encounters people from adjacent backgrounds sharing similar experiences woven with religious, displaced, and precarious upbringings.


Zeina Ali - The Refugee Art Project

Since it's inception in late 2010, more than 500 artworks created by refugees and asylum seekers have been exhibited to the Australian public. Refugee Art Project is passionate about showcasing the enormous talent, locked away, beyond the razor wire. By organising public exhibitions and producing zines and other publications, the Refugee Art Project hopes to convey the diverse voices, opinions, self-expression and artistic production of refugees to the Australian public.





Makers Quarter - Rest, make and play workshops

Saturday 4 November

As part of the In Essence exhibition's suite of public programs, An.Other collective hosted Makers Quarter, an artistic celebration that embraced the essence of rest and play. The day consisted of printmaking, collaging, and still life drawing.

Makers Quarter was a day dedicated to recharging your creative spirit and forging connections within the art world. It encouraged encourage artists and enthusiasts to take a pause, explore new avenues, and find inspiration in the act of creation. In essence, Makers Quarter is a tribute to the belief that rest and play are not only essential to the artistic process but to our creative community.