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Sayd Shahmamood Abdali

Gallery76 is delighted to be hosting Sayd Shahmamood Abdali’s first solo exhibition "From Afghanistan Via Iran from 2nd to 30th July 2019. As well as works for sale, members will have the chance to try their hand at Sayd’s self taught tapestry technique 

Opening   Saturday 6 July 2019 at 1pm at Gallery76,  76 Queen Street, Concord West NSW

Afghani Rugs with A Twist   Sayd Abdali   Tuesday 23 July 10am - 12noon
Two hour workshop by refugee textile artist, Sayd Abdali. Sayd pioneered this technique using handmade needles from cow veterinary needles (provided) and supported his family in Iran with his art practice. Learn his simple and beautiful tapestry technique and help support Sayd as he settles into his new life in Australia. 
Skill level; All
Members Only Price $45.00   Standard price $50.00
Kit cost; $20.00
Venue: Gallery76 76 queen Street, Concord West NSW

An article by Linda Morris—SMH 20 June 2017

Sayd Shadmamood Abdali

with the Tapestry Couch

The conventional story of the refugee is one of boats, detention and visas. But a tapestry work designed and made with the help of 200 refugees tells a very different tale.

In vibrant woollen yarn, small moments of friendship, healing, strength and community in the Friendship Garden of Auburn have been woven into the fabric of a couch. Locals share food, children play, people pick blueberries after work.  One colourful vignette shows a man watering his new corn crop. "It's good to see things grow," the man told project collaborator Tasman Munro. "I am very worried about my family in Pakistan. But when I come to the garden I have time to forget and relax.'' Another shows a child planting vegetables, bringing to life one woman's words Munro heard in the garden: "We can grow a better place for our children."

The idea for the tapestry couch came more than a year ago when master Afghan tapestry artist Sayd Shahmamood Abdali walked into a woodworking workshop Munro was running at the Auburn garden, wheeling behind him a trolley of his tapestries.  With textile artist Jane Theau, Shahmamood Abdali was teaching fellow migrants his unique hook technique – using a needle adapted from a syringe used to inject cows – at the fortnightly community kitchen run by Settlement Services International.

Munro suggested a collaboration that brought together the skills of the woodworkers and the tapestry group.
The aim was to make a piece of furniture for the entrance of the Auburn Centre for Community, with the project forming part of Munro's PhD at the University of Technology Sydney. Munro has been investigating ways a narrative approach to social design can disrupt negative narratives among communities.

Syrians, Tamils, Rohingyas, Afghanis, Iraqi, Hazaras, Persians, Vietnamese and Nepalese communities sat together to share their stories and learn from Mahmood, who's honed the art form for 30 years.  Until his arrival in Australia a few years ago, Shahmamood Abdali had been supporting his family in Iran by selling tapestries of wool, cotton and silk and kits for other people to make their own.
"It's been really good to share my work with so many people," he said.

Detail images of the Tapestry Couch