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The Art Book
100 Souls 100 Stories 100 Tiles
Edited by Yuhana Nashmi
Humans have used clay as both a form of artistic expression and to produce utilitarian artefacts for over 30,000 years, and yet, ceramic art and artefacts remain as central and ubiquitous in our lives today as they were in antiquity. It is incredibly fitting, therefore, that Yuhana Nashmi has chosen this most versatile of media to assist members of the Mandaean community in Sydney to express their feelings about their ancient culture, their refugee journey, and their modern struggles as they settle and adapt to life in a new country. Each of the 100 tiles in this project is not only and object of beauty, but also a manifesto of what is most important and meaningful to Mandaeans in Sydney. Together, these 100 tiles and the narratives that go with them form an exquisite clay tapestry that tells a poignant story about the Mandaean community and their lives in Australia. They are the visible part of an incredible process that left a positive mark in each of the 100 souls involved, and are a credit to the creativity, resourcefulness, and artistry of Yuhana Nashmi.
“The Mandaeans are an ethnoreligious group indigenous to the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia and are followers of Mandaeanism, a Gnostic religion and they speak Mandaic - an eastern Aramaic dialect. The Mandaean culture and heritage are endangered in their original homelands of Iraq and Iran”.
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