This is what Omary has prepared for the Create to Advocate Art Exhibition, which is officially opened next Tuesday in Parliament House, Canberra.
You can see omary’s_Paintings= which are in the exhibition
I was an established artist in Tanzania and made my living from selling my paintings. Now I am in Australia, I have been looking for ways to promote my art. I was the main artist in a recent Refugee Art Show in Sydney and that encouraged me. At the moment I am living in Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney.
Two of my paintings that are in the Create to Advocate Art Exhibition were inspired by memories of where I lived in Tanzania. One is my village in the west of Tanzania, another a river further south, where I studied at school. A third one is more about how I feel about my present and future, and not having a choice. It is like I am fighting enemies from three directions; I fled Tanzania to face further dangers in South Africa, and then have encountered problems here instead of finding a solution.
A friend suggested I enter art competitions and showed me the Create to Advocate website. I saw what other artists had done and looked at the prizewinners work. I was attracted by the ideas of peace, justice and overcoming poverty and thought it is good to enter the competition to show how I can contribute to Australian art and society. I have a great desire to fight poverty and being involved in the Make Poverty History Campaign is a valuable opportunity to express myself through my art to people and the world.
My art is about the issues of poverty and justice and matches the aims of the exhibition and the themes of the Millennium Development Goals. My painting “Morning” promotes gender equality. It shows how hard women work, especially in situations of poverty. “Ruaha River” points to the importance of caring for our environment and providing safe water. “The End” can remind people we can do nothing alone: we need co-operation and partnership to have a chance to overcome our enemies, such as injustice, poverty and persecution. What I like about the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge campaign is that they are serious about co-operation and action. I think that Australia’s response to poverty should be to support more NGOs, increase foreign aid and focus on education.
I remember when I was a student in Tanzania, once I tried to enter a drawing competition but I had to walk on foot for 2 or 3 hours to get there, so I arrived late and didn’t do well. So I am happy my artwork has been selected for this exhibition and for the chance to become better known and maybe to sell my paintings or win a prize. I think being involved in this exhibition will educate me more about the issue of poverty. I hope that I will be welcomed to this country so I can belong and contribute my art to Australia.