Arif Satar and Audrey Fernandes-Satar are visual artists living and working in Walyalup (Fremantle), Whadjuk Noongar Country.
Working individually and in collaboration, their practices intersect through a shared interest in uncovering complex memories and histories, both personal and collective. Across sculpture, drawing, text, printmaking, sound and the moving image, Satar and Fernandes-Satar draw from ancestral stories, rituals and crafting techniques to create a rich dialogue between the past and the present.
Migrants many times over, the pair forge a line of inquiry grounded in understandings of the intricate practices that tether and connect. Traversing themes of displacement, home, identity, history, and politics – their work is characterised by a sensitive interrogation of material, and an exploration of methods of expression.
Together, Satar and Fernandes-Satar have exhibited works, undertaken socially-engaged community art projects and created art for public spaces, both in Australia and overseas.
Arif and Audrey’s multidisciplinary practice centrally positions the knowledge, experiences and needs of the community in which they work. Authentic community engagement informs the conceptualisation and development of artworks.
Arif Satar was born in the Island of Mozambique on the southeast coast of Africa. Growing up under Portuguese fascist and colonial rule his sense of identity was enmeshed with a feeling of otherness, although then he couldn’t quite articulate why or how. Today an investigation of his Indian African-Arabic background is intrinsically embedded within his art practice, which draws upon on densities of heritage, memory, contemporary literature and history.
Satar works with printmaking, ceramics, the moving image and sculpture. Weaving across his work are references to the forms and materials encountered in childhood, from the majestic mosque minaret opposite his family home, to the missangas and capulana cloth sold in his parents’ little shopfront.
Satar holds an Environmental Science degree from Murdoch University, Perth, and has studied art-making methods and materials, extending the tradition of ceramics that he learned at a young age.
Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar was born in post-independence India. She grew up within a microcosm of stories of freedom and activism – collective memories that were shared or she overhead, and then kept safe in an imaginary repository somewhere in her mind. After her family moved to Mozambique and lived under Portuguese colonial rule, Fernandes-Satar began recalling these memories and drawing in charcoal from her mother’s stove on pavements and walls, while walking in and out of the city.
An academic and researcher, Fernandes-Satar follows the thread of stories, which lead her to the uncovering of conflicting histories. Her artwork traverses poetic text, painting, sculpture, drawing and altered photographs. It is characterised by a willingness to engage with complex historical events – looking for symbols, grappling with history, and altering documentation from institutions, museums and galleries.
Fernandes-Satar holds a Fine Arts Degree from the School of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD from Murdoch University, Perth where she lectures in Cultural Studies.