8 February – 20 March 2024

rufat qiddys is a phonetic translation of the Arabic phrase for object of a holy person, or, relic.

For this Object Space exhibition rachel farag questions the nature of a relic - who decides what becomes a relic and what deserves to be immortalised or given value?

rachel's ancestors, Ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians, were dedicated to the creation of beautiful and precious relics that speak to who they were and what they valued. Growing up in Australia, she saw only monuments of settler colonial men that celebrated violent victories maintaining an historical amnesia. As a child with frizzy afro hair and olive skin, all rachel wanted was to have blonde hair and blue eyes. She felt nothing represented her and everything surrounding her implied her very existence was somehow wrong. The monuments that we leave behind will tell our story and offer a counter narrative told by us.

This work pays homage to the Black feminine, Arab and African Lesbians, solidifying their existence as beautiful and divine.

rachel's story also engages with the complexity of being a migrant living on unceded Aboriginal Land. Ceramic gumnuts, leaves and eucalyptus branches displayed across a bed of spices speak to this complexity, honouring it yet posing more questions than answers.

Australian Design Centre presents this exhibition in celebration of the 2024 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

About rachel ramsis farag

rachel is a multi-disciplinary artist working on unceded Arrernte Country in the Central Desert. Born in Egypt, she is of Egyptian and Ethiopian descent. She has undergone extensive training in ceramic practices and additionally combines this with work in digital media, drawing and multi-sensory installation. rachel uses her work to excavate her identity and through this, themes arise around the complexity of living on stolen land, culture and the migrant experience, womanhood, spirituality, religion and lesbian sexuality.

As part of rachel farag's work رُفات قِدّيسٍ (rufat qiddys: object of a holy person), ADC's Communications Producer Laura Wesolowski asked rachel three quick-fire questions to find out what inspires her as an artist. Read here.

Information for buyers

Many of the works in this exhibition are available for purchase. If you are interested please contact the Centre on 02 93614555 or enquire at the desk. Please view the price list here.

Image top: rachel farag, Vase 1, رُفات قِدّيسٍ (rufat qiddys: object of a holy person) Photo: Courtesy of the Artist