3 AUGUST - 31 AUGUST 2022


Curated by acclaimed South Australian artist Elyas Alavi, this exhibition explores the themes of memory, migration, identity, and body.

TIMELESS presents a diverse group of South Australian and international contemporary artists – across several media, including painting, sculpture, installation, and video.

TIMELESS is commissioned and presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, and supported by City of Adelaide as part of SALA Festival



girl in Afghanistan

3 August - 31 August 2022
Open weekdays 9am - 5pm, until 6pm on Thursdays

Kerry Packer Civic Gallery
Hawke Building Level 3, UniSA City West Campus
55 North Terrace Adelaide MAP

Images: Banner, Be Better Not Bitter 1, Artist: Truc Truong
Top Right, Disappeared People, Artist: Maxwell Callaghan
Bottom Right, Artist: Kobra Akbari 

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Truc Truong is an emerging artist living and working on Kaurna land, exploring differences between Eastern and Western ideas. Working with various mediums, her work interrogates colonialism, exploring aspects of power and displacement, often through experiences and stories lived and retold by her family. Truong explores the use of materials and processes of making through the Du Boisian theory of double-consciousness, not actively looking at which identity to uphold but instead, supporting the maintaining of a ‘two-ness’ through her work.

Instagram: @truc.fakeit

Maxwell Callaghan is a visual artist living and working on Kaurna Land. He uses painting to articulate and reveal relationships, meanings, and ways of seeing present in interconnected details of memory, imagination, bodily feeling, and language.

Instagram: @maxwellcallaghan

Meng Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist, working in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and installation. Meng’s practice is centred around recording observations of daily life and examining connections between people who live in different geographical spaces, as well as the spaces extended by internet connectivity.

Instagram: @mengzhang0901


Matthew Thorne was born in Adelaide, South Australia.
His work operates in the space between constructed narrative and observational storytelling, often drawing from the landscape of Australia, its people, their relationship to their community, their land, their spirituality, and their work. Matthew is currently living and working between Berlin, Germany & Australia.

Recent work includes film and photographic projects Marungka Tjalatjunu / Dipped in Black (2022) funded by the SAFC and Adelaide Film Festival, The Sand That Ate The Sea (2020), and GAIB (2019). Photography for Nick Cave and the Badseed’s album Ghosteen (2019), photography on Justin Kurzel’s film True History of The Kelly Gang, Jingo Was Born In The Slum (2019), and photography and additional direction on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant (2017). Matthew has published two books; Jingo Was Born In The Slum (2021) and For My Father (2018). Matthew’s work is in collection and/or has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia (2021), National Portrait Gallery London (2020), National Museum of Australia (2020), Art Gallery of South Australia (2020), National Library of Australia (2019), Perth Centre for Photography (2019), and the Melbourne Centre for Contemporary Photography (2019/20/21/22).

Instagram: @matthewjjthorne

Akhtar Esmailzadeh is from Kerman Province in Southern Iran and has been living in Australia for 14 years. Akhtar was taught traditional Persian embroidery by family members as a child, and has been embroidering for over 45 years. Akhtar is an expert in ‘pateh’, or paisley design, which originated in Iran and has since spread in textile design throughout the world. The pateh motif, also called ‘bota’ or cedar tree motif, symbolises life in Persian culture. Akhtar holds a wealth of knowledge about the history and cultural significance of her craft. 

Allison Chhorn is a Cambodian-Australian film-maker and multidisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of migrant displacement, trauma and post-memory.

Her film, The Missing, explores the separation and distance of the Cambodian diaspora through a mother and daughter living apart from each other. Threading common questions of longing and switching between English and Khmer, the footage includes a trip to the US and Canada in 2019, excerpt from a poetry reading by Monica Sok and a photograph of Allison's mother and her missing friend from the Khao-I-Dang refugee camp. The work was commissioned by Prototype.

Instagram: @ac_aota



Nigerian born Jefferson Ofesi is an Adelaide based artist whose portrait photography consists of colourful imagery that is both energetic and bold. Practising photography since 2016, Ofesi is drawn to the connections of family, friendships, love, and anguish, especially the stories of minorities and people of non-Western backgrounds. Through his lens he aims to capture raw emotions that the viewer can connect with.  

Recently Ofesi has been experimenting with colour and design. In his collages the use of repetitive forms give a stark contrast from the background and create movement and depth across the work. He believes that everything should be captured through a lens similar to a story of discovery, fighting yourself and emotions from within before finally accepting who you are. He has exhibited work at Unprofessional Art Exhibition and directed and the “Magajie” Music video for Adverse Reign Entertainment. He is currently working on the photography project “Unheard”.

Instagram: @jefferson.ofesi

Mahnoosh Rudd is a multidisciplinary artist whose activities and projects are influenced by her education and experience in drama, acting, directing, history, culture, visual arts and education. She has performed in Iranian Artist Forum (Khaneye Honarmandan), and City Theatre, International Hifest Festival (Armenia), and International Fajr Festival (Iran). She won awards for acting/performing from a number of festivals.

Mahnoosh is one of the co-founders, co-producers and voice artists of Radio Shahrzad which is a music and literary podcast for Farsi Speakers. She is also an educator with a decade of experience in working with special needs students. After a Bachelor’s degree in Drama-Acting and studying a Post-Grad degree in Visual Arts and Creative Practices, she has finished another Bachelor’s degree in History and Cultural Studies. She has always been interested in utilising her colourful background in linking people together and addressing social and political issues. Her main interest is in identity, migration and cultural differences.

Instagram: @mahnoosh__rudd

Tikari Rigney is a non-binary (they/them) Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjeri visual artist and poet. Working in a range of mediums from performance, illustration sculpture to writing. Their practice references their queer bodily experience, Aboriginality and the complexities of human connection. Exploring themes of humour, rebirth and emotional vulnerability.

Rigney is a First Nations Curator at ACE Open and they currently work at Scotch College as an Art assistant and a First Nations Coordinator supporting Aboriginal boarding students. Rigney participated in the inaugural Zine and Held fair for disabled and people of colour artists at POP gallery. They have exhibited in over five group exhibitions in South Australia. They curated the largest student exhibition at Adelaide Central School of Art with over 22 artists and is completing a Bachelor in Visual Arts. Rigney has connections to Carclew through their Creative Consultant program and has completed a culturally diverse illustration commission for Shine SA.

Instagram: @tikari.rigney

Shuja'Ath Ahmadi is an emerging photographer from Sydney, born in Afghanistan. As a teenager he explored the confused, angsty, and artistically-overlooked teenage identity, including through his own body. Now at 19, he is exploring queer bodies, their unbounded sexuality and subsequent censoring. Shuja'Ath describes his work as "clumsy but polished", and invites his audience to seriously relate with his subjects.




Reza Heidari Shahbidak is an Afghan photographer and filmmaker based in Iran. He is the founder of the Golshahr Photographers Group, a visual project that documents the lives of Afghan refugees living in Golshahr are in Mashhad city, Iran. He has participated in multiple exhibitions and received several awards. He has also taught courses on the History of Afghanistan Photography.

Instagram: @shahbidak

Mohsen Hossaini is a visual artist and animator, based in Norway. In an interview, Mohsen Hossaini described three elements which shaped his artistic personality: 'First, homelessness, a man without a country. Second, the bullet that gets fired from a gun. Third, streets of Kabul'. He describes, 'the arts as a verse to my perception of life. Art has climax and troughs, but no ending. Life is about experiencing every day, and for and for me, it is recreating these experiences from imagination, mine.'

'Mohsen Hossaini’s imagery stays very much in the present, recalling flayed flesh, bodies interrogated and women cast as the object of an oppressive male gaze. Women are the sacrificial offering yet poignantly the spilling of their blood is counterbalanced by the creation and protection of life that women uniquely offer, children growing in their bodies and from their blood. However a funereal sadness envelops his traumatised subjects who stare blankly across each other, or the child who stares blankly towards us. This world appears hermetically sealed, a sense of resignation fills the atmosphere, and each person is beaten back into their own shell. Despair at an inability to offer protection to the vulnerable permeates this inward-looking, wounded world.' – text by Andrew Hill

Instagram: @hossainimohsen

Kobra Akbari was born in Balkh Province, and currently lives in Kabul, Afghanistan. He graduated from a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Balkh University in 2014. He is interested in documentary and street photography genre and aims to show the life of Afghanistan women.

Instagram: @kobraakbari6771

Jawad Khalili is a photographer and poet who live in Mashhad, Iran. He is interested in documenting the life of people who live in exile.

Instagram: @jawad_Khalili

Ali Omid Taqdisyan is a photographer based in Kabul. He was born 1997 and currently studying at the Faculty of Photography at the Kabul University. He has participated in group exhibitions and art projects in Afghanistan including at the IFA Gallery and Gol Sang Centre.

Through photography, Ali encourages us to, 'look deeply until you find yourself in their eyes. These eyes are a window to their inner self, a window to their experience, their pain, their sadness, and suffering. Their eyes are a vessel to their soul. Stay quiet and let them to talk to you until you are drowned you in the stories behind their eyes'.

Instagram: @taqdisyan

Marwa Ezzat is an emerging photographer from Kabul, Afghanistan. Through his photography he aims to represent his country and show the unseen and unexplored side of my land, to show the strength, resilience, grace and enthusiasm of people who have fought bravely for their freedom, rights and honour for years. He dreams of 'peace for my country and happiness for my people.'

Instagram: @raremomentsafg

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While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.


While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.