Creative Crush: Shireen Taweel

August 14th 2018

Image: ‘from Broken Hill to Campbelltown’.  

Shireen Taweel’s artworks shine. Literally.

Shireen works entirely with copper, using traditional decorative techniques to cut and manipulate these shining sheets of metal into sculptures and installations. Through her artworks, Shireen explores her experiences of being an Australian Muslim of Lebanese decent, and shares ideas of cultural exchange, sacred space and cultural hybridity.

We chatted to Shireen about what she’s been up to and her upcoming participation in Campbelltown Art Centre’s exhibition ‘we’re all connected to Campbelltown (one way or another)’


– Hey Shireen, how are you! Where are you today?

I’m at my Parramatta studio and feeling like I’m on a high after finishing a new artwork.

 Image: Shireen Taweel in her Parramatta Artist Studio

– Tell us a bit about your practice?

I’m an artist who works in sculpture and installation through experimentation with the material copper, most of my projects explore and unpack what is sacred space and notions of cultural hybridity. The processes and concepts I undertake in my work often stem directly from my experiences of being an Australian Muslim of Lebanese decent and how living between cultures and places create spaces of cultural exchange and harmony. Everything I develop in my studio is heavily process driven as I work solely with my two hands; it’s been amazing like that, the challenges I’ve faced throughout developing each of my projects have taken me on a very long and creative journey, each time opening me up to new ideas and approaches to my material copper.

– What have you been working on recently?

I’ve been experimenting and exploring a new process called ‘chasing’ for my most recent work from Broken Hill to Campbelltown – it’s a suspended sculpture made from 99 hand chased copper plates.

 Image: Shireen Taweel in her Parramatta Artist Studio. 

– Have you got any projects coming up?

From Broken Hill to Campbelltown is my latest work I’ve developed for the upcoming 30th anniversary group exhibition we’re all connected to Campbelltown (one way or another). The suspended sculpture considers the local environment and the values captured within sacred infrastructure built by minority communities, acknowledging the parallels between early Muslim settlement within regional Australia, and today’s cultural landscape of South Western Sydney. Within rural and urban spaces, from Broken Hill to Campbelltown connects distance and place throughout NSW and draws out the diversity of Islamic cultures in Australia. 

– Where can we check that out!?

 You can check it out from this Saturday August 11th – October 14th at Campbelltown Arts Centre

 Image: ‘from Broken Hill to Campbelltown’. 

– What music get your creative juices flowing in the studio?

I’ve been really into winter tones and moods with my studio playlist, there’s been lots of instrumental compositions and film scores which stretch out and carry me through what usually is a 12-14hr studio work day.

Some albums are:

Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissen’s album MYSTERY OF HEAVEN

Bohren & der Club of Gore’s album BLACK EARTH


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