tasmanian portraiture prize

'Your Mother's Eyes, Your Father's Nose'

shortlisted October 2019, Tasmanian Portraiture Prize, touring exhibition TAS

‘Your Mother’s Eyes, Your Father’s Nose’ is a self-portrait examining the relationship between personal understanding and public perception of identity. For someone of mixed heritage, the dissection of appearance which usually happens beside a baby’s crib, continues well beyond infancy. Often the admission of being ethnically diverse is seen an open invitation to reduce the person to a subject who is no more than a sum of parts which carry echoes of racial stereotypes. Identity and individuality become sacrificed by third parties in discussions that revolve around trying to determine where that person fits into a restricted world view. People become authorities on who or what you do or do not look like.


Diasporic understandings of identity are often fragmented and always complex – something which is further emphasised in this piece by the use of collage and mixed media techniques.

I pay my respects to the muwinina people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters where I live and work.

I pay my deepest respect to their elders - past, present and emerging and I acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

©2020 Sharifah Emalia Al-Gadrie