women's art prize tasmania


shortlisted March 2020, Women’s Art Prize Tasmania

‘Assimilation’ draws on the artist’s personal experiences to examine
the types of microagressions that can act as a driving force to assimilate people of colour and culture into mainstream Australia.


This piece illuminates a formative experience in the artist’s life – being bullied at school for having dark hair on the sides of her face, like many of the other women in her family but unlike any of the other Australian kids at school. ‘Assimilation’ isolates a point in the artist’s personal history which exemplifies the erasure of points of difference and the overwhelming pressure to fit in.


The use of a blue Payne’s grey with gold leafing is a colour palette which is repeated in the body of work that this piece belongs in – riffing on colours that echo the Australian flag. This palette references the intent of this work to reframe concepts of identity and belonging in contemporary Australia.

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