‘Outside Looking In’ A Maori Australian Artist’s Beautiful Tribute to Palestine

Shane Ruka’s art exhibition ‘Outside Looking In’ promises to be an astonishing visual and emotional experience that cannot be missed.

Described as a heart felt journey, Ruka’s art pieces tell stories of the Palestinian people’s forced exile, dispossession, war, siege, resilience and their basic human desire to be free.

Shane Ruka is an Australian artists of Maori background who knew nothing of Palestine until ten years ago when he met his wife Jeanette, a Palestinian Australian. Ruka was so moved by the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, he was determined to use art as a means to tell their stories.

The art pieces are all on wood panels on which Ruka combines various techniques including cutting, burning, painting, routing and staining. This richness in techniques results in lively exciting art pieces with multidimensional tones. The pieces are deeply moving with a wide appeal. Ruka deliberately stayed away from graphic images, wanting his art to focus on the resilience and the beautiful spirit of the Palestinian people’s quest for freedom.

It is easy when perusing his master pieces to see that Ruka has inherited his undeniable brilliance of turning wood into distinct art pieces from his Maori ancestry, the Maori people are known for their proud and rich cultural heritage and their ability to create beautiful and striking woodcarvings.

When asked if his Maori background influenced his outlook on the plight of the Palestinian people and the beautiful art which he has created, Ruka agreed. Being an indigenous person himself, he is able to identify with the indigenous Palestinian people’s struggle to stand up in the face of colonisation and oppression and to remain steadfast on their ancestral land.

The one day only exhibition will be open to the public this Saturday 7th of November from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St Pauls Church Hall, 32 – 34 Plunket Road Dandenong. For more information please follow this link.

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