My Arts My Culture

A photo of a woman holding a musical instrument and a painting of this photo

How does a person’s culture inform their artistic practice? Come on a journey of cultural exploration.

My Arts My Culture is a new program by Boroondara Arts that celebrates cultural diversity and creativity. Following the stories of 7 artists connected to Boroondara, My Arts My Culture offers our community rich insights into how cultural heritage and art intertwine.

One of those artists is Gelareh Pour, a musician of Iranian Australian heritage (pictured above as depicted by artist Nicole van Dijk). Gelareh grew up with her family in Tehran, Iran. She believes Iranians are always very proud of their culture – passionate about food, football and anything else related to where they come from. 

“We may have different ideas personally about different things, but at the end of the day we all come together and celebrate the culture we are in love with,” she says. 

Gelareh began her music career in Iran, playing traditional Iranian instruments and singing in Farsi. Although her connection to her culture manifests in her music, Gelareh doesn’t believe it defines her as a musician. 

“Immigrating to Australia, I am the sum of so many different things. My culture is only one part of it, but I can never avoid the influence of where I’ve come from in my artistic practice.”

Gelareh likes to remind people that she is more than her cultural heritage. The music she makes reflects all her experiences, including her experience of living and working in Australia. 

When asked what the connection between art and culture is, Gelareh says, “Art is universal, and we can all connect to it.”

Gelareh now lives and performs across Australia, including at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. She is passionate about gardening, diasporic art, cats, cooking and interior design.

You can learn more about the stories of each of the 7 artists featured in My Arts My Culture by:

  • visiting the My Arts My Culture exhibition at Hawthorn Arts Centre until 30 June
  • hearing directly from the artists in our My Arts My Culture video series.

Local school students can also participate in the program with educational resources designed to help them identify their own cultural and artistic influences, taking inspiration from the stories of the artists featured in My Arts My Culture.

Boroondara Arts is proud to deliver programs where diverse perspectives, cultures and values are accepted, appreciated and celebrated.

For more information, visit our My Arts My Culture page