Islamic Museum of Australia’s current exhibition “The Laughing Apple” is showcasing posters of digital and hand-drawn illustrations by Yusuf Islam, otherwise known as Cat Stevens.
The show serves to showcase Yusuf’s experiences writing and illustrating The Laughing Apple examining the transformative power of love and its relationship to nature.
Taking visitors on an eclectic journey that showcases colourful pop-art portraits of Yusuf, juxtaposed with illustrations from his album artwork and large cut outs that subtly reference the visual styles of Tillerman and Teaser, this exhibition hosts something to suit all Yusuf fans – young and old alike!
The Laughing Apple symbolises the creative potential contained within Yusuf’s music, where he alludes to life’s challenges in a way that can be appreciated by young children.
‘‘As you grow older, the sweetness of youth, as Wordsworth expressed in his poem Splendour in the Grass, gets stronger,” Yusuf has explained.
“Looking back and emotionally drawing on the themes of childhood possibilities and disappointments is what exemplifies this album, for me.”
The exhibition will coincide with Yusuf’s Peace Train Tour commemorating 50 years since the release of his album, Matthew & Son in 1967.
Yusuf’s new album The Laughing Apple has just been nominated for a Grammy Award under the category of ‘Best Folk Album’. Subsequently, The Laughing Apple exhibition offers Yusuf fans an immersive visual experience, journeying from decades passed, through to the present.
The images which will be signed by Yusuf himself will be available for sale via charity sponsor Penny Appeal Australia with all profits going to their Love Thy Neighbour campaign.
IMA General Manager, Ali Fahour noted that:
‘‘The Islamic Museum is proud to house an exhibition that celebrates Yusuf’s significant contribution to the arts and music industries. He is a great ambassador for this cultural institution and it is an honour to share his illustrations with our visitors.’’
The exhibition will be housed at the Islamic Museum of Australia that affords a cultural immersion in the art, history and discovery of Islam and Muslims in Australia.
Through the five permanent galleries – Islamic Faith, Islamic Contributions to Civilisation, Islamic Art, Islamic Architecture and Australian Muslim History – the Museum fosters a more nuanced and realistic understanding of what it means to be an Australian Muslim.
By showcasing a wealth of contemporary artistic expression and an extensive cultural heritage, IMA facilitates space for critical reflection and personal interpretation – in the act of sharing, common myths and prejudices are dispelled and mutual understanding is established.