Deanna Hitti is an Australian artist based in Melbourne with Lebanese heritage. Her artist book Towla is the recipient of the 2018 Fremantle Art Centre Print Award. Her works have been short listed in numerous Australian art prizes and has exhibited nationally and internationally in group and solo shows. During the past three years, she has undertaken extensive research through artist residencies in Australia, China, Venice and Beirut. Her works have been acquired by major Australian collections including The State Library of Victoria and The National Library of Australia
As a child of Lebanese parents who migrated to Australia, I began developing a strong interest in comprehending the diverse cultural traditions among the varied population in this country. I grew up living in two cultures simultaneously. One, a strong Middle Eastern tradition at home, the other collectively experiencing mores of western influences in my social and school environment. This began a visual exploration of Australian Identity. I am interested in the place from which we look and construct our understanding of different cultures. Much of my practice concerns the nuanced relationships between East and West. The ways in which these relations are figured and practiced, inform our understandings of self and other. I investigate how such vantages are constructed. The historical context of western notions of the east, characterized by notions of exoticism, romanticism and Orientalism, act as a lens to investigate contemporary representations of the Middle East.