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In-Conversation: Leila el Rayes & Sebastian Henry-Jones

1 June 2024
2.00pm – 3.00pm AEST
UNSW Galleries, Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd Paddington NSW 2021
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Join artist Leila el Rayes for a conversation with West Space curator Sebastian Henry-Jones, as they discuss artmaking as a catalyst for social change and hopeful futures.

Together they will discuss el Rayes’ new sculptural commission for the 24th Biennale of Sydney which interrogates the complexity of multilayered identities that defy categorisation.

The conversation will explore ideas concerning decolonial theory, artistic expression under capitalism, and considers the evolving role of art in tying communities together.

Presented in conjunction with the 24th Biennale of Sydney, ‘Ten Thousand Suns’ at UNSW Galleries, 9 March – 10 June 2024.

Portrait of artist Leila el Rayes on a yellow background.

Leila el Rayes


Leila el Rayes’ work celebrates vulnerability by fusing identities and contexts. Working across sculpture, performance, video and text, her practice explores hardship, desire and uncertainty to find moments of meditative intricacy, fragility and beauty. Her material choices are often deeply philosophical, and experiment with duality. This duality reflects a powerful truth: suffering and despair can co-exist with, if not be catalysts for, hopeful futures and calls for unity.

Portrait of curator Sebastian Henry-Jones wearing a red and white striped shirt.

Sebastian Henry-Jones

Curator, West Space

Sebastian Henry-Jones’ curatorial approach is led by an interest in DIY thinking, and situated in the context provided by the gentrification of Sydney and Melbourne’s cultural landscapes. Seb is the Curator at West Space, Melbourne, and was previously Curatorial Assistant for the 22nd and 23rd editions of the Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN and Rivus