When I heard about Priyanka’s idea of creating a space where people could come to learn a new skill, connect with others and stretch their creativity, I was immediately in support of it. Learning from community has always been part of human behaviour, and it seems so strange that this is no longer the way we are discovering new skills. Kohpi & Co are bringing collaborative, community-based workshops to Western Sydney, creating a space where we can express the creative part of us that we ALL have. Priyanka and I had a great conversation about what taking and idea to an actual project and what creativity means to us, read on friends.Continue Reading
Blacktown Arts Centre has a great exhibition running at the moment – It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II). The exhibition showcases 14 artists and the explosion of hip-hop culture in Blacktown during the 1990s, along with its impact on current artistic practices, with works to be found both inside and outside of the centre. We chatted with one of the shows curators, Kon Gouriotis – a Western Sydney native, born in Fairfield and now living in Casula. Kon has an impressive resume with 13 years as director and curator at Casula Power House, before moving on to be ‘Director – Visual Arts’ at Australia Council for the Arts; and then a short stint as Director of Australia Centre for Photography. He edits and writes for Arts Profile and while I could go on, all you really need to know is that he is a great guy and absolute champion for the Arts. We chatted about the beginning of his career and how a project in Blacktown has led him to be on of the most respected names in the Australian art world. Continue Reading
Last year when The University of Western Sydney rebranded to Western Sydney University they released a series of videos featuring some of their alumni students who have gone on to do some wonderful and inspiring things, one story in particular stood out, that of Deng Adut a former child solider from South Sudan. After serving in the army for several years and being shot in the back his brother helped him get out of the country and Deng, with the help of an Australian family came to Australia as a refuge, settling in Blacktown where he set out on an incredible journey, teaching himself English, enrolling in TAFE to study accounting and then going on to study law at WSU, check out the powerful video here.