REDFERN: Felipe Vilches is a resident artist at 107 Projects on Redfern Street. A visual artist, poet and musician, he is also a sound engineer and radio presenter (with several years’ experience at Koori Radio 93.7FM).
“Initially, I wanted to use [the studio] as my own artistic space,” Felipe says. “But then there’s also a multimedia room here, so I can use that as a music room, as a recording space. I felt it was important to use the art studio in a way that I had set out in my residency brief – to share the space, to bring artists together, bring them out of their silos.”
Felipe is excited to have met a young Aboriginal artist, Jessica Tobin, with whom he now shares the studio. “Jess does a lot of canvas art, and also art on clothing and fabric, as well as working with her dad.”
Artist Ana Maria also works in the space. “Apart from painting, Ana does beading,” Felipe explains. “She learned beading from traditional elders in Colombia, so spent time over there learning the craft. She also helps support people in South America, families who do this work and send beading over here as well.”
Felipe and Ana have recently joined Aimee Flores’s podcast platform Sangre Migrante (Migrant Blood). The three artists host a podcast called Between Sacred Lands. “It’s about three artists reflecting on what it means to be both Australian and Latin-American. We invite listeners to join us as we delve into everything from racism to music.”
Felipe, whose family are from Chile, is aware that many South Americans are suffering right now. “With Covid-19, it’s a very, very different situation over there,” he says. “Many governments are just letting people go, letting things happen. In other places there’s giant lockdown. And there’s no real health system. Intensive care, all of that is very different. So people are just checking in with their families and making sure that they’re fine. I think that’s the biggest thing from migrants who are here now.”
107 is not currently open to the general public. Major partner the City of Sydney is providing limited access to community facilities and services. Follow on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date.