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Student writing lights up Redfern

This week Story Factory is lighting up Redfern Street with the writing of young people from across Western Sydney in a new light installation in its iconic Redfern headquarters.

The installation is part of Art Write Light, a writing program that combines the work of Dhungatti artist Blak Douglas with the creative writing of Sydney school students.

The light installation, created by ESEM Projects and curated by Story Factory, has been shining from Story Factory’s front windows from November 3-9, free to view for all visitors to Redfern Street. The installation blends visual art and creative writing on themes of contemporary Aboriginal identity.

As part of Art Write Light, Year 9 and 10 students from two Western Sydney high schools –Bonnyrigg High School and St Clair High School – were introduced to the work of Blak Douglas and his painting Much is Rife, visiting his Marrickville studio and hearing about the themes he addresses in his painting. The students then created both written and audio pieces, responding to his artworks and expressing with their own perspectives.

Story Factory then provided the student writing back to Blak Douglas, who created a new artwork in response – making a perfect circle of creativity. The new work is on display at Story Factory as part of the installation.

Dr Cath Keenan AM, Story Factory’s Executive Director and Co-founder, said that the project was generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation and also a successful example of art being used to make a positive contribution to kids’ education.

“Our Art Write Light Project is now in its third year, and each year we’ve seen the positive results from exposing kids to artists and artworks. It’s been a real thrill to welcome Blak Douglas to the project this year, who brings so much energy and irreverence to both his work and his practice.

“This year it was wonderful to see the students really respond to both Blak Douglas’s artwork and his incredible studio space, and particularly to see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students feel empowered to see a successful Aboriginal artist at work, and to write about their own perspective and experiences in response.

“We’re delighted to be able to showcase that writing as part of our light installation this year, especially after the challenges of the past months. It’s a joy to be able to celebrate the resilience and achievements of students from Western Sydney.”



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