Using art to strengthen identity
Open your eyes, your mind, and your heart this March, when the Harmony Art Collective, a venture that took a year to create, officially opens in Sydney.
Contemporary artist Brad Eastman (aka Beastman), prolific stenciller Regan Tamanui (aka Haha), pop art and mash-up artist Ben Frost, and criminal lawyer turned urban art-maker Kaff-eine were selected as the projects’ four art ambassadors.
Together with collaborators Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and aMBUSH Gallery, they traversed Australia on an artistic journey underpinned by positivity, unity and understanding. This innovative national art project is an initiative of Harmony Day 2017, which celebrates cultural diversity and spreads the message that everyone belongs.
The Harmony Art Collective involved a series of eight workshops with young Australians aged 15-24 years, many of whom are newly arrived migrants, allowing them to explore vital themes of individuality and belonging through the creation of collaborative artworks.
The aims were to foster social participation, cultural pride, independence, self-esteem, and community connectedness and provides the impetus for timely and long overdue discussions in our society centred around the diverse experiences of young migrants, who now proudly call Australia home.
At an important juncture in their lives, the contributors were able to create artworks reinforced by their own narratives and expressed a sense of belonging to their new country through the project.
The exhibition will open to the public on Wednesday 15 March, in time for Harmony Day on 21 March. It will run daily from 15 March – 30 April 2017 at Darling Quarter’s outdoor exhibition space, OPEN. Admission free.
Run your Own Workshop
Amplify the discussion around identity and belonging with our classroom and community centre DIY Art Workshop Resources. Make sure to share your creative creations with #sbslearn #harmonyartcollective
The workshops were conducted in local schools and community centres in Darwin (NT), Hume (Vic), West Croydon (SA), Inala (Qld), Bankstown (NSW), Wollongong (NSW), Hobart (Tas), and during the Garma Festival in August 2016 (NT).
Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services (DSS) provides a range of social policies and programs that respond to people’s needs throughout their lives. This includes our work to improve the lifetime well-being of migrants and refugees settling in Australia by responding to their participation in the Australian community. We support
a productive, harmonious and diverse society for all Australians. Australia is a vibrant and multicultural country — from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world.
Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. It makes Australia a great place to live. Multicultural Australia is an integral part of our national identity. All people who migrate to Australia bring with them some of their own cultural and religious traditions,as well as taking on many new traditions. Collectively, these traditions have enriched our nation.
We celebrate the many cultures that make up Australia — and value the importance of inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
aMBUSH Gallery has evolved from its early life as a propagator of young and emerging artists and is now cementing its role as a facilitator and nurturer of cultural development. At the forefront of its field not only as a platform for art but a hub of innovation and creative progress.