Australia's largest contemporary multi-arts precinct, will reopen to the public today, Wednesday 3 November 2021, with a solo exhibition of award-winning Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding titled The Future is Here. Presented free to the public in the Carriageworks public space from 3-28 November 2021, The Future is Here features colourful capes created in collaboration between Golding and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Alexandria Park Community School.
Carriageworks CEO Blair French said: "We're thrilled to finally be reopening the doors to Carriageworks today and what better way than with Dennis Golding's joyful exhibition after a period that has been difficult for all of us. We can't wait to welcome our audiences back as well as the students and families of Alexandria Park Community School to see their work as part of Dennis Golding's exhibition at Carriageworks."
The collaboration to create the capes featured in the exhibition was originally undertaken in 2020, during a Solid Ground workshop. Golding, together with students from Kindergarten to Year 12, designed capes with iconography informed by their lived experiences and cultural identity.
Artist Dennis Golding said: "'All of these capes talk about connection to country whether in terms of language, family, animals, or an actual place where these kids might go back to visit family. There are about 170 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kids at the school, and we worked with over a 100 of them."
The project continues Golding's exploration of using superhero symbolism to empower contemporary Aboriginal culture and free it from colonial narratives. As superheroes, Golding and his young collaborators are empowered and reminded of the strength of their culture in forming their identity and connection to Country. Individually and together, the capes critique social, political and cultural representations of contemporary First Nations experience.
As a major initiative of Carriageworks and Blacktown Arts, Solid Ground provides education, training and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. The initiative is supported by The Australian Government, The Crown Resorts Foundation and The Packer Family Foundation. In 2021, Golding continues his work with Solid Ground as an artist in residence at Alexandria Park Community School.
Carriageworks Writer in Residence Fiona Kelly McGregor wrote as part of her essay on the exhibition: "In September, I met Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding at his Carriageworks exhibition 'The Future is Here'. It was a bittersweet experience as I was the only audience member allowed into the venue during Sydney's 107-day Covid lockdown. The display of around 100 superhero capes made by school kids in a workshop with the artist had been visible through the glass doors since July. But to stand closer, to be in the actual physical presence of the capes and able to roam the length of the installation, was to experience jubilation, excitement and play, a veritable hubbub of colour, as though the mute button on a playground had been released."
Carriageworks is a registered COVID-Safe business. Guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors are developed in accordance with NSW Government requirements and can be accessed at https://carriageworks.com.au/journal/carriageworks-covid-19-safety/
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