Artists: Leanne Mulgo Watson, Peter Rush, Erin Wilkins and Bundeluk Watson. Curated by Tian Zhang.
Songlines and Sightlines – Colouring in Blacktown is an interactive gallery experience that invites visitors to colour in and draw directly on the walls of The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. Artist and Darug knowledge holder Leanne Mulgo Watson and artist Peter Rush have mapped sites of significance onto the gallery walls reflecting Darug song lines, plants, animals and the built environment for visitors to interact with, follow and be inspired by.
Songlines and Sightlines – Colouring in Blacktown is inclusive and participatory, open to visitors of all ages including children and families. Colour in or contribute your own drawings of local landmarks and memories important to you. The result will be a community driven, collaborative exhibition of Blacktown city that speaks to the complex layers of history and memory held within the area. Free and open to all.
Leanne Mulgo Watson
Leanne Mulgo Watson is a Darug artist-educator based in Blacktown who has illustrated children’s books including Cooee Mittigar and contributed to Young Dark Emu. Leanne is the daughter of Aunty Edna Watson. She has been a director of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation for many years. Cooee Mittigar is her first book. She says “I had always wanted to create books to share our knowledge, as education is the key to our culture staying strong”.
With an interest in the urban environment, Sydney-based artist Peter Rush sketches familiar places and everyday life in an insightful way. An architect by trade, Rush works with materials that range from pen and paper to used cereal boxes to capture the mood, expression and texture of city streets.
Based in Sydney on Darug Country, Tian Zhang is an award-winning curator and changemaker working at the intersections of art and cultural practice. Her work often involves a recalibration of rituals and cultural phenomena within our understandings of contemporary art and life. She has more than ten years’ experience producing culturally-attentive and site-responsive projects, working with organisations such as Utp, Parramatta Artists’ Studios, Blacktown Arts, Sydney Customs House, Brisbane Festival and Brisbane City Council.
With a deep commitment to grassroots, collective and collaborative practices, Tian is a founding co-director of Pari, a new artist-run initiative for Parramatta, and formerly chair and co-director of Firstdraft. She has participated in the Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders Program and the British Council’s INTERSECT Program. She currently sits on the board of Utp, an organisation at the forefront of art and social change since 1979.
Image: Leanne Mulgo Watson