by bacblogarts

Winter School Holidays
Image: Family Day 2022 by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

Winter School Holidays

3 July to 15 July 2023
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

These Winter School Holidays, connect with culture, get crafty and improve your content creation skills at workshops and drop in activities for kids, young people and families.

On Fridays, bring the family along for Elders in Residence | Art and Yarn to meet local Elders and engage with First Nations culture, stories and history.

Join Muruwari artist and Raw Records: Materials in Pratice artist Dr Virginia Keft at Colours of Country, a one-off workshop to make bright, colourful creations about Country, place and nature.

Follow along and make your very own Quirky Koala through a video workshop with 2022/23 Blacktown City Art Prize finalist Skye Andrew.

Plus, if you’re a young person interested in filmmaking or just want to expand your TikTok skills, join SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest on Saturdays to discover the art of Smartphone Filmmaking.

See full Winter line up here.

Kids Maker Space | Quirky Koalas with Skye Andrew

Make a quirky koala from the comfort of your own home or in our fully-stocked Kids Maker Space.

Follow along with 2022/23 Blacktown City Art Prize finalist Skye Andrew and use simple materials like paper plates to craft your very own cute koala face for display at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre or to decorate the walls at home.

Ages 5+
Materials provided at Kids Maker Space.

Available online or drop in to the Kids Maker Space at
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Tuesday to Saturday, 4 to 15 July 2023
10 am to 4 pm
Watch online now

Prefer to meet the artist? Join Skye in the Maker Space to create your quirky koala alongside her.
Register below.

Make with the Artist session: Wednesday 5 July
10.30 to 11.30 am

Image: Quirky Koalas by Skye Andrew, courtesy of Blacktown Arts

Colours of Country with Dr Virginia Keft

Bring the family and join Muruwari artist, Dr Virginia Keft, to create a vibrant collage artwork about place, Country, and nature.

Experiment with colour, texture, and design to create your own bright mixed media artwork.

Virginia is featured in Raw Records: Materials in Practice, open at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre from 13 June to 22 July 2023.

All ages welcome
Materials provided

Ticket price per family (up to 2 adults and 2 kids)
Please contact us at artscentre@blacktown.nsw.gov.au if you have more than 4 people attending.
Thursday 6 July 2023
10.30 am to noon

Image: Colours of Country workshop by  Dr Virginia Keft

Elders in Residence | Art and Yarn

Want to connect with First Nations culture?

Gather the whole family and come along to these special school holiday sessions of Elders in Residence.

Acknowledging our place on Darug land, Elders in Residence I Art and Yarn connects kids and adults alike with First Nations culture and knowledge in a fun and engaging community experience.

Hear stories and poetry, try your hand at a creative activity and learn a thing or two from local First Nations Elders, Uncle Wes Marne, Uncle Greg Simms, Uncle Danny Eastwood and Uncle John Farrington.

All ages welcome
Materials provided
Damper and beverages provided.

*Please note that sometimes our Elders have other commitments and, as such, who is present may change.

Fridays, 7 and 14 July 2023
10.30 am to 12.30 pm

See more at Elders in Residence. 

An elderly man beading with red, yellow, and black beads
Image: Elders in Residence 2023, by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

Introduction to Smartphone Filmmaking

Interested in filmmaking or just want to be the next TikTok star?

Young people, join SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest to learn how to make a short film on a phone, iPad or tablet.

Discover an accessible way to approach filmmaking in these free hands-on workshops led by a world leader in the smartphone education space.

Learn techniques in screenwriting, lighting and filming using your own device and expand on your skills at home.

Participants will require a smartphone or tablet with capacity to film video.

If you do not own this equipment but would still like to participate, please email artscentre@blacktown.nsw.gov.au to enquire about alternative options.

Saturday 8 July 2023
10.30 am to 1.00 pm
Ages 14 to 18

Saturday 15 July 2023
10.30 am to 1.00 pm
Ages 18 to 23

Image: Smartphone filmmaking workshop, courtesy of SF3 SmartFone FlickFest

Artist Bios

Dr. Virginia Keft is a proud Muruwari woman. She is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator, First Nations producer, and award-winning researcher with over 25 years’ experience working in the Arts Sector.

She lives and works on Dharawal and Gadigal Country and has firm links to her community. Her practice includes weaving, painting, drawing, and sculpture and celebrates connections to place, community, and Country. She has a passion for learning and a deep respect for the continuity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, knowledges, perspectives, and truth-telling.

She holds a Doctorate (PhD – Medalist) from the University of Wollongong, along with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA – Distinction), and a Bachelor of Arts (BA – Class 1 Honours).

Virginia is the Producer of Bangawarra Art Yarns: for older and Elder mob at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. She is also the project lead for Weaving Collective, a joint initiative by Parramatta Powerhouse and Parramatta Artist’s Studios which will oversee the creation of a weaving garden on the site of the new Parramatta Powerhouse.

Image: Dr Virginia Keft, courtesy of the artist

Uncle Wes Marne AM is a Bigambul man and community elder who has lived in Mount Druitt for the past 45 years. He is a storyteller, poet and custodian of his grandfather’s Creation and Dreamtime stories.

Uncle Wes is a published author, and has toured his work at Sydney Festival (2016), Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival (2017), Way Out West Children’s Festival at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2017), and recently he published Through Old Eyes (2022), his first book of poetry for his 100th Birthday. In December 2022, he received an Honorary Fellowship from Western Sydney University for service as an educator and champion of Aboriginal culture; an advocate for vulnerable young people and a pillar of the greater western Sydney community.

Uncle Wes comes from a long line of storytellers and has been working with children, primary and high schools, universities, gaols, social housing and justice to share his love of culture and stories throughout all the community.

Image: Uncle Wes, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

Uncle Danny Eastwood is descended from the Ngemba group of Western New South Wales. His mother came from Brewarrina and he was born and grew up in the Eora area of the Gadigal Nation. For the past 43 years, he has been a proud member of the Darug area of Western Sydney.

As a painter and cartoonist, he has produced numerous works which tell the story of his people and Country, including his contributions to Koori Mail over the last 30 years and his public art which can be found all over Sydney.

In 1992, Uncle Danny won the NSW NAIDOC Award. He shared the National NAIDOC Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award, receiving 1st prize in the NSW Parliament Award and the NAIDOC Poster Award in 1993. Uncle Danny is responsible for building and making the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial to honour Aboriginal service people at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney.

Image: Uncle Danny, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

Uncle Greg Simms is a respected Aboriginal Community Elder of Mount Druitt and the greater western Sydney region, with ties to the Gundungurra (water dragon people) of the Blue Mountains and the Gadigal (whale people) of the Dharug nation.

Uncle Greg is an activist for reconciliation, a traditional woodcarver, a storyteller and an Aboriginal cultural educator. He always engages young people and Elders in his processes, championing intergenerational knowledge sharing and understanding. In December 2021, Uncle Greg received an Honorary Fellowship from Western Sydney University in recognition of his role as a leading educator of Aboriginal culture, and for his contribution to Western Sydney University.

Image: Uncle Greg, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

Uncle John Farrington was born in the town of Young, part of the Wiradjuri Nation, the people of the 3 rivers. He was taken to Sydney at the age of 9 along with his siblings and put into the custody of the NSW Government as a Ward of the State. He has lived and worked in Sydney since and connected with the people of the Dharug Nation as he struggled to find family, his roots, his identity and his connection to Country, which is now linked to the Gamilaraay People through his father.

Uncle John has been active in sharing his stories and experience through Dharug community meetings and gatherings. Through this space, he shares his remarkable life and his continual journey to find family and reconnect. He loves to share documents as well as photos that he has discovered on his quest for answers.

Uncle John loves to meet people, tell them his stories and share his Culture, while highlighting and encouraging the strength and survival spirit that may help others to overcome the past.

Image: Uncle John, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

SF3 aka the SmartFone Flick Fest is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious smartphone film festivals. An international festival open to filmmakers of all ages from every corner of the world – all you need is a great idea and a phone or tablet.

SF3 provides a platform for budding, emerging and professional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life and have their films seen by a global audience, without the need for lots of fancy equipment or a big budget. The democratisation of filmmaking is here!

Alongside the festival, SF3 is also a world leader in the smartphone education space. They teach smartphone filmmaking workshops throughout the year both live and via Zoom. Their workshops cater to all ages – the youngest student to date is 5 years old and the oldest in their 70s. SF3 teaches for NIDA, the Actors Centre Australia, WIFT NSW, many local Australian councils and arts centres across both metro and regional Australia, in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica and across America, Europe and Asia.

Image: Supplied by SF3 Smartphone Film Fest

Angela Blake is the Co-Founder and Director of SF3 – SmartFone Flick Fest, now the biggest film festival in the world solely dedicated to smartphone filmmaking. Founded in 2015, they have had sell-out seasons at the Sydney Opera House, Event Cinemas George St, Palace Chauvel and the Actors Centre Australia Theatre.

Angela is also an Accessible Filmmaking Tutor for Bus Stop Films. With Bus Stop Films she has Directed and Co-Written three iPhone shorts – The Society Experiment, Career Fight and documentary, #CHILDBOSS – which are currently on the festival circuit.

Angela is also an accomplished director and writer in both film and theatre. Short films include: Upsold, Face the Day, The Circle Game & BE. Theatre includes: The Restaurant Diaries, Romeo and Juliet and Weeing on a Stick which won the Wildcards Award at Short+Sweet.

Angela teaches filmmaking and acting throughout Australia with SF3 and NIDA. She has also worked at The Wayside Chapel in Sydney for the past 10 years and has produced countless short films, documentaries and theatre productions. She is a passionate educator and especially loves teaching in the not for profit space.

Angela also works as a performer. Her most recent acting credits include From All Sides, A Place To Call Home Season 6, Love Child Season 2 & Top of the Lake: China Girl. She has also worked as a dancer, singer and acrobat in over 16 countries for companies including Princess Cruise Lines, MEI, Cartoon Network and in various circuses. She has just finished writing her first feature film and is working on her second. And her essay, Her Name, was published in the 2022 UTS Writers’ Anthology.

Image: Angela Blake, courtesy of the artist

Roxanne Prophet started in the film industry when she was 15 years old, volunteering on any film set that would take her. Before starting university she spent her gap year travelling around the UK teaching 13 – 19 year-olds how to make movies. At university, while majoring in producing and cinematography, she built a film society that made over 100 films together.

She spent the last 8 years managing and supporting some incredibly creative people on big blockbusters in the VFX world. And in her spare time she runs film challenges while taking on one of the biggest challenges of all, trying to break a Guinness world record in film.

Skye Andrew completed a Diploma of Fine Art at the National Art School, majoring in photography and painting, and has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Australia. She has a passion for the outdoors and loves creating art experiments alongside her primary school aged son.

Image: Skye Andrew, courtesy of the artist

Please note:

  • All materials are provided except for art smocks and aprons, so please consider bringing your own or wearing clothes that can get dirty if you’re a messy art maker!
  • No food or drink is currently available for purchase at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. Feel free to bring your coffee or a snack while you are visiting The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
  • Please note, Blacktown Arts does not facilitate private workshops for groups. If you would like to enquire about group bookings for Blacktown Arts programs, please contact us at artscentre@blacktown.nsw.gov.au
  • Click here to plan your visit to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Blacktown City Council and Blacktown Arts.