Art Write Light

Art Write Light is a free creative writing project curated by Story Factory, that connects Australian artists with young people in an explosion of creativity over three colourful years.

This project creates opportunities for students to creatively respond to the work of living artists, and to each other, and for this to inform and enrich their approaches to writing and storytelling.

Art Write Light 2021

For our final year of Art Write Light we’ve gone out with a bang! We partnered with Sydney artist and legend Blak Douglas, a contemporary artist with proud Dhungatti Aboriginal origins, and connected him with high school students from Western Sydney.

Douglas’s works are culturally & politically charged with a sense of irony & hint of sarcasm, perfect to inspire a year of writing with our lucky students. Students wrote in response to the Blak Douglas artwork below, inspired after visiting his fabulous studio and seeing many of his works in progress.

Their writing was incorporated into a light and sound installation at Story Factory, Redfern, alongside a new work by Douglas, written in response to their writing. You can read and listen to their work through the link below, and stroll through an online exhibition of their work created by Esem Projects.

Thank you to all our wonderful participating students and schools –

  • St Clair High School
  • Bonnyrigg High School
  • Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre
  • St Clare’s Catholic High School
  • Camden High School
  • Home Education Network

Watch our Art Write Light documentary

Little Miss Pronunciation

Little Miss Pronunciation

This powerful piece was painted in response to interactions with students during their studio visit, and their written pieces responding to ‘Much is Rife’ (below) and the ideas explored in that work.

‘In this piece I sought to rejig the narrative and create a fun medley that spoke the truths behind the tragedy existing for First Nations peoples of the era. By ostracising the little Aboriginal baby often featured upon Brownie’s plates, we create the prevalent ‘us & them’ story. All of the iconic elite characters distanced from the lonesome little bub, isolated and wondering why she can’t play with that mob’. – Blak Douglas

ARTIST: Blak Douglas TITLE: Little Miss Pronunciation SIZE: 100 x 200cm MEDIUM: Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Much is Rife

Much is Rife

Blak’s unique vision of this country’s history and current social inequities is an important one. Profound and robust in its delivery— the graphic nature of his practice, and attention to visual allegory and detail has captured the attention of collectors and curators throughout Australia.

That’s why we were so thrilled to work with Blak on Art Write Light, and introduce our students to this work in our writing workshops.

ARTIST : Blak Douglas | TITLE: Much is rife | SIZE: 100 x 150cm | MEDIUM: Synthetic polymer paint on linen

 

Click through the button above to read student writing from Art Write Light 2021 in response to this painting.

Art Write Light

ART WRITE LIGHT 2020

For Art Write Light 2020, the multi-disciplinary artist Ernest Aaron created three original artworks exploring the fragmented and episodic nature of the modern world, using brilliant colours and pop-culture references.

This work was used as inspiration for students in a series of writing workshops in schools across Western Sydney.

Aaron shared his creative process, inspiration and artistic aims with students, to which students wrote a sequence of flash fiction pieces exploring and extending elements of Aaron’s work.

A selection of work created by students in these workshops was featured in an installation and launch event held in November, 2020 at Story Factory Parramatta, created by Esem Projects.

The installation included a light-based installation of student writing and a second artwork from Ernest Aaron responding to the student writing created as part of the project, closing the loop of creative responses.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2019?

In 2019 we partnered with Bangarra Dance Theatre choreographer and dancer Kaine Sultan-Babij, who created and performed a new dance work based on his family totem – the caterpillar. The students wrote about the performance, sharing their writing, which in turn formed the inspiration for another dance work from Sultan-Babij, which was performed at the project’s completion alongside an audio-visual installation of the student’s writing.

Interested in running a Program like this at your school?

If you’re at a school serving high populations of under-resourced young people (FOEI above 100, or ICSEA below 1,000), contact us on info@storyfactory.org.au to express your interest.

To get a little taste of the Art Write Light program, these PDFs provide two outlines for two of the fun, engaging writing activities we take our students through as part of Art Write Light.

Teachers, you can download and print these at home any time, so you and your students can get writing and start imagining!

ACTIVITY TEMPLATE 1 – BEDROOM VISION BOARD

ACTIVITY TEMPLATE 2 – ERASURE POETRY

Art Write Light is generously supported by The Balnaves Foundation

Program sponsor logo

Stories from this Program

Untitled

By Lara

I walked backstage almost twenty minutes before my first live show, fans were screaming for one of my songs – Golden. I was in my dressing room practicing my vocals...

nostalgia

By Saman

the previous chapters of my life memories come flooding back I feel my feet curl to the shape of a skull the ravens flew over her head the clock ticks...

@SydneyStoryFactory on Instagram

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in 2022, all from the comfort of your home?  In the new year we'll have more flexible volunteering opportunities available via Zoom. By becoming a Story Factory Digital Tutor in the new year, you’ll be able to help our primary students find their voice and share their stories. 
Find out more on our website: 
https://www.storyfactory.org.au/volunteer
Parramatta’s Female Factory Institutions Precinct, tucked into a particularly picturesque corner of Parramatta, is a place rich in history and memory. It’s a history that our program this year connected with - inviting students to consider the living traces of that history around them.  The results we collected into an especially beautiful publication, available now in our bookstore, featuring full colour art prints and poems created by our students.  Buy at https://shop.storyfactory.org.au/
The class of 2021! These miraculous young people, in the midst of disrupted learning and all the stress of 2021, somehow have written a novella or poetry chapbook as part of our Year of Poetry and Year of the Novella year-long programs.  Their words are as beautiful, moving, funny and wise and they are. We actually couldn’t be more proud.  Today we celebrate them and their manifold achievements.
We're thrilled to share that with the support of Clarity Pharmaceuticals we are recruiting a dedicated Indigenous Storyteller to deliver high- impact, term-length writing programs supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people  Clarity Pharmaceuticals Executive Chairman, Dr Alan Taylor, said he was excited to support Story Factory after growing up in community housing in the Redfern area.  ‘My grandparents, after immigrating from Europe after the war, were some of the first people to move into the McKell housing commission units in the early 1960s and lived there until the 90s. And my earliest memories as a child were living on the 14th floor of the Daniel Solander building in the Waterloo Housing Complex. This experience has given me a unique understanding of the area compared to many of my peers, especially of some of the difficulties some children face through no fault of their own, whether it is a lack of resources, or not knowing where opportunities lie.'  READ MORE: https://www.storyfactory.org.au/local-kid-gives-back-to-his-community/