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


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.


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 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!



Art Write Light is generously supported by The Balnaves Foundation

Program sponsor logo

Stories from this Program


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...


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

Today is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day. This year's theme is 'My Dreaming, My Future'.  At Story Factory we believe in the power of storytelling and we are so privileged to work with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who carry with them the stories of their family, culture and Country. Today is a day to celebrate these young people and acknowledge the importance of elevating their voices and the stories they tell.
We were so excited to welcome young writers from across the country into our Parramatta Centre on Tuesday for the announcement of the winners of our writing prize!  Congratulations to all the shortlisted young writers and to everyone who submitted their writing. There were 154 submissions overall and the judges were extremely impressed by the high quality of the writing. Twelve pieces were shortlisted in four different age categories and have been published in the special 10 year anniversary edition of The Best of Story Factory. Two pieces were chosen as the overall winners of the competition as well as winners in each of the four age categories.  The entries ranged from the story of a waffle gaining consciousness, to the imagined voices of flowers and trees, to powerful reflections on grief. This competition aimed to celebrate the voices of young people who aren’t heard loudly enough and we are delighted to publish them in our 10th anniversary anthology and share their voices with the world!  You can see the full list of winners and buy your copies of the anthology via the link in our bio.
Don't forget to join us on Facebook live at 4.30pm today for the very special announcement of the winners of the Story Factory 10th Anniversary Writing Prize and the launch of our special 10 year anniversary edition of The Best of Story Factory.  This two-volume publication - one for younger readers and one for older readers - brings together some of our favourite bits of writing from our first decade, including all the winning and shortlisted entries from our writing prize.  These are now available to purchase on the Story Factory bookshop via the link in our bio.
Join us online next Tuesday 26 July at 4.30pm for a very special announcement of the winners of our writing prize and launch of our 10th anniversary edition of The Best of Story Factory!  You can pre order your copies today via the link in our bio!