Western Sydney’s strong influence on the development of Australian hip-hop will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition in Blacktown.
It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II) will be presented by Blacktown Arts from 22 June 2017 to 12 August 2017.
Fourteen artists will present works both inside and in the open at Blacktown Arts Centre, exploring the explosion of hip-hop culture in Blacktown during the 1990s and its impact on current artistic practices.
“The history of Australian hip-hop is firmly ingrained in the streets of Blacktown,” Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said.
“This exhibition celebrates that legacy and its profound influence on Australian art and music culture.”
In the 1990s, Blacktown was home to Western Sydney’s first artist-run initiative, Street Level, led by graduates from the University of Western Sydney (now Western Sydney University) and the College of Fine Arts.
Curated by Kon Gouriotis and Paul Howard, It’s Our Thing (Part II) features some of the original graffiti artists and visual artists active during that time.
“The hip-hop movement in Australia, like that in America, was a form of expression by people outside the mainstream of fine arts and music,” Mr Gouriotis said.
“Street Level was significant because the works that emerged embodied the signature and tone of a distinctly Australian hip-hop voice that continues to resonate.”
The exhibition includes performances, paintings, graffiti (both at the Centre and throughout the Blacktown CBD), video displays of female hip-hop performers from the 90s to now, and a rare original piece by visual artist Unique, last displayed in 1992.
The program includes an opening event with live graffiti and a DJ set on Thursday, 22 June 2017, and a hip-hop concert on Saturday, 12 August 2017, presented in partnership with FBi Radio.
Throughout the exhibition, Blacktown Arts will host a series of free panel discussions with the artists, school holiday workshops and special events for young people and seniors.
For more information on this program, visit their Facebook page (@BlacktownArts) or blacktownarts.com.au.
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