Created by Nicole Barakat with local residents
Inspired by the flowers and plants growing in a Bankstown backyard during Practice & Participate (our neighbourhood project in 2013), textiles artist Nicole Barakat returned to work again with Urban Theatre Projects in autumn 2014, this time working with local participants to make a garden of sculptures entirely from Bankstown residents’ rubbish. Workshops focused on transforming throw-away plastic refuse into luscious hand-made flowers and plants.
Workshop participants developed new skills in sculpture and construction and contributed to an exciting public artwork On The Verge of Bloom. The work will be installed across the facade of Bankstown Arts Centre from late July until the end of August.
On the Verge of Bloom took inspiration from the beautiful flowers and plants growing in the garden of local resident Frances Panopoulos. In October 2013, I had the pleasure of taking up residency in Frances’ backyard as part of Urban Theatre Projects’ Practice & Participate. For two weeks, her backyard became my studio and I spent time drawing the garden and creating material responses from the daily refuse of the Panopoulos family.
From these drawings and small material explorations, we developed a larger scale collection of plastic plants. We worked intensely over twelve workshops to transform Bankstown residents’ rubbish into objects of beauty and wonder.
With great enthusiasm, hand crafting skills, aesthetic sensibilities and commitment from participants we made the garden grow! For an artwork to be realised on this scale, it needs many hands, much patience and true collaboration.
I am delighted and grateful to have worked with such an amazing group of people who so willingly scouted interesting bits of rubbish, offered their knowledge and expertise to the creation and installation of the work and left a part of themselves in each piece.
Artist: Nicole Barakat
Collaborators: Kevin Bala, Barbara Barakat, Liane Beattie, Cheryl, Sunila Dass, Sarah Dorofaeff, Beverley Ellis, Hanh Ly, Frances Panopoulos, Glenda Rawlinson, Joe Roche, Josephine Roche, Tian Sisak, Victoria Sisak, Amanda Thompson, Jocelyn Vyse, Leanne Ward.
Find out more about this program here.