A budding creative force in a western NSW town is lighting up spirits as it transforms an empty space into a scene of beauty.
Girls at Warren Central School are pouring their hearts into visual and performance artworks inspired by the local landscape.
Their striking installation in an unoccupied building in Dubbo Street is the first piece in the public eye from new project ‘Women Outfront’, a partnership with Outback Arts and Signal Creative.
Warren’s Tiger Bay Wetlands and a theme of bringing the drought-affected town back to life are inspiring the original works.
About 50 girls, Year 5 to Year 10 students at Warren Central School, have worked together in creating the installation.
It features branches wrapped in colourful recycled fabrics, and collage and poetry, which tie into the theme ‘Dryland Wetlands’.
The girls are being mentored by Signal Creative, which works with female artists in remote and regional areas.
The recently-unveiled installation and a live performance featuring breath-percussion and recordings of the wetlands, planned for early next year, are part of the project, but it will continue into 2020.
Signal Creative co-director and artist Emma Hoy said wrapping the branches was one of the first activities the “incredibly enthusiastic” Warren girls and their mentors did together.
“Something really resonated with the group around breathing new life into Warren and... it had quite a powerful impact, reimagining a dead branch as something quite beautiful and a piece of art,” she said.
Something really resonated with the group around breathing new life into Warren and... it had quite a powerful impact, re-imagining a dead branch as something quite beautiful and a piece of art.Signal Creative co-director Emma Hoy
“And something within that sparked the inspiration for that theme.”
The installation in the Dubbo Street building is completely solar-powered and lights up at night.
While Signal Creative’s work is with the students, Ms Hoy anticipates it will touch the wider community.
“The installation has only been up for a few days but I know a lot of people are already talking about it, asking questions about it, so that’s really cool,” she said.
“When we do the performance, I think it will be really special because it is an original work created by the girls about Warren and the surroundings, so it’s really for the people in that community as well.”
Warren Central School music teacher Frances Evans is thrilled to be involved with the project.
The Dryland Wetlands theme is particularly pertinent at the moment, a very personal journey for a number of students and teachers.Music teacher Frances Evans
She’s encouraging the community to take a look at the installation, and to come along to the performance next year.
“The Dryland Wetlands theme is particularly pertinent at the moment, a very personal journey for a number of students and teachers,” she said.