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Working with a local artist and local students, the METRONET Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal Project community relations team has transformed an everyday shipping container used as a temporary rail communications room into a culturally connective and colourful community art project.
The initiative started with the team reaching out to Curtin University to find an artist. Little did they know the Carrolup exhibition was about to open at the John Curtin Gallery, and Gallery Education Coordinator and Artist Catherine Peattie was also looking to engage local school children to share the unique and captivating stories of the Carrolup children and their amazing artwork.
With the container located at the project site near Carlisle Station, East Victoria Park Primary School students were invited to participate…and the rest is community art history.
Students worked with Kathleen Toomath, the Carrolup Centre Manager and daughter of Alma Toomath (who was the last known surviving Carrolup artist and went on to become the first Aboriginal woman in WA to attain a fine arts degree) to learn about the stories of the Carrolup children and create art inspired by these stories. They also visited the Carrolup exhibition, resulting in a great educational experience for all.
“The students thoroughly enjoyed the process and established a connection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture by visiting the exhibition and using it as inspiration to decorate the sea container,” East Victoria Park Primary School Teacher Rhys Thurton explained.
“It’s great the school and wider community get to see the students’ work daily, as it rests near the train station, which is within arm’s reach of the school.”