Cementa Art Festival, Kandos 2016

Cementa is a biannual arts festival staged in the NSW country town of Kandos, approx. four hours drive west from Sydney. Ingeniously orchestrated by a team of artisans and spearheaded by one Alex Wisser.

Upon being invited to participate on the second Cementa, I saw an opportunity to take the bull by the horns and force feed the locals a bit of local cultcha. That being the history of the local Aboriginal peoples the Dabee who’d largely been erased from the fabric of yet another ‘Australian’ town who’d passionately celebrate all things colonial through their course of his-story.

Having the town as a ‘blank canvas’ gave me the opportunity to explode creatively.

By designing a template for a hopscotch game I figured I could create a playful & educational way of delivering a reminder that, just like every other Aussie town, it had a black history prior to its ‘founding’.

I’d designed a pattern which I had laser cut into plywood enabling repeat applications. Using a variety of stylised motifs and purpose sourced antique numeral stencils, the individual pieces came together in a wondrous array of vibrant colours.

On completion of the very first one created on arrival, townsfolk appeared and local children asked of the validity of the piece before immediately engaging in the game. By enlarge the works were embraced but naturally some locals expressed their opposition to the satirical sentiment.

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