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During the 2021 Covid lockdown, Hurlstone Park photographer Cara O’Dowd was inspired to set up a studio in front of her house so she could take photos of passers-by.
The project, which began as a simple act of kindness – giving her neighbours a portrait of themselves – evolved into much more.
Cara put 100 large-scale portraits on fences and walls in her neighborhood, for people to discover on their walks. Now her project, known as “Lockdown Locals” is being exhibited at the Bankstown Arts Centre.
A second exhibition, “Seeking Colour” also explores the theme of “joy and kindness in times of uncertainty.” Local artist Dania Shahkhan uses her art to capture the emotive quality of people in specific places, and the beautiful way hands communicate with each other.
“In the search of finding moments of joy in the uncertainty of lockdown life, I started to paint in colour and larger in size than I used to, filling my tiny apartment with creative energy. My subject matter was an anonymous person looking out of a window or seated near an archway,” Dania says.
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour says he’s looking forward to seeing the exciting new exhibitions.
“The idea of exploring kindness and joy in uncertain times is something we can all relate to. It’s great to see local artists using what was a difficult time for people in our City – the harsh lockdown – to create something beautiful and positive,” Mayor Asfour said.
The exhibitions are at the Bankstown Arts Centre from 8 December 2022 – 18 February 2023.
1/12/2022 4:22 PM