Western Sydney’s strong influence on the development of Australian hip-hop is showcased in It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II) presented by Blacktown Arts until 12 August 2017.
In the 1990s, Blacktown was home to Western Sydney’s first artist-run initiative, Street Level, led by graduates from the University of Western Sydney (now Western Sydney University) and the College of Fine Arts. Curated by Kon Gouriotis and Paul Howard, It’s Our Thing (Part II) features some of the original graffiti artists and visual artists active during that time.
“The hip-hop movement in Australia, like that in America, was a form of expression by people outside the mainstream of fine arts and music,” said Mr Gouriotis. “Street Level was significant because the works that emerged embodied the signature and tone of a distinctly Australian hip-hop voice that continues to resonate.”
Fourteen artists will present works both inside and in the open at Blacktown Arts Centre, exploring the explosion of hip-hop culture in Blacktown during the 1990s and its impact on current artistic practices.
Artists featured include Chez, Dan Kyle, Garry Trinh, George Tilianakas, Jason Wing, Leo Tanoi, MC Trey (Thelma Thomas), Mini Graff (Wendy Turner), Mistery (Matthew Peet), Prins aka Haro (Chris Bisset), Rose (Tianna Vokac), Spice (Sharline Bazzina), Umph (David Challinor), and Unique (Paul Westgate).
The exhibition includes performances, paintings, graffiti (both at the Centre and throughout the Blacktown CBD), video displays of female hip-hop performers from the 90s to now, and a rare original piece by visual artist Unique, last displayed in 1992.
“The history of Australian hip-hop is firmly ingrained in the streets of Blacktown,” Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said. “This exhibition celebrates that legacy and its profound influence on Australian art and music culture.”
It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II)
Blacktown Arts Centre, 78 Flushcombe Road Blacktown
Exhibition continues to Saturday 12 August 2017
For more information, visit: www.blacktownarts.com.au for details.
Image: DCA Hip Hop part of DCA Crew, 2009 Newtown NSW. Aerosol acrylic on brick wall, 4m x 2m. Other writers Days1, Mistery