Closeup of a painting surrounded by olive branches being painted by a young student.

Utopia

Painting for Peace and Cultural Wellbeing Project

2023 – 2024

What does peace and well-being look like in the eyes of young people?

Utopia: Painting for Peace and Cultural Wellbeing Exhibition is now open at Bankstown Arts Centre. Emmanuel’s own works on the themes of peace and wellbeing, alongside works from the students, are being exhibited at  Bankstown Arts Centre from Friday 8 March to Saturday 27 April. 

The Utopia: Painting for Peace and Cultural Wellbeing Project is an art-making workshop aimed at exploring possibilities for peace and wellbeing in our society through the eyes of young people. Young people are our future leaders of planet and their voices matter; however, with multiple global crises, they are inheriting some of the most challenging times to grow up and live. Using the Cultural Wellbeing Framework as a guide, the project aims to instigate conversations about peace and wellbeing and potentially germinate new youth led projects that embed cultural wellbeing from the start.

In these workshops, students from Liverpool Boys and Liverpool Girls high schools will be supported to create their own artwork on peace and wellbeing in a series of co-designed workshops led by Emmanuel Assante.  As a young Australian Ghanaian artist, Emmanuel wants to challenge the emergence of a divisive political and social rhetoric that pervades much of our lives through social media. Instead, he wants to inspire future leaders to reimagine a more peaceful future through the medium of art making. During these workshops, young people will guided in conversations around creative practice, how art influences our cultural well-being, and how all of these relate to issues of global wellbeing. Emmanuel Assante will be creating his own series of visual art pieces around themes of peace and wellbeing that will later be exhibited alongside the young peoples’ artworks in 2024.

You can check out some of the work from the young people in the galleries below. The first gallery show what words ‘peace,’ ‘wellbeing’ and ‘creativity’ and ‘creative citizenship’ evoke for the young students.

 

The next gallery shows some paintings in progress made by the students. Emmanuel is a visual artist known for using multiple materials in his artworks, including pen, pencil, African fabrics, watercolour, acrylic – and coffee. The paintings below are all done with coffee.

Lead Artist and Facilitator: Emmanuel Assante
WSU Program Partner:
Dr Karin Louise

This project was led by Emmanuel Asante who worked with students from Liverpool Boys and Liverpool Girls High Schools. It was funded by Western Sydney University and produced by CuriousWorks. The Utopia: Painting for Peace and Cultural Wellbeing exhibition is presented by Bankstown Arts Centre.