I am superexcited to be launching my new collaborative project, HEARTCORE, in a keynote presentation at Berry Street’s national The Good Childhood Conference in Melbourne this Thursday + Friday. http://www.goodchildhood.org.au/
What is HEARTCORE?
Some children suffer great distress and significant harm growing up with violence, neglect, abuse, trauma + poverty.
What would these young people choose to tell strangers about their lives, if they had the chance? What would their stories look like?
Berry Street is an organisation which has provided foster care, child protection, youth, family violence + community services to Victorian children + families for over 130 years.
Kaff-eine is an established Victorian street + contemporary artist with a national + international following, + a reputation for depicting melancholy + often distressing subjects in understated, delicately painted street paintings.
In an Australian first, a child + family care services provider + a street artist are collaborating to create a unique, forceful body of work for the benefit of young people. Writing from young people in the Berry Street school will be interpreted by Kaff-eine + painted as a series of street art murals on walls across Melbourne. A coffee-table book titled HEARTCORE, including curated photographs of the murals, together with the writing, will then be launched at the conclusion of the project.
HEARTCORE will offer audiences raw + confronting insight into the lives of these young people. It will offer the young people themselves a genuine opportunity to have their voices, + their stories heard by many people, in their own words. It will also bring to graffiti + street art followers a new understanding of the challenges these young people face, + how they negotiate growing up in such complex circumstances.
AN EXCITING NEW PROJECT
It is the perfect match: gritty, powerful, raw writing meets delicate understated imagery painted among the urban detritus of Melbourne’s streets and lanes.
HEARTCORE will provide the young writers with a high-quality, unique, professionally produced publication of their own work; an achievement of which they can be very proud. It has the potential to inspire the young writers to further pursue writing, self-expression + other creative pursuits, building their self-confidence + skills.
HEARTCORE will create a greater understanding of the challenging lives + complex needs of young people who have not experienced a good childhood: it will attract attention from street art + contemporary art followers, professionals who work with young people, communities critically interested in improving young peoples’ lives, + other young people themselves.
HEARTCORE will also be an exciting project to watch unfold on the streets of Melbourne. Melbourne is famous globally for its vibrant, world-class graffiti + street art scene. Street art enthusiasts can look forward to a broad range of new murals with Kaff-eine’s delicate, symbolic imagery driven by the powerful stories of the young Berry Street writers. Followers can watch the process of creating freehand street works, from the earliest draft stages through to the finished paintings, using media such as aerosol paint, acrylic paint, pigment ink + other materials.
Follow the making of HEARTCORE on Instagram (@kaffeinepaints #HEARTCOREbook), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HEARTCOREbook ), + on this blog.
I look forward to bringing you new information, updates + developments as the project progresses.