Jamming with Strangers is a summer exhibition series that explores our connection to music. It is presented as part of the Sydney Festival Program. Presented by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) the exhibition runs from 4 December 2021 to 27 February 2022. You'll find a huge range of new work by established and emerging Australian artists across these 12 weeks, answering to the theme of 'what it feels like to be connected with people through music'. Artists from a range of disciplines will explore how music can be used to create a sense of community and build real-life relationships.
There'll also be talks, public programs, dinners, and performances, culminating in an explosion of fashion, music, vogueing and ballroom culture in the highly anticipated WEST BALL 3. The FREE launch event for Jamming with Strangers will be on Saturday 4 December 2-4pm. It'll include a series of talks by the exhibiting artists, a performance by the Western Sydney Ballroom community and an invitation for audiences to jam with My Le Thai and Azo Bell using their artwork title Gukoongboom which is an interactive installation commissioned by Casula Powerhouse. It features a tuned percussion instrument built from painted PVC pipes which reflects on My Le Thi's memories of village life in the Vietnamese Central Highlands, where music is life itself. Head to the website for all details and to book tickets and stay in touch via Facebook.
Amongst the new commissions featured in the exhibition are -
Julian Day's video work of various singers developed through choir workshops; dispersed across the various galleries so it feels like the building is filled with singers. It captures communities that come together, find harmony, but ultimately disband.
My Le Thi and Azo Bell's interactive sculptural installation is inspired by memories of village life in Vietnam, where music is an essential part of the community.
Gillian Kayrooz will capture the energy and feeling of being from Western Sydney and travelling to the city to participate in music cultures, revealing the unique and esoteric music cultures that are created on this trip.
Kevin Diallo's work will celebrate the songs of his homeland, the Ivory Coast, something he used to feel connected when the pandemic stopped him from travelling.
Kerry Toomey has produced a series of sculpted female torsos that encompass the essence of her life journey inspired by her favourite country songs.
Twin sisters Carla and Lisa Whereby's iconic memorabilia collections will be on display, featuring some of Australia's biggest 70s and 80s rock bands and original works.
Lad Street will exhibit for the first time a series of photographs taken over his many years participating in the hardcore music scene in Sydney.
Justine Youssef and Leila El Rayes present a multimedia installation filmed in Auburn Botanic Gardens and featuring 'characters' from Western Sydney's drill, vogue and Middle Eastern music scenes.
The West Ball previously mentioned is in its third year as an annual event, and 2022 will be the most ambitious yet. Accompanying the event will be a display of gowns and costumes from previous Balls, capturing some of the incredible energy of the Western Sydney Ballroom community. Other events are as follows.
29 Jan 2022 - The climax of the summer series will be WEST BALL 3 at 4pm, a wonderful event celebrating the diversity of the Australian ballroom community, which is predominately led by POC, Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ communities from Western Sydney.
5 Feb 2022 - Jamming with Strangers also includes a public program of events including an educational and networking event for young local musicians, journalists, and producers called Western Sydney Music Futures from 2-5pm. Participants will learn from leaders in a variety of music-related areas, many of whom have strong ties to the Western Sydney music community.
26 Feb 2022 - CPAC will also host a 7pm Dinner Music, an evening of conversations and experimental performances over a two-course dinner at the onsite restaurant Bellbird Dining & Bar. The evening will feature a performance from the Western Sydney Ballroom community and the interactive musical commission by My Le Thi and Azo Bell titled 'Gukoongboom'.