Portraits offered young people from 6-22 years of age, with and without disability, to engage in artistically rich and imaginative portrait-making processes with Rawcus Ensemble and guest artists Sarah Walker, Hermione Merry, The Sisters Hayes and Michael O’Dwyer.

“I did Portraits for fun, for memories, for experiences. I enjoyed it. I thought it was all amazing. I’m surely going to remember it and I’m going to recommend it. I now think a portrait is of you, yourself, looking on your actions and what actions you do. My actions say “I’m happy”. I’m happy to be here, meet all these people and to do all the stuff I did. It was fun!”

Jack, 10 years of age

Each artist and space offering its own unique experience and aesthetic resulted in a collection of photographic works, posters and projections coming together to form an exhibition celebrating International Day of People with Disability in December 2014 at Gasworks Arts Park.

“As an arts educator I observed that Portraits sparked rich thinking, ideas that took flight and involved a process that democratised the children’s voices and their participation. The concept is amazing… curiosity provoking, gentle, fun, young person centred, liberating, power-free, and in fact empowering.”

Meg Upton, Arts Education Consultant, Arts-in-Sync

Portraits was supported by the Cassandra Gantner Foundation, City of Port Phillip Cultural Development Fund and Shulu Foundation.

Rawcus receives operational funding from Arts Victoria and support from City of Port Phillip and Scope Victoria.

image: Sarah Walker