August at North Melbourne Language and Learning (NMLL) saw the completion of an extraordinary collaboration between international Melbourne artist Rosa Tato and North Melbourne residents.
The “Embracing Distance” art project began with workshops where participants from over 16 different countries reflected on their thoughts and feelings on leaving their homeland and settling in Australia. Participants also brought in their precious items, patterned fabrics, clothing and jewellery that reflected their family and cultural heritage.
The artist then worked these personal stories, patterns and motifs into the design for a 30 metre long decorative sculptural installation. The sculptures represent the unique history and cultural identity of the local residents and captures and reflects the feelings associated with settling into a new Country.
Each main panel in the sculptural installation represents a different story and, like the experience of resettlement and migration, over time the look and feel of the panels look will change while the essence of what they are will stay the same.
The newly installed cast iron panels now form a welcoming entrance to North Melbourne Language and Learning as well as a prominent and beautiful feature on the Public Housing Estate.
NMLL would like to thank the City of Melbourne for funding this project as well as the many people who worked very hard on seeing it come to fruition. In particular, thanks go to Barb Ladd who initiated the project, Natalie Warren who drove the project and Rosa Tato whose inspired work will nourish us all for years to come. Thanks to all for their dedication and commitment.
The “Embracing Distance” sculpture which be publicly launched at the end of 2012. This celebration will reflect, rejoice and share the important moments of the project.
Click on the following link to the NMLL Embracing Distance Art Project Facebook Photo album