Hundreds of young people have flocked to Leederville for the opportunity to contribute to a massive public art piece at this year’s Youth Week celebration.
Hosted by YACWA, the free youth-led event is aimed at showcasing, empowering and celebrating the talents and achievements of young people in WA.
2018 WA Young Person of the Year Kamsani Bin Salleh leads the collaborative art project, which will see a mural painted across five panels and mounted beside each other on the side of the Foyer Oxford building.
As an emerging young Aboriginal artist, the 25-year-old uses his platform to educate the public about Aboriginal culture. He said the piece gave young people the opportunity to be expressive in their own unique way.
“It allows them to be part of something greater that will hopefully become some sort of metaphor for society,” he said.
Bin Salleh said youth-led events were beneficial to the wider public because they pushed young people to have more of an input in their communities.
“The best thing for young people is to get involved and work together because, at the end of the day, the only people who know what’s best for young people is young people themselves,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important to get the youth involved in events and projects like the art piece, because it enables them to work together and make something better for themselves and their future.”
Inspired by the Youth Week theme, ‘Nurture the Now,’ the artwork aims to celebrate and reflect the contribution young people make to the Perth community.
YACWA WA youth project officer Mika Bazeley said it was important to have events that provide an opportunity for young people to celebrate and express themselves through arts and cultural activities.
“It is super important for young people to engage with other young people from different groups and learn new things, as well as raise their awareness to things that they may not have known of before,” she said.
Bazeley said getting Bin Salleh to guide the public art piece was not only a great opportunity for him to showcase his artistic talent but also allowed other young people to engage with that journey as well.
“We thought this artwork was a great idea to get young people to come in and contribute through their own designs and then have something that visually represents what young people are in this community,” she said.
“I don’t think we celebrate young people enough. I mean, it’s good that we have a week dedicated to young people but I think we should be celebrating them throughout the year.
The event also showcased live performances by Perth’s best young artists including Antisocial Butterfly, Freehand, Tall Sea District and Micah Walker.