Village Voices

Village Voices 1.1

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During the City of Sydney community consultation about the upgrade of the southern end of Crown Street, locals made the suggestion of including a public artwork.  Having worked in crisis homeless services in Surry Hills for many years, Astra Howard was aware of how many great stories there were about this area that had not had the opportunity to be told.

Titled Village Voices, this public artwork aims to capture and then communicate diverse stories from and about Surry Hills. Through the constantly rearranged letters, this artwork recalls intimate games of scrabble, the compositing machine of long ago and the advent of mass communication.  The changing letters/words tell local sto­ries through poems and prose, prompting passersby to think about diverse issues that affect them, from the local to the global.

Village Voices is situated at South Crown Street Village in Wilshire Through Link.  As well as revealing hidden narratives and untold stories embedded in place, Village Voices also aims to: create a lively talking point and meeting spot for the area; to archive local stories; to facilitate dialogue and interaction between Surry Hills residents and local, national and international visitors; and to create new and lasting connections and collaborations between local community organisations/agencies, businesses, educational institutions, creative practitioners and residents.

Excerpts from stories generated in locally organised workshops are installed on the artwork and a drop-box located at Surry Hills Library is available for individuals to also make submissions.  Aligned events activating the spine of Crown Street provide the op­portunity for other texts, not included on the artwork, to be presented.  It is expected that the ‘changing of the letters’ will become a highly anticipated event in the area, as new local narratives are ceremoniously revealed to the public.

Connect with Village Voices

For further information about Village Voices, or to submit your story about Surry Hills to be considered for display on the artwork, contact Astra Howard at village_voices@yahoo.com.au

Individuals can make a hard copy submission to be considered for display on Village Voices, via a dropbox situated at Surry Hills Library

Email: village_voices@yahoo.com.au

Instagram: @village_voices

Twitter: @VV_SurryHills

Tumblr blog: village-voices.tumblr.com

To share your experience of Village Voices: #villagevoices

Articles/Interviews:

http://www.lostateminor.com/2016/07/05/meet-artists-redefining-sydneys-cityscape/

http://www.creativecitysydney.com.au/blog/new-public-art-work-brings-surry-hills-voices-life-2/

http://www.artpharmacy.com.au/blog/2016/11/15/the-australian-art-curator-blog-street-art-public-art

Time-lapse footage of the first story being installed: https://twitter.com/cityofsydney/status/775967026036678656 

© Astra Howard 2014