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Friday, April 12, 2019

Turning streets into art galleries | Arts & culture - The University of Sydney

Turning streets into art galleries - The University of Sydney by Andrew Stafford.

A paste-up portrait of Kat Roma Greer in the University of Sydney's Graffiti Tunnel.
Disadvantaged communities find new life through art, he said.

If the people can't go to the art gallery, take the art gallery to the people. That's been the approach of Kat Roma Greer as she's created dynamic street art events in disadvantaged communities the world over.  

Musician Frank Zappa once said that the most important thing in art is the frame, for without it you can’t tell where the art stops and the real world begins. Extending that logic, the art gallery itself is a frame where art is displayed, bought, sold – and for many, effectively sealed off.

Kat Roma Greer (MA(Res) ’14 MA ’14), founder of the travelling art festival Micro Galleries, aimed to break art out of its frames and take it to the streets. Starting from the chaotic precincts of her base in Hong Kong in 2013, her aim was for “people to stumble over it. That’s when they begin to shift their perceptions and believe they should have access to art as well,” she says.

Since then, Micro Galleries has exhibited everywhere from Kathmandu to Cape Town, using local and international artists to blur the line between street art and fine art and bring a sense of wonder to unexpected, often disused and neglected spaces. Along the way, she’s touched thousands of people who may otherwise never set foot inside a gallery.

One of them was Robbie, a street kid from Denpasar in Bali. In exchange for meals, Robbie cannily worked his way into the Micro Galleries crew, starting by stirring glue and minding the equipment, which he became obsessed with...

Roma Greer moved to Sydney with her partner in 2003, then went to Hong Kong in 2010, completing her Master of Arts at the University of Sydney externally, graduating in 2014. Though not Indigenous herself, her focus was on First Nations Peoples. Learning more about Indigenous performance increased her interest in the limited opportunities for artistic exposure, both for creators and consumers.

“It refined the way I engaged with and thought about dealing with minorities and disadvantaged communities and understanding the exceptionally privileged position that I come from,” she says.
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Source: The University of Sydney