9 December 2023 – 3 March 2024

Exhibition Launch: Saturday 16 December 2023, 2 – 4pm

This exhibition will launch on Saturday 16 December 2023, 2 – 4pm, as part of the Summer Exhibition Program Launch. The launch event and exhibition are free to attend.

Artists: Amani Haydar, Andrew Brooks & Arvind Rosa Brooks, Atong Atem, Beth Dillon, Elisa Jane Charmichael, Julie Sundberg, Harriet Body, HOSSEI and Paula do Prado & Tomas Marinangeli.

Not everyone knows their mother or father, but we’re all somebody’s child.

Making art at an early developmental stage is crucial to building self-esteem and a connection with the world. It has been shown that children who are encouraged to participate in the arts have higher levels of self-appreciation, confidence and decision-making skills.

Two Sisters Named Nyuanluak

‘We’re all somebody’s child’ celebrates parents and children who collaborate with each other to make contemporary art. Some of the artists have children, while some are grown children with adult parents who they collaborate with – all are making art together. The exhibition highlights the power of a lifelong engagement with the arts, and the ways knowledge-sharing evolves between parent and child as both age and evolve their individual skills and worldviews.

The exhibition features photography, textile, video and mixed-media sculpture and installation from nine contemporary artists and collectives, many of whom have long connections to Western Sydney. Guest curator Lillian Silk developed this exhibition collaboratively with the artists and the Casula Powerhouse Curatorial Team.

Through the labour of their art practices, the exhibiting artists platform their intimate family as co-collaborators. Their works speak to the relationship between a parent and child, and how this prescribes the rituals, routines and constructs of daily living. Despite different cultural backgrounds, social classes and education statuses, their works contains the universal truth: we’re all somebody’s child

Image: Atong Atem ‘Two Sisters Named Nyuanluak,’ 2022, commissioned by Photo Australia for Photo 2022 International Festival of Photography. Courtesy of MARS and the artist.

Amani Haydar

Amani Haydar is an award-winning author, visual artist, and advocate for women's health and safety based in Western Sydney. Amani's ground-breaking feminist memoir The Mother Wound (Pan Macmillan) explores the effects of abuse and state violence on women and has received several awards including the 2022 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. In recognition of her advocacy against domestic violence, Amani was also awarded the UTS Faculty of Law Alumni Award in 2021 and Local Woman of the Year for Bankstown in 2020.
Amani regularly consults with domestic violence organisations on improving access and outcomes for victim-survivors. As an active visual artist and former Archibald Prize Finalist, Amani also collaborates with organisations like SSI and the Older Women's Network to facilitate visual arts workshops in Western Sydney, with a focus on self-empowerment through storytelling. Amani's writing and illustrations have been published in various books and anthologies including Admissions (Upswell), The Very Best Doughnut (Pan Macmillan), and Safar: Muslim Women's Stories of Travel and Transformation (Hardie Grant).

Andrew Brooks & Arvind Rosa Brooks

Andrew Brooks lives on unceded Wangal land and lectures in Media and Culture at UNSW. He is a founding member of the Infrastructural Inequalities research network, one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate and a co-editor of the publishing collective Rosa Press. He is the author of Homework (2021), a book of essays on art and politics co-written with Astrid Lorange, and the poetry collection Inferno (2021). His current favourite snack is a handful of almonds, each with a drop of siracha sauce on top.

Arvind Rosa Brooks is five years old and made these drawings when she was four. She is into goal-keeping, music, guitars, reading, drawing, and riding her two-wheeled bike. She lives with her parents and cat on unceded Wangal country and if you come over to her house she’d like to show you her toys. She loves a little bit of chilli, and her current favourite snack is an anchovy straight from the jar.

Atong Atem

Atong Atem is an Ethiopian born, South Sudanese artist and writer living in Narrm/Melbourne.

Atem’s work explores the inherent intimacy of portraiture and photography as well as the role photographers take as story tellers. Atem interrogates photography as a framework for looking at the world and positioning people in it. She takes framing into a fantastical direction with the small portals over the subjects’ faces, inviting the viewer to look at them through a surreal and constructed lens.

Atem references the works of photographers Malick Sidibe, Philip Kwame Apagya and Seydou Keita to create a visual representation of a relationship to culture. She works primarily with photography and video to explore migrant narratives and postcolonial practices in the African diaspora, the relationship between public and private spaces and the exploration of home and identity through portraiture.

Atem has exhibited her work across Australia, including the Immigration Museum, the NGV, MUMA Monash, Gertrude Contemporary, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Internationally at Photo Basel 2022, Red Hook Labs in New York, Vogue Fashion Fair in Milan and Unseen Amsterdam art fair.

Atem was the recipient of the inaugural La Prairie Art Award from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria and MECCA M-Power scholarship in 2017, as well as the Brisbane Powerhouse Melt Portrait Prize in 2016.

Harriet Body

Harriet Body's art practice is centred around care, slowness, and community. In her studio, she works with media that broadly cross textiles, ceramics, and installation. Her creative process is slow and meditative. Through the repetition of mark-making or form-shaping, her work is all about watching something grow, and then end.

Harriet's socially engaged art practice involves creating community and exploring collaborative art making in a range of different contexts. She is currently examining motherhood as a conceptual underpinning to her socially engaged artwork. Harriet also works in community programming and education at the National Gallery of Australia

Harriet’s practice is a quiet and determined protest that is in direct


HOSSEI is a multidisciplinary Australian artist with Persian, Turkish and Russian ancestry, exhibiting work across Western Sydney and beyond. He has worked with institutions including Parramatta Artist Studios’, Artspace, UTS gallery, West Space, SCA and Dark Mofo. HOSSEI has maintained a strong passion with his performance work, a deep connection to the human voice and more specifically his ‘choir performances’. HOSSEI‘s practice deals with his complex heritage, fantasies and feelings, togetherness, healing, he adopts themes of secrecy, the unconscious, theatricality and mysticism to create surreal scenarios through real and imagined characters. Recently his work looks at his mother as a subject, entering her psyche and telling her life experiences and stories.

Paula do Prado & Tomas Marinangeli

Paula do Prado & Tomas Marinangeli are a mother and son artist duo who share a home studio space. Their ongoing creative dialogue has led to them collaborating on artwork and holding joint exhibitions of their individual works. Paula predominantly works in tejido/weaving drawing on her Bantu-Kongo, Charrúa and Iberian ancestry. Tomas works across drawing, painting, and sculpture with a particular interest in mythical creatures and sci-fi landscapes. They have exhibited together at AirSpace Projects in 2018 and at Firstdraft in 2020.

Beth Dillon

Beth Dillon is an Australian artist and curator based in the Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. She is the current director of ARI espace libre in collaboration with Vera Trachsel. She is also a founding member of artist collective 110% (2013 - present), with Lachlan Herd and Kieran Bryant.

Dillon's practice embeds personal narratives within wider issues such as mothering and care-work, mobility and tourism, identity construction, and the sociology of luck, achievement and success. Taking form through diverse solo, collaborative and curatorial contexts, Dillon's work honours handmade processes, found and recycled materials, the awkward, embarrassing, overlooked and underrated, domestic dramas, friendship, family, bodies at work, bodies at play, dressing up, storytelling and spreading rumours.

Her solo and collaborative projects have been exhibited in international festivals, galleries and institutions including la Friche (St-Ursanne), IRMA Republic (Bern), Lokal-Int, Krone Couronne, la Cantonale Berne Jura and La Voirie (Biel/Bienne), Théatre du Loup, Festival Baz’art and the Deviant Art Festival (Geneva), the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Casual Powerhouse, Underbelly Arts, Soft Centre, Liveworks, Firstdraft and Cement Fondue (Sydney), Next Wave, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Blindside ARI and Bus Projects (Melbourne), Project Space Festival and Month of Performance Art (Berlin). She has completed numerous residencies including: Embassy of Foreign Artists (Geneva), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), ARE Holland (Enschede, NE), SIM and Listhus Skammdegi AIR (IS).

Dillon holds a Master of Fine Arts Research (High Distinction) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (1st Class Honours, University Medal) from the University of New South Wales. She was awarded the 2021 Prix Anderfuhren. Her work has been supported by the City of Biel/Bienne, fOrum culture, Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, NAVA, Australian Postgraduate Award and the Copyright Agency

Elisa Jane Charmichael

Elisa Jane Carmichael is a Ngugi woman belonging to the Quandamooka People (Moreton Island/Mulgumpin and North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland).

Her practice visually explores the beauty of nature and surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from her cultural identity and heritage. Elisa has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University; and a Master of Fine Arts, QUT. Elisa is a third time finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (2023, 2021, 2018). Recent group exhibitions include ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, is an alagāʻupu, Tarrawarra Biennale 2023, Naadohbii: To Draw Water at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (2022, Canada), Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum (2022-23),  and Pātaka Art + Museum (2023, New Zealand); the Busan Biennale (2022); Undertow at the Fremantle Arts Centre; Primavera 2021 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney), Tarnanthi (Art Gallery of South Australia 2020) long water: fibre stories (Institute of Modern Art) and Transits and Returns (Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2019). Carmichael has revealed her public artworks at Treasured Spirit, Ozcare Newstead, QLD (2023) Strings of Waterholes, Herston Quarter, Brisbane QLD (2022), Maitland Regional Council, Newcastle NSW (2022), and Water is Life (2021) at South Bank Parklands, Brisbane, QLD. Her work is held in private and public collections across Australia, including The British Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia), Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia, University of Queensland Art Museum, Griffith University Art Museum, QUT Art Museum, Queensland Museum, and Bendigo Art Gallery.

Julie Sundberg

Julie Sundberg is a Sydney-based photographic artist, with an academic background in art history and literature. Julie has decades of experience in education, stills photography, arts management and community work with a longstanding interest in social justice and storytelling.  Her professional life has seen her work with vulnerable people and communities: inmates, the unemployed, the homeless and others relegated to the margins of society. Insight into the human condition takes visual shape in a broad art practice.  Julie has concentrated on long-term projects related to time, memory and gender for many years.  Empathy for those on the margins runs through Julie’s art practice and in her most recent work it is directed toward the landscape itself.

Julie regularly exhibits her work, and has been a finalist in Australia’s most prestigious photography prizes including HeadOn Portrait Prize, the Moran Photographic Prize, the Olive Cotton Award, the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Award, the National Photographic Portrait    Prize, the CLIP Award, the Ravenswood Women's Art Prize and the Iris Award.

Julie’s work has been published in Black and White Magazine, Doingbird, Looking Glass Zine and FotoNostrum Magazine. Her work is held at HOTA and in private collections in Australia and internationally.

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