Youth Participation Public Art Program - Something to Say

Something to Say Webpage Banner3

Camden Council’s Youth Participation Public Art Program, beginning in 2016, is a place making initiative that encourages local youth and artist collaboration to create vibrant spaces that foster a sense of belonging and identity.

The Something to Say 2023 program engaged ten emerging artists aged 12 to 24 years to work with local artist Michele Arentz. The young artists created a series of temporary art installations that capture their personal story within their community, allowing youth to exhibit their work, develop their skills, provoke conversation, and deliver positive messaging to the community.

Something to Say artwork will be displayed:

  • Within the three ARTangles located adjacent to Oran Park Library, and
  • On bus shelters and through positive pavement messaging across the LGA.


Artist Statements

PNG Michele Arentz Board

Michele Arentz @marentzy

In my artwork, I have tried to create a symbolic representation of the elements that the young people in the Something to Say program have chosen to identify as having a positive influence in their lives to date or into their futures.

For example, the elements I have tried to convey in my artwork are featured around family support, promoting togetherness and strength of character, links to community via faith and sport, creativity, expression through artmaking, and achieving academically and spiritually,

PNG Ayesha Khan Board

Ayesha Khan @ajk_afflatus

My artwork depicts women of all different ages and ethnicities in a public bathroom looking at a mirror. It is a reflection of all the different walks of life that people come from, as well as women empowerment. These women all have different careers or roles they play in life, from mother to fast food worker, doctor to student. 

PNG Channie Chu Board.

Channie Chu

I decided to create this artwork as it incorporates some of my favourite things in life that I love, including art, the city and flowers. These express who I am and what I love. This artwork is made with acrylic paint and posca paint markers. 

PNG Eashtha Inavolu Board

Eashtha Inavolu

My artwork is based upon a picture of me that was taken during a family trip. The painting reflects my love for nature and plants. The colourful flowers on the heart represent all the people who bring joy to my life. I chose to paint this because it embraces who I am in an indirect way.

PNG Evie Hay Board
Evie Hay

My Something to Say project is about the struggles and challenges in life that relates to all audiences. It's about the importance of having positivity, community and creativity to push you towards your goals. 

PNG Jade Stein Board
Jade Stein

With this painting, I wanted to visualise the warmth and community that can be found in churches all across the Camden LGA. To do this, I gave my impression of a familiar building, St John's Anglican Church, surrounded by a diversity of people spending time with each other in the afternoon light. Although the historical structure is almost 200 years old, it is still a place of fellowship for the community. I also wanted to emphasise the role that any place of meeting or worship can have in bringing people together and developing a sense of belonging and connection.

PNG Jessica Beck Board
Jessica Beck

In my artwork, I have painted a Barbie doll with the words "Life Is Short Make Every Hair Flip Count" to represent the role of a female. This is not just because Barbie has become a huge influence for children, in particular girls, but because as we grow, we long for the days when we knew who we were and weren't aware of our passion being destroyed by the real world. This painting represents that we can still regain the confidence and innocence that we once had by simple things like flipping your hair. 

PNG Karrin Smith Down Board
Karrin Smith-Down

My artwork is called 'The Fridge'. Members of local community may have personal issues and concerns, but not many know how to reach out for help. For this artwork, I convey services and ways to reach out through post-it notes on a fridge, which is where people put most of their important things. 

PNG Lana Johnstone Board
Lana Johnstone

In loving memory of Olive McAleer.

This artwork is inspired my late great grandmother, Olive McAleer’s artworks. Family and heritage is an important part of my life, and I wanted to display this through a clear connection between my artwork and my grandmother's artworks, from the brushwork to the colours to the type of flower, white camellias. I wanted to add my own unique features to the artwork, with the Australian flowers seen. I am passionate about caring for and protecting Australian nature and wanted to include that to merge aspects of my life into my grandmother's artwork.

PNG Srihitha Nagella Board
Srihitha Nagella

I painted this on my board because it holds some of my favourite moments. The pink moon represents the blood moon that I have always wanted to see. So, the night of the eclipse I waited all night and then fell asleep when it rose. The African violets represent the ones on my windowsill.

Rosa Quispe
Rosa Quispe

My artwork is based on how sport brings everyone together. I show a little of each sport, whether it is a ball or a player. As a personal touch, I decided to highlight football, since football has helped me to understand Australia's culture and blend with the people in the community. I added key words, such as 'communication', which means that through sport we can know other people better. 'Passion', that motivates people to commit in sports and be able to achieve their goals. Lastly, 'teamwork' is in every sport, whether it is played 1vs1 or in groups. It always involves supporting and helping each other. My main message to get across is that sports leads to people being united and being a big family, without exception. 


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