Posted on 8 July 2016
The Zwolowa exhibition of inspiring paintings, art, artefacts, photographs and audio reveals the life of Lofa refugees in Australia and celebrates the continuity of culture. Part of the international refugee artist George Gittoes I Witness exhibition, Zwolowa: A Celebration of Lofa Culture and Community will run until 21 August 2016 at Penrith Regional Gallery.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Mamre House & Farm, the Liberian community from Lofa county, Caroline Chisholm College, Penrith City Council, and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.
Lofa is the northernmost county of Liberia and borders Sierra Leone and Guinea. Members of the Lofa community at Mamre House & Farm have been working to support their community back home, which has experienced civil war and an outbreak of the Ebola virus. They have gathered donations of clothing and household items as well as money, which will help transport the goods to Liberia. The community is seeking donations for shipping costs at this fundraising page
As part of this collaborative project, Visual Arts students in Years 10 and 11 at Caroline Chisholm College at Glenmore Park were tasked with producing an art project that would tell the stories of the Lofa refugee community through their work.
“We saw that the importance of community was strong among the Lofa community as they worked together to accomplish something great at Mamre Farm,” student Tia Madden said.
Caroline Chisholm’s Principal, Greg Elliott, said the project produced real-world learning opportunities for students in building relationships with the Penrith Regional Gallery and the Western Sydney Liberian Lofa community.
“There was a special bond that developed between the students and the men and women from the Liberian community, which has resulted in exceptional artworks and friendships,” Greg said.
Zwolowa: A Celebration of Lofa Culture and Community is on display until 21 August 2016 at the Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, 86 River Road, Emu Plains, daily from 9am-5pm.
Mamre House & Farm is a work of CatholicCare Social Services in the Diocese of Parramatta. For more information about the Lofa community or the Zwolowa exhibition, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org