The Abbotsford Convent is a rich artistic treasure nestled in suburbia. Spread over 16 acres, it was once identified as the biggest religious institution in the Southern Hemisphere. It now boasts a diverse artistic aura and is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a gentrified pocket of Melbourne.
The Abbotsford Convent is currently undergoing huge renovations to improve its image as a cultural hub. According to the Abbotsford Convent Foundation Business Plan, only 60 per cent of the Convent’s buildings, grounds and gardens are presently usable. In 2015, the Federal Government announced that the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) would receive a challenge grant of $2.68 million from the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) to renovate the 3600 square metre building and surrounding land, according to the Abbotsford Convent website.
The photos that follow walk you through the Convent’s invaluable artistic community, home to artists, art galleries, educational workshops, markets and much much more.
This month a collection of refugee and culturally diverse artists and performers are coming together for the annual Emerge in Yarra festival.
Thanks to Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV), as part of the Community Cultural Development (CCD) program for “culturally and linguistically diverse emerging and refugee artists and communities in Victoria” a plethora of cultural talents will be showcased in the City of Yarra.
This year’s Emerge in Yarra festival will present 10 events over 10 days and will include a delicious array of cultural food, amazing performances, and enriching cultural experiences; expect language lessons along with innovative musical experiences. There really is something for everyone.
Event organiser Frejya MacFarlane has experienced the enriching culture surrounding Emerge. Having been involved in several MAV events over the past couple of years, she expresses the importance of hosting events like Emerge in Yarra festival.
“It’s all about developing relationships with emerging refugee communities and giving them a platform to be more involved in the arts and developing programs,” she said.
Emerge artists and performers hail from all walks of life, each with a story to share with their Yarra community. Neda Rahmani is a seasoned professional performer and has been involved with MAV since around 1999.
This year Neda is heading up her favourite festival session: Cookin’ up Community, held at the Collingwood Community Kitchen on Tuesday, July 4, at 7.30 pm. Cookin’ up Community unites a cultural cooking experience with music, songs, and stories from distant homelands.
In a collaboration like no other, the Cookin’ up Community session will blend the Iran/Persian culinary roots of Neda Rahmani with Saba Alemayoh’s East African cuisine, to represent the unique meals passed down from their mothers.
“My cuisine is a great mélange of different flavours and I can’t wait to see what happens when we put each other’s dishes side by side,” Neda said.
“We all have to eat. We all share that human need to nourish and I think people are interested in learning something new and witnessing something new,” she said.
This year’s Emerge in Yarra festival is bringing about the importance of welcoming and learning about new cultures that live right around us.
Molly Chen, a new visual artist on the Emerge scene is particularly excited to showcase her collaboration with Yumemi Hiraki at The Ownership Project in Fitzroy. Their exhibit will showcase spatial installations in a “home setting” and elevate the discussion of history surrounding their blend of Taiwanese (Molly) and Japanese (Yumemi) backgrounds.
“It’s a very storytelling exhibition and I expect everyone to come and find it very playful, funny and delightful, but at the same time have a strong feeling surrounding discussion about the trauma and the history in our show,” Miss Chen said.
With a medium cultivated by the artists and their cultural values, Emerge in Yarra will be the ultimate cultural experience for 2017. The 10-day festival will bring forth stories of courage, and events that serve a strong purpose in bringing the community together.
For a full list of programs occurring in Emerge in Yarra 2017, click here.
“I’m here in Australia with a working holiday visa, I work in an Italian restaurant; I’m there every day. My brother was living here, and I wanted to have this experience [of coming to Australia]. I like Carlton because, you know, I am Italian, and because of the food, and the culture is here, it’s great!”
Melbourne is famous about Victoria Street, because it has many restaurants with different nationalities such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Lao, Italian, Greek and Indian. The street is very dirty in the evening as it has been littered by people. It has caused the street losing its beauty and culture.
Along on the Victoria Street, we can read many slogans of language representing for our country‘s policies, It is a multi-culture country, people speaking their own language makes up a beautiful rhythm with smells from grilled beef in mint leaves, Noodle Soup of Beef, Country pancake, Mongolian beef, Curry goat, sweet and sour soup with Murray perch, fish with pepper and fish sauce, chicken drilled with garlic cinnamon powder, Pizza margherita, Lamb souvlaki coming from Restaurants.
The characteristics on Victoria St are people seem to have a habit to littering on the street after have a smoke or when they no longer need their plastic bags instead of put the waste in the bin. They are free to litter cigarette butts, used bags, good wrapped papers on the pavement without noticing to people around. Sometimes, these people may treat you as a ‘monster’ if you remind them. It causes the respected people to be embarrassed.
If we look carefully on the walls or doors in the front of shops, we can also read the sentences or graffiti. Incidentally, if tourists stop by this street, they will have a bad feeling about our people because of dirty meaning words or sentences graffitied on the front of shops. It makes beautiful aspects and culture that this street has built up for ages to be smoked in the air. It seems to not to be noticed by shoppers or city of yarra.