Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook Opening Celebration
Join artist Cherine Fahd, Lord Mayor of City of Parramatta, Donna Davis, and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Suzanne Cotter, to celebrate the opening of Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook. Acknowledgement of Country by Uncle Chris Tobin.
Whether long-time or new residents, workers, students or visitors, the people who make up Parramatta’s citizenry on any given day are integral to shaping the city’s imagination.
Parramatta is undergoing momentous change at a scale unprecedented in its civic history. New tower blocks, roads and rail lines are rapidly appearing as other sites and spaces adapt or disappear completely. The interweaving transformations to Parramatta’s geography – from its first and continuing presence as Dharug Country, through to its significance as a future-facing knowledge and cultural hub – underscore the significance of the sites in which Cherine Fahd has staged this project.
Taking stock of Parramatta’s transitional present, Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook uses the common experience of group portraiture and school photography to create extraordinary moments. With empathy and humour, Cherine Fahd has engaged with Parramatta’s diverse communities. Presented in Parramatta’s Centenary Square is a large-scale installation that showcases hundreds of portraits of community members that reveal the interactions between artist and sitter, the connections between people and their relationships to the urban landscape as we all learn to reorient and readjust ourselves in the pandemic era.
One of the MCA’s key programs, C3West takes artists beyond the gallery to create new contemporary art projects with Sydney businesses and communities in Western Sydney. Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook is C3West’s first partnership project with Parramatta Artists’ Studios, an initiative of the City of Parramatta and the energetic home for creative production in Western Sydney that supports artists’ practices and careers.