MCA Australia launches C3West 2022 Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook by Artist Cherine Fahd

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MCA Australia launches C3West 2022 Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook by Artist Cherine Fahd
Cherine Fahd, Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook (2021–2022), produced and presented by C3West on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with Parramatta Artists’ Studios, an initiative of the City of Parramatta. Photo courtesy and © the artist.

SYDNEY.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with Parramatta Artists’ Studios have launched this year's C3West project Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook. Presented in Parramatta’s Centenary Square, this large-scale photographic installation runs until 3 October.

In 2022, C3West artist Cherine Fahd celebrates Parramatta and its people through photography and performance. Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook uses the common experience of group portraiture and school photography to create moments that reflect Parramatta’s diverse communities during a period of unprecedented urban development and in a time when city’s streets and spaces have sprung back with activity in the post-lockdown period.

Between November 2021 and July 2022, Fahd made portraits of people at various locations in Parramatta’s CBD. Setting up a makeshift studio to create portraits of the people who live, work and play in Parramatta. The project has resulted in capturing hundreds of portraits of people from all walks of life in Western Sydney, revealing 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.

Artist Cherine Fahd said, “The Yearbook is a record of a people and a place at a particular time. The time is COVID-19, the place is the City of Parramatta. While people stirred within the city of Parramatta's numerous construction projects, with new buildings emerging and not so old ones dissolving, local people came willing to talk and pose against the backdrop of scaffolds, cranes and abseiling window cleaners.

Parramatta Yearbook shows you the moments leading up to, during and after a portrait is made. An assortment of cut-up images, bright colours and kindergarten shapes reveal the outtakes and minutiae.”

The public exhibition is accompanied by a printed edition of the Yearbook capturing the hundreds of portraits and the personas of Parramatta community members. This book can also be accessed digitally on the MCA website, with video behind the scenes footage.

MCA Australia Curator of C3West, Pedro de Almeida said, “C3West places contemporary artists at the core of the project with the belief that they can bring unique value and community voice to situations beyond the gallery context. Artist Cherine Fahd has brought her humour and empathy to this year’s project Being Together: Parramatta Years and engaged with Parramatta’s diverse communities. The result is a special kind of public yearbook that recognises many of the individuals that shape Parramatta’s identity and celebrates the connections shared between them.”

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.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said, “This artwork is a wonderful representation of our city and its people at a significant moment in time – not only in terms of the pandemic, but also with respect to the physical transformation of the CBD. This extraordinary collection of photographic portraits captures the diversity of those who live and visit here, as well as their connections with each other and the city itself.”

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