Artists Jomakhan Jafari and Danny Kennedy met at Auburn library’s English conversation classes and struck up a friendship that has become an enduring artistic partnership.
Their exhibition A Familiar Place I’ve Never Seen marks the re-opening of the Casula Powerhouse. It was the result of a residency at the Peacock Gallery and Auburn Arts Studio in 2012, during which the pair interviewed residents from across the length and breadth of Western Sydney, asking them about their dreams.
The region is of the city’s most multicultural areas, with 40 per cent of Liverpool’s residents born overseas, and their stories contain vast riches. “Every night the dreamers of Western Sydney travel to thousands of different places,” the artists note.
“Many go around the world, to unseen places, or simply down a local street. People relive events from their past, have extraordinary experiences, or just go about their daily lives, worries and hopes. It is this combination of geography and memory, the fantastical and the mundane, the local and the global that allows dreams to sketch a complex portrait of a city and its individuals.”
Kennedy took photographs, which Jafari then augmented with ‘siyah mashq’ (Persian) calligraphy, as well as contributing sweeping paintings daubed in tar and petrol.
Jafari’s painting ‘Opportunity’ recounts a bittersweet fragment from a person who had never been educated. “When I woke up during the night, I was very upset. I felt like I had lost everything. I couldn’t go