On the Fringes is a display of selected works from Therese Sweeney’s multimedia project of the same name, which documents the social and cultural history of local southwest Sydney communities in the 90’s and early 00’s.
Sweeney’s collection provides intimate glimpses into day-to-day life on the outskirts of Sydney. Despite the diversely rich cultures and traditions depicted within her collection, Sweeney draws attention to the universally shared theme of belonging present in each household and community in her images.
On the Fringes is Sweeney’s contribution and celebration of her local Green Valley community.
“My motivation was to challenge and redress the long history of negative press and social research depicting my community of origin as bleak and desperate. I aimed to produce images that were born out of collaboration, research, respect and relationship with residents." - Therese Sweeney, photographer.
The exhibition displays a series of snapshots from Sweeney’s collection, transported into life-like scenes with which the audience can engage. Moving through the exhibition space, we are granted a rare insight into the domestic life of each individual depicted in the images and grasp how they connected with the world around them.
The space asks us to notice the places, people, and relationships that seem familiar or challenges us, to compare the past and the present, and to reflect on what connection and community looks like today.
The exhibition will also host work from South-west Sydney artist Tom Yousif. Building upon the concepts of connection and community explored in Sweeney’s images, Yousif will partake in live art installation, creating a piece that aims to draw parallels between the modern-day suburban streetscapes of his home suburb Green Valley, to the processional way of the ancient city of Babylon.
Collaboratively, the exhibition draws attention to the impact major world events, technological advances and drastic changes in societal behaviour have in altering our experiences of the world from decade to decade whilst some universal truths continue to stay the same: we all yearn to belong.
Sweeney's historical snapshots of the vast community and Yousif’s artistic expression of his personal experience challenges you to reflect on what personal connection and community looks like today.