It’s fair to say that artists from the 2020 SANAA program have left their mark on Whyalla.
A stunning mural at the Whyalla Library and countless young people who are now raving about street and performance art is certainly evidence of that.
The talented SANAA group, comprised of artists from around Africa as well as local trailblazer Olivia White, were in Whyalla for three days earlier this week holding art workshops at local schools.
Their trip culminated with a visit to D’faces of Youth Arts where they held two workshops – one focused on street (graffiti) art and the other on hip hop and dance.
The ‘graffiti jam’ session was run by street artist Mohammed ‘Moh’ Awudu, who is originally from Ghana, and fellow graffiti artist Viktart Mwangi from Kenya.
“Doing the workshops with kids is a great opportunity to give back what I learnt in Africa, to share the experience with them is amazing,” Moh said.
“Art is a therapy, art is fun…so for me, every kid is an artist, it depends on how you push them to try different things.”
The hip hop session was coordinated by Sparrow, a Ugandan street artist, photographer, beat maker, and dance teacher who founded Uganda’s first street art festival: AFRI-CAN.
Meanwhile versatile artist Mulenga J Mulenga from Zambia ran visual art workshops with students from Nicolson Avenue Primary School and Whyalla Town Primary School.
“I wanted to teach the children that they could use their hands beyond what they usually do – they can get a message across by using their artistic abilities,” she said.
“If they want to say something, why not paint a picture about it or use their body to send the message. We also did some performance where they used their body to communicate as opposed to traditional art forms.”
SANAA Founder Victoria Lewis said the program focused on bringing African artists to the country to collaborate with Australian artists.
“It’s about facilitating intercultural understanding and unity, we always have a positive message,” she said.
“It’s a whole different experience for the artists in the regions compared to the city. They are very interested in learning about what life is like out here and getting a better understanding of indigenous culture.”
Ms Lewis said the amazing mural at the Whyalla Library was created in just two days, demonstrating the connection between the SANAA artists.