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Media Release - Detours and Destinations installation opens

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Media Release

Wednesday 5th May 2010 

Interactive multimedia installation created by Western Sydney and Macarthur students opens at Sydney Opera House

Free event, The Studio and Western Foyers 5th – 7th May 2010

Today at Sydney Opera House Minister for Juvenile Justice Graham West officially opened the Detours and Destinations interactive multimedia installation and exhibition which uses cutting edge technology to tell the stories of at-risk young people living in Western Sydney and Macarthur. 

The installation is the culmination of three months of workshops in which students from Chifley College / Miimali Aboriginal Community Association, Mt Druitt and Lomandra Public School, Campbelltown have been collaborating with creative mentors to express themselves through music and film production, stop motion graphics and live performance. 

At the centre of the installation in The Studio is an interactive glow in the dark dancefloor which allows participants to manipulate sound clips, music tracks and video segments created by the young people during the workshops.  Content and lighting effects can also be manipulated via a bank of netbooks and games consoles. 

The first of its kind in Australia, the dancefloor features custom made software which allows members of the public unable to get to The Studio to interact with the installation by sending messages via SMS or Twitter and watch it change in real time via a live webstream on the Sydney Opera House website. 

Also part of the installation are free standing structures in the Western Foyers exhibiting a collection of stencil art, poetry, and designs produced by the participants throughout the workshops.

Speaking at today’s launch, Sydney Opera House Chief Executive Richard Evans said Detours and Destinations was an important part of the global landmark’s ongoing community engagement initiatives.

“By taking the Opera House experience to Western Sydney for the first time, as well as bringing the students in to work with our creative teams here at the House, we hope to have broadened their horizons and opened their eyes to possibilities beyond their current environment.”

“Working with these talented young people and our partners from Heaps Decent and Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Performance has been an immensely rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

Minister for Juvenile Justice Graham West said giving young people at-risk access to positive role models and teaching them new skills could help divert them from a life of crime.

 “The most recent survey of juvenile offenders in the community found that more than half (56 per cent) left school before commencing Year 10, 60 per cent did not attend school regularly, and nearly 90 per cent had been suspended, so it is important that we provide educational activities  suited to their learning environment,” Mr West added.

Shopfront artistic director, TJ Eckleberg, and Heaps Decent project manager Erin Morrissey added: “The transformation of the participants has been amazing to watch, they have really relaxed into the activities and their own creativity.  The resulting work shows insightful artistic discovery and impressive skills development. Detours and Destinations has given them a platform for artistic expression and an avenue for the larger community to hear their stories and understand their world." 

Detours and Destinations is a NSW Government funded youth engagement initiative developed by Sydney Opera House in partnership with Heaps Decent and Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Performance.

MEDIA

For further information and interview opportunities contact:

Steven Reilly / 0434 148 504 / sreilly@sydneyoperahouse.com

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