Dreaming in Cranebrook - Information & Cultural Exchange

Dreaming in Cranebrook


The I have a Dream – Cranebrook project was my fourth experience of Penrith City Council’s Magnetic Places funding program – $8K each project. These four projects have seen ICE employ 11 Artists, 6 of who are Aboriginal artists. Given that a consistent KPI was to engage the Aboriginal community in art we thought that appropriate.

I Have a Dream – Cranebrook has been most rewarding. How often to you get to throw a beautiful idea out there, have the support of a curatorium that would rather listen to Van Halen and prefers Pepsi over Coke, a publicity person who get’s it, an accounts guy who codes expenses before you’ve spent them – Dhanyabad Saathi – and an artist who understands play and fun in discovering beautiful work. Plus a staging and production Guru, a musical savant and the guy that knows everything about projection.

Throw in a trusted and respected community partner, someone who can actually prepare a great hotdog (cheese and everything) and a group of young minds, spirits and talents who just want to learn and be supported and express themselves (they are the stars of our show) – what more could you ask


So let’s break it down for you:

Our Development officer, Ziyad Springborg, wrote a killer application for the Magnetic Places application for which we were successful. Penrith City Council put on a terrific professional development session that gave us a great opportunity to meet with individual artists and small orgs who were also hoping to create some magic through Mag Places (as it’s known).

From here I Have A Dream – Cranebrook become February’s 5th project for me to deliver by June but I took that in my stride (ahem). Programs Manager, Mouna Zaylah suggested we work with Marian Abboud with Jerome Pearce coming on board for projections. Fellow ICE producer Jonathan Wilson had been fostering a musical talent in Jerry Kahale and I’d already been working with filmmaker Mary Munro. So we had our team.


Luke Beaton from Sailor Studio put in conceptual overtime and delivered a great poster. Laura and Anna from Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre helped us with the venue and the team at the newly established Kooly Youth Hub recruited participants. We even took a trip to Boing trampoline centre in Baulkham Hills (Shudder… I’m not sure I’m ever gong to recover from that). With our workshop series complete an industrious period of post-production ensued. We worked hard towards an outdoor installation event that would engage the community as they made their way to the shopping centre.

Then disaster struck – rain the morning of the showcase. We called weather contingency at 10:30am whilst Coates Hire informed me of their most agreeable cancellation policy. Despite the down pour the showcase was magical. Jerry Kahale’s Ableton live DJ station just rocked craziness. Marian Abboud’s video works captured the joy of dreams known or unknown – some mechanical but none fearful (more like Uncle Fred’s travel slide show). A series of weird sketched out images that reeked of authenticity and made you feel like you existed in the dreams of any of the young people of Cranebrook.


The Ableton live set-up blissfully distorted the voices of the young but occasional you could make out a pearl of wisdom among the machinations of the chaos box. Under great pressure Julian Lankshear and Jerome Pearce skillfully and meticulously installed the staging. When audience numbers were obviously going to be lower than expected Colin Kinchela, our amazing hotdog vendor, allowed us to get a hotdog eating competition going. I’m awarding victory in this to the IT wizard, Julian Lankshear, just on form, but I thought my effort of three hotdogs rated a mention.

Words by Christian Tancred.
Photos by Marian Abboud.

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