The car park grounds of the vacant Bidwill Shopping Plaza will be come alive this weekend (January 18-19).
The car park will transform into FUNPARK, a free event that merges fantastical dream worlds with contemporary experiences as part of the Sydney Festival,
Honouring the past during a time when amusements parks were prominent in western Sydney, artist and social activist Karen Therese, a Bidwill resident, has teamed up with local residents and some of Blacktown City’s boldest performance makers to welcome back the crowds for a different kind of ride.
Visitors can wander the transformed car park and enjoy an interactive arcade cinema, witness a political rock opera, engage with the local Aboriginal community, be part of a spontaneous hula-hooping session or venture into a story tunnel.
FUNPARK is about coming to this unique community and engaging with the landscape and the people, to come find your own fun, participate and have a social interaction.
It also features a strong Aboriginal component, beginning with a powerful smoking ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate the original custodians of the land and cleanse the landscape of past disappointments and the problems of the everyday.
Children and young people from Bidwill will then sing and dance The Dreaming and The New, led by the participants of Bangarra’s Rekindling Project, the popular Doonside community leader Aunty Stella Cunningham and the Mount Druitt Indigenous Children’s Choir.
Blacktown Arts Centre, as a key creative partner, is working closely with the Bidwill community on the FUNPARK Indigenous Works.
The arts centre will also host the Bidwill Tent, a space for conversation, contemplation and the conjuring of dreams.
Designed by Aboriginal artist and Colyton resident Robyn Caughlan and interdisciplinary artist Annemaree Dalziel, in collaboration with the community, the Bidwill Tent is a tribute to Aboriginal elders, local leaders and the wider community who call Bidwill home.
People are encouraged to bring an offering and join around the dining table laden with bush tucker in a free event curated by Karen Therese in partnership with Blacktown Arts Centre.
FUNPARK event will take place from 6pm on January 18 and 19 at Bidwill Shopping Plaza, Carlisle Avenue, Bidwill (opposite Lindley Square). Shuttle buses will operate to and from Mount Druitt Railway Station. More information: www.sydneyfestival.org.au