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Child X: What does it mean to be a teen?


GALLERY: A sound and photography exhibition opening in Adelaide this week provides a window into the thoughts, stories, concerns and feelings of young South Australians.

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Child X has been developed by members of SAYarts ensemble On the Fringe, all of whom are aged 12 to 16, in collaboration with professional artists Ben Brooker (writer), Lauren Playfair (photographer) and Tristan Louth-Robins (south artist).

“Full of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the focus of Child X is the empowerment of young people through the re-telling of stories that highlight their differences, achievements and desires, enabling them to be proud of who they are, committed to who they are, and to acknowledge that they are all different but they are all wonderful,” says lead artist and facilitator Claire Glenn.

The exhibition includes photographs of 12 ensemble members which reflect something about their lives, memories and personalities. There are also listening stations where visitors can hear the young participants sharing true stories about themselves, reflections, funny anecdotes and things that are important to them.

Glenn says Brooker was involved early in the development of the work to facilitate discussions around family and self.  He got the young people to interview each other and present to each other, and asked them questions about themselves. 

“There is such a bond within the group that each young person felt safe and supported and they all really began to open up.  They were empowered by being able to talk freely about themselves and the things that are important in their lives.”

One of the young artists involved, Jenna Bezuidenhout, says it was an interesting and fun project to be involved with.

“It’s really nice to talk about stuff that you doesn’t usually come up in casual conversation – things like relationships and feelings and experiences, etc.

“ It’s also great to have all those weird experiences and opinions just out in the open!”

Child X’s opening at the Unley Museum tomorrow coincides with National Youth Week. It will continue until April 28.

The photos below are a sample of what is on show in the exhibition:


Photo: Lauren Playfair


Photo: Lauren Playfair


Photo: Lauren Playfair


Photo: Lauren Playfair


Photo: Lauren Playfair


Photo: Lauren Playfair

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