Emerging Cultural Leaders 2014

Ana Rita Pires

Ana Rita has lived her life between Portugal and Australia. This sharing of territory has been a catalyst in the development of her work as a visual artist and project coordinator. Her work questions themes such as migration, identity and place.

Her projects have involved working with culturally diverse youth groups, artists’ residencies in West Africa and the ongoing exhibition of her drawings and paintings. Ana Rita completed her formal education in 2007 graduating with a degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of
Lisbon, Portugal. She currently works and lives in Melbourne`s west with her partner and collaborator, Mito Elias, and their daughter Tamira.

Ana’s 2014 ECL Project:
From Footscray with Love is an itinerant project presented through mural installations of written letters from community members of each place presented at – in this case Footscray.

This project aims to represent Footscray and its people, through community participation. Footscray is an inner western suburb of Melbourne, rapidly transitioning from old Anglo /industrial to a multicultural /migrant suburb that is now undergoing rapid gentrification.

The idea of exploring a physical territory through another person’s letter writing to a loved one is a powerful and intimate
experience off ering the possibility to project many hitherto unheard voices and stories. The intent is to collect and provide a generous number of representations of Footscray which will hopefully witness this project off er a sense of ownership over
Footscray and link a present time and place with a previous one.

From Footscray with Love also strongly represents my personal position as a new migrant and my search for ownership and connection to this new place. An exercise to link myself with others, others with each other, all of us with place. Full circle.