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Shopfront Visual Arts Workshops

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Event description

These workshops are for ages 7 - 12 years old and will take place Tuesday 19 - Thursday 21 April - 10am - 3pm. Ideally all participants will be available to attend both days however if you can only attend one, that's ok! If you are attending both days, please register for each day. 


Parents/carers please be advised that young people will need to bring snacks and lunch with them each day. This workshop will involve paint, clay and lots of fun messy things. Please ensure that your child wears appropriate clothing that can enjoy a messy, arty day! 

Additionally we require consent from participants to take young people on a walking excursion around The Rocks to gather inspiration.

By registering for this workshop series parents/carers are providing their consent for participants to be taken on a walking excursion around The Rocks to gather inspiration as well as consenting for participants images to be used for exhibition display, archival and promotional activities.

If your child has support needs or access requirements please email
Unfortunately the Atherden Street location is not wheelchair accessible.



Like Monte Marte, the artists' quarter in Paris, the cobblestoned streets around Atherden Street in The Rocks create a unique character that will inspire young artists.   

Historic buildings and contemporary shops and restaurants jostle side by side, making this vibrant suburb hum. 

Stone buildings, grey smooth cobblestones, moist dirt, autumn leaves, salty air, concrete paths and hot tar roads. 

The smell of fresh food being cooked over open braziers and coffee waft past.  

The colours of sky, ocean and creamy sandstone form a sepia palette.  

The creative holiday workshops with Imogen will engage the senses - together the participants will explore sight, sound, smell, touch and taste as inspirational prompts.  


Filming The Rocks - each morning we will begin with a creative provocation - something to find or focus on when exploring the street architecture outside. Colour palettes, objects, scale, materiality, textures and patterns - all these elements will be looked for, captured and framed on film by participants. These images will inform many of the drawings and conversations that follow. Projected images made by participants will be projected onto canvas for the weekend exhibition. 

Rubbing the Rocks - using charcoal, chalk pastels and graphite, participants will take paper rubbings of the many different textures we find on our exploration of the streets around The Rocks. These impressions will then be used to create 3D mobiles and background surfaces. 

Printing the Rocks - using leaves and other objects found on our outdoor explorations, participants will be taught simple mono-printing techniques to create their own original prints on paper. 

Tasting the Rocks - building on the idea of The Rocks as the entry point of all spices from other places via ship, we will explore making art from things we can taste and smell - salt, coffee, tea, onions and red pepper to name but a few! We will explore indigenous bush food and spices as well as European. 

Mapping the Rocks - using clay, earth and damp sand, we will map and build the area around us - forming hills, tunnels, roads, harbour areas and parks. 

Participants will look at images of Sydney harbour pre and post -colonisation to imagine the landscape and recreate its past, its present and its possible futures. 

Speaking to Rocks - Classic sound experiment using tin cans and string that will remind parents of their own childhood. Using vibrations, we will see how long we can make a piece of string and still be heard! 

Singing the Rocks - haunting soundscapes both real and imagined will be created using recorded sounds, interviews, poems, songs and objects found in the spaces we explore. These aural experiments will form a soundtrack to the projected films made by participants. 


Imogen Ross works across diverse performance mediums as a designer and visual artist/maker of many things. 

Imogen is an experienced creative workshop facilitator for Belvoir St theatre and secondary schools. She is the founder of an after-school art studio in the Illawarra called Go Create Art aimed at encouraging creative resilience in young people.   

She regularly collaborates with community arts organisations to create contemporary site-specific stories with emerging, youth, migrant, refugee and indigenous performers.    

In recent times, Imogen has made creative projects for NTOP, ICE, PYT, Monkey Baa, Merrigong, Shopfront and CuriousWorks and is currently working with Frank Newman and Curly Fernandez (Creative Leadership in School; SOH) at Liverpool Boys High for The Takeover 2022. She is an artist in residence at Chipping Norton PS. 

She heads the Environmental Awareness subcommittee of the APDG and is a strong advocate of Ecoscenography in Australia. 


SHOPFRONT ARTS CO-OP is the home of youth arts. We stand as Sydney’s only cross-art form organisation led by and dedicated to the artistry of Young People. For over four decades, Shopfront has amplified the voices of Young People.

Supported by practising, professional artists, our members make bold and ambitious works of creative expression. We champion acts of artistic bravery. We are acknowledged for this bravery through awards, recognition and support of arts bodies, and by the thousands of people who have at one time or another in the last four decades considered Shopfront to be their second home. Being a member of Shopfront means you are part of something. Our co-operative is an inclusive community of artists sharing a common goal of making great art (and having a lot of fun along the way).


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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event