English eyes frame places in art

AWAY from her home, visual artist Maria Amidu is interested in the places other people called home.

The Londoner is developing art about the area's historic buildings and the people who lived in them.

Five years after she first came to Parramatta to visit the Burnside Orphanage, she has returned to undertake a one-month residency with the Parramatta Artists Studios.

Amidu's project is focused on three former child welfare institutions: Lynwood Hall at Guildford, the Parramatta Girls Home and the Burnside cottages in North Parramatta.

On her last visit to Australia she walked through the buildings with women who grew up in them.

Amidu produced a book for each of the women that visually represented their memories of the space.

Now she wants to share their stories on a larger scale with a series of artistic films that explore how buildings function as sites of memory.

"I want to revisit the site and reconnect with the women as well and think about what this potential new artwork might be. I am particularly interested in focusing on the building and telling the stories of the building," Amidu, who received funding for the trip from Arts Council England, said.

"It's so nice coming back. I find it really exciting and interesting walking around buildings that were the first of their kind in Australia.

"The place resonates with this sense of history and that is something that really captivates me."

Amidu'said she expected her artistic interest in the buildings to continue long after the cameras for her films have stopped rolling.

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