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Beyond Empathy

Defiant is an ambitious multi-disciplinary art project which aims to support and elevate the voices of the young people of Lismore and the surrounding areas, utilising creative processes to tell their stories. The process of creating artworks is grounded in nurturing culture and identity, connecting young people with their communities as a way of building resilience and promoting positive patterns of relating.
The overall aim of the project is to begin a conversation between the young people of our region and their broader community, and in so doing creating a stronger support and recognition of their perspectives that ultimately leads to improved wellbeing outcomes for the young people.
A team of professional artists were enlisted to support the participants and encourage them to explore a variety of art making processes including visual arts, photography, music and movement to share stories of their lived experiences, discover their voice and overcome feelings of powerlessness.
The DEFIANT project producers Beyond Empathy acknowledge the significant contribution of their project partners the Lismore Regional Gallery, with a special thanks to Ghurrumbil Dreaming Indigenous Corporation – an emerging sovereign enterprise from Widjubul Wia-bal country (Lismore and surrounds) on which the art is presented.
We would also like to thank the participant groups Southern Cross Distance Education (Ngulingah), New Choices, Richmond River High School, and The Rivers Secondary Colleges. All of these groups, their teachers and community leaders have given so much to this project for which, as the community of Lismore, we are very thankful.
The DEFIANT project was presented across two venues creating an exciting arts trail starting at The Lismore Regional Gallery (April - June 2021) and across to the newly established artists run initiative ELEVATOR (April 6 - 23 2021) to showcase the amazing art collaborations between the young people of our region and the following supporting artists.
Supporting artists:
Gilbert Laurie, Oral Roberts, Michael Philp, Jade Dewi, Hannah Bronte, Jesswar, Michael Weir,  Abdul Abdullah, Raphaela Rosella, Erica Gully, Joanna Kambourian, Marley Berry-Pearce, Kirk Page.

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