A 'Suitcase of Dreams' celebrates Merri-bek's rich cultural history

A 100-square-metre artwork has graced a prominent wall in Sydney Road, Brunswick this week, the faces of one hundred local residents telling a story of resilience, persistence, unity and hope.

Titled ‘A Suitcase of Dreams’, local siblings and artists Renato and Tash Colangelo, with Rosa Voto, spent more than a year taking portraits of people who settled in Merri-bek from overseas in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

More than 100 A0-size black-and-white portraits form a mural on the side wall of Sorrento Café, featuring many faces from in and around Coburg, Brunswick and across Merri-bek City.

Moreland Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud said the artwork was a wonderful way to recognise the population that shaped the culturally rich suburbs of the City of Merri-bek.

“‘A Suitcase of Dreams’ is a wonderful piece of local artwork that pays homage to the diversity and multiculturalism of our city,” Cr Abboud said.

“It is a snapshot into the lives of the thousands of brave, resilient, hardworking people that travelled to our shores and made Merri-bek their home throughout our history, giving it the rich cultural flavour we enjoy today.

“Best of all, it is a wonderfully accessible piece of public art that contributes to the vitality of our municipality by challenging and refreshing perceptions about Merri-bek’s local communities.”

Moreland Council was proud to contribute $6,500 to the project, as part of Council’s Place Action Plan for Brunswick

The Action Plan, endorsed in 2017, plays a part in planning Brunswick’s future, aiming to preserve what we love about the suburb, while providing for growth that respects and enhances its characteristics; the varied people, places, buildings and streets, and for the variety of experiences and opportunities that Brunswick offers.

‘A Suitcase of Dreams’ will be launched on Saturday 4 May at Café Sorrento, 801A Sydney Road, Brunswick at 2pm with many of those photographed expected to attend with their families.

Suitecase of dreams

Image - Artists&Mural:
Artists and installers left to right: Renato Colangelo, Rosa Voto, Tash Colangelo, Tom Ward
(Credit: Cam Grove/Tash & Ranato Colangelo).