A young Ghanian migrant has credited TAFE NSW with helping him forge a successful career as a freelance artist, after moving to Australia to build a new life.
As migration returns to pre-pandemic levels in Australia, 27-year-old Fairfield local Emmanuel Asante is addressing the struggles migrants face through his art, having completed a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals at TAFE NSW Lidcombe.
He was selected last year by Waverley Council to create a mural at Bondi Beach, as part of their inaugural United to End Racism art competition.
“My mural titled ‘Target Remastered’ draws on my experience as a young African male living in Australia and represents how people like me can feel marginalised when moving to a new country,” Mr Asante said.
“From the age of six I’ve known I want to be an artist. Art has always been a way for me to process my emotions and express my identity and culture. Watercolour, pencil, coffee, acrylic, and African fabric all come together to tell a story.
“I’ve always been self-taught, but it was my visual arts teacher in high school and my mentor Abdul Abdullah who inspired me to pursue art professionally.
“I decided to enrol in the TAFE NSW course to learn more about art and design. The course has really enhanced my understanding of not just art, but the business side of things. I’m now working as a freelance artist and public speaker. I also paint murals and facilitate workshops.
“Looking to the future, I want to be an art teacher – I would love to teach the next generation that there is greatness in them, and it is never too late to reach your goals.”
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Emmanuel's artwork on the Bondi Sea Wall invites the community to have meaningful conversations about racism and its impacts, which is one of the goals of the United to End Racism campaign.
“Emmanuel’s artwork is being enjoyed by millions of visitors to Bondi and is an example of how art can help break down barriers,” Mayor Masselos said.
"We invite the community to attend a live mural workshop with Emmanuel on Sunday 30 April from 11.30am to 4.30pm near the Dolphin Court Amphitheatre, Bondi Park, as part of our Youth Week celebrations."
TAFE NSW Head Teacher Emma Lawes said Mr Asante was a prime example of the opportunities TAFE NSW provides those looking to pursue their creative passions.
“The Certificate III in Design Fundamentals provides students like Emmanuel with the skills they need to kickstart their career in vibrant creative industries such as visual arts, photography, ceramics, Interior, furniture or graphic design,” Ms Lawes said.
“Through theory and practical course work, students gain valuable specialist skills including managing design projects, meeting client briefs, and establishing a network of creative contacts – all which give them an edge in a competitive job market.”
Media contact: Emma Hughes, Communications Specialist, 0409 618 291, firstname.lastname@example.org