Power, popularity, peaceful protest – how one artist is mixing them all together

“My exhibition, called ‘Power & Pop,’ is portraying the use of a celebrity’s face as a vehicle not just for popularity but also as a symbol of protest, and freedom of speech. All the subjects in my work are celebrities who have been arrested for lobbying for freedom of speech, such as Martin Luther King Jnr, John Lennon and Jane Fonda. I’m interested in the notoriety that celebrities have and their ability to influence a larger audience. Take John Lennon for instance. His anti-Vietnam stance and ‘Imagine Peace’ campaign was a protest on a global scale. Closer to home Midnight Oil are a great example. Why is it that the Government was not able to say sorry to the Aboriginals, but a popular musician can do it without fear? I am intrigued at how these celebrities can cut through the nonsense and make a point.”

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The Double-Life of a Comic Book Store Owner and Modern-Day Superhero

“A little kid came in the other day but he didn’t have much money, so I didn’t sell him anything. When I came home that night, I reflected on what happened and I realized I should have given him something more. I always give stuff away for free but I get surprised and disappointed in myself if I am not more giving. The following day, I was hoping he would come back, but he never did. If someone did that for me as a kid, it would have made my day, and I would remember it even when I grew up. I’ve always wanted this business to be a personal endeavor upon myself to make people happy. That is why one of my main goals is to build up Zumps, my toy line, and then have it tied in with every local hospital, so when I sell Zumps the proceeds go directly to caring for hospitalized children.”

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Reimagining Indigenous Jewelry

“Nawa means many things in T’Boli… one’s character or emotions. It could also mean ‘breath’, and in Tagalog it can mean ‘Amen’ or ‘let it be’. We created Nawa to showcase the amazing talent that comes from handmade Filipino jewelry. Around the Philippines, there’s so much talent to be tapped.”

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School Teacher Creates Toy Line To Help Fund Mother’s Cancer Treatment

 “My proudest moment is the time we were featured on TV. And when we watched the show, with my mom and dad beside us, my mom was just staring at the TV. I think she was thinking, ‘Are these my daughters? Are they really there, talking about our story?’ My parents really felt like we were doing something good.”

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