By CHARLENE GATT
IT’S a case of like father, like daughter.
Van Thanh Rudd and his daughter Loyola are celebrating their similarities – and differences – in the Footscray Community Arts Centre’s first family-focused exhibition, Apple from the Tree.
The exhibition features 12 families who have created pieces of art both separately and together to test the saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.
Mr Rudd and Loyola, 5, submitted two pieces for the exhibition.
The pair collaborated together to produce a foot painting, and then Mr Rudd created a prison made from a cardboard box to complement the original piece.
Mr Rudd said he had been influenced by the Occupy movements, where cardboard was used for signage and other uses.
“With my history of activism and political art, I thought, where’s a situation where the father-daughter collaboration would be very difficult?
“And I thought of Palestine and in the Middle East and how young kids are in prisons in the State of Israel, and I did a piece based on that.
“It was an abstract way of protecting a parent-child relationship, but behind bars.”
Mr Rudd said working with Loyola, who started primary school this week, had been a lot of fun.
“For parents, it’s easy to get frustrated because you have an image in your mind of how things might turn out and then their vision is so not what you expect,” he said.
“That’s what makes it really interesting. The feedback loop is intense … but in keeping with the theme of the whole exhibition, I believe it’s the parents’ job to educate the child as to the parents’ point of view of the world.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, in my view.”
The Apple from the Tree exhibition is now open at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and will run until 18 March.
By CHARLENE GATT