Mural Art for Outreach at UC

Mural art for outreach at UC

This casual chat will present our public art project, called Creative Encounter. As the name suggests, we are curious about the impact of art at the moment of encounter. The project begins with the premise that art has a power to circumvent the barriers of language and culture and to speak to the core of us. To this end, its role in outreach, and in creating the sense of home, as this year’s refugee week theme suggests, shapes our project. The conversation will explore how we came about with this idea, what the idea is, our challenges and successes with a view to opening up dialogue and learning from each other and those in attendance.


Dr Bilquis Ghani
Bilquis is Lecturer in Arts at the University of Canberra and she was Head of Inclusion at Sydney Opera House prior to returning to academia. Bilquis’s PhD employed a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understand how cultural products can be deployed to reconceptualise gender and identity in conflict zones, namely, Kabul, Afghanistan. Currently Bilquis is co-founder and lead for Hunar Symposia, a collective of academics and artists creating spaces of discourse and collaboration between practice and theory. She is also on the board of directors for HADIA foundation, an organisation that runs mobile libraries, multivitamin distribution and emergency support in Afghanistan.

Andraya Stapp-Gaunt
Andraya is a Māori-Dutch woman, secondary English teacher, and PhD candidate at the University of Canberra, Faculty of Arts and Design. Her writing is a thought experiment in ‘making stories’ with rabbits using feminist multispecies theory (Haraway 2016) and Indigenous epistemology (Yunkaporta 2019). Through processes of ‘becoming-with’ and ‘making-with’ rabbits, Andraya strives to foreground the role of human and nonhuman connectedness in processes of creativity. Andraya lives with seven companion house rabbits who are her kin. She is writing a novel (with rabbits) called Rabbit Island.

Dr Emma Phillips
Emma Phillips is a photographer, educator and practice-led researcher. Her work focuses on the ways that image-making might be informed by classist, racist and gendered assumptions. Emma has twelve years professional photography experience in Australian media, design and advertising and eight years’ experience teaching in photography and visual communications programs across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. She has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize and completed her PhD, on women and self-representation, in 2022 with UTS. She has taught extensively with RMIT Photography and is currently an assistant professor in Visual Communication at the University of Canberra.


Date & time

Tue 07 May 2024, 10.15–11.15am


Room E4.11. Level 4, Baldessin Precinct Building


Dr Bilquis Ghani (University of Canberra), Andraya Stapp-Gaunt (University of Canberra), Dr Emma Phillips (University of Canberra)



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