I acknowledge and pay my respects to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and the Dharug peoples, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which I was raised and continue to work. I pay my respect to elders past, present and emerging.

GILLIAN KAYROOZ                

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FRE$H PAIR, 2020

Gillian Kayrooz, The Classics Collection, 2020, Fre$h Pair exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre5 x variable sizes, glazed and fired white raku ceramic

Catalogue ︎
Fre$h Pair investigates self-expression in youth culture through the phenomenon of sneakers. The exhibition documents individuals and communities who showcase the nuances of sneakers worn by Millennials and Generation Z.

Fre$h Pair speaks to critical themes of street culture and its influence on fashion and pop culture at large. Artists: Gillian Kayrooz and Kimberley Peel.

Shoes have always said a lot to me. You could be wearing those same track-suit pants you sleep in every night matched an old t-shirt you bought at a concert years ago, but pair it with your favorite pair of sneakers and that not only completes the outfit, but truly acts as a personal and fashionable statement.

A ‘Fresh Pair’ of sneakers I have always perceived as a reward and distinction of hard-work. For me, it was my Adidas Superstars and for my friends it was their high-top Converse Chuck-Taylors. Finally owning that beaming white pair of leather or canvas shoes was of great significance, however the worn-in and cherished sneakers similarly stood and I believe still stands for persistence, determination and action, whether it be for leisure or work.

Gillian Kayrooz, Homeboy's Gonna Like, Get It, 2020, Fre$h Pair exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, two-channel HD video, colour, sound by Lili Occhiuto, 10:00 

The exhibitions double channel video work ‘Homeboy's Gonna Like, Get It’; a title referencing the humorous Complex interview featuring the very far removed from working-class Supermodel Bella Hadid, displays the pair of sneakers active in daily life. Featuring a range of sneakers and locations, the film patiently follows the journey of the everyday person through various Western Sydney locations whilst specifically referencing my experience of youth culture and adolescent life in ‘the area’.

The soundscape created for this work is from local artist Liliana Occhiuto who used a variety of diegetic recorded sneaker sounds to create a soundscape that reflects the sometimes isolating and alienating nature of the Western Suburbs. The soundtrack compliments the monotony of following the walking pair of sneakers through the local community.

Gillian Kayrooz, The Classics Collection, 2020, Fre$h Pair exhibition at the
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 5 x variable sizes, glazed and fired white raku ceramic

The ‘Classics’ ceramic sneakers collection is an ode to the staple shoes that I found to be most commonly own and worn throughout my adolescence in Western-Sydney. The series consists of the Adidas Superstar, Puma Suede, Converse High-Top Chuck Taylor, Vans Old Skool and Nike Air Force 1.  The combination of the white shiny glaze with the worn textured look of the sneakers, transcends their high fashion status to capture its original foundations of utility, durability and the wearer’s self-determination.

Gillian Kayrooz, Ol' AF1, 2020, Fre$h Pair exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
24 x 7 x 12 cm,  glazed and fired white raku ceramic

© Gillian Kayrooz 2022. all rights reserved.