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The Very First Festival

Layla: The Festival of Mark Making

17 September 2023


Welcome and thank you for coming to Layla: The Festival of Mark Making 2023. This inaugural event has been co-designed with many people who have all put Layla and her family in the centre of this labour of love.


A festival is a curation of experiences, centred around pageantry and joyful experiences. People come together to celebrate and commemorate a special day or event. This festival is no different. Today we celebrate Layla. We come together in our sadness to celebrate and honour the mark she has left on us all, by standing in the presence of the marks she made.


Mark making is a way to communicate, both with others, but also with ourselves. It is the creation of a language that shares our thoughts, ideas and wonderings. It is an invitation to enter into a conversation with others – an inter-action. Mark making is about offering a piece of ourselves, an expression of an idea that can only be fully known when it is made sense of with others.


Mark making can take many forms. It has been used by people since the dawn of civilisation as a way to tell story and record events. It has been a form of communication long before text emerged as a predominant language. It was used to assert and acknowledge your presence. It was a way to know and to be known. We have the privilege to know this through the markings of First Nation peoples that date back 60,000 years, or more. In a modern world mark making is not used much differently. It is used to share and generate ideas and expression. It still remains an invitation to be known.


Layla's drawings are acts of mark making. They are both literal and conceptual. Her drawings were created in response to inter-actions with others but also with her own ideas. The marks captured in acrylic paint stick are her literal actions in response to stories, song and people. In these moments Layla was marking and recording her own thoughts, ideas and wonderings. These moments were facilitated with Sue Orlovich, a friend of the family and exceptional educator, who spent time with Layla reading, singing and supporting Layla to make her mark. It is these works we have the privilege to stand with today.


Other works shared here today are also created by or with Layla. They tell her story and are an invitation to us to listen and share together what she is telling us.

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The Nest Creative Space. The Lab

Exhibition Space

Welcome to the Exhibition

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The Nest Creative Space. The Lab


Pan's Artwork

Family Photographs

Nurses Notes

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3

Exhibit 4

Exhibit 5

Exhibit 6

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Beads of Courage
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Exhibit 7

Exhibit 8

Sue Orlovich and Renee King

Exhibit 9

Sue Orlovich and Layla Al-Badri Loucopoulos
Sue Orlovich and Layla Al-Badri Loucopoulos

Exhibit 10

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Exhibit 11

Exhibit 12

Pan's Place
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