Ever wondered what paint is? The Fish Safe Paints Project explores what paint is and how modern paints affect our waterways and environment.

In this sustainable and plastic-free workshop, participants will learn how to make their own paints at home using everyday ingredients and their waste. Explore the differences between natural and synthetic paints, how the latter affects the marine environment, and the relationship between colour and culture.

Using a simple step-by-step process, workshop participants will create a painting of a 3D octopus to show off their fresh paints!

This is an online event – participants are to provide their own tools and ingredients.

The aim of this event is to bring awareness of how commercial paints are adding to the microplastics problem in the waterways and marine ecosystem. Serene wants to show food waste as a potential resource and the fun of creating new and interesting paints. As a recipient of the Regional Arts Victoria “Sustaining Creative Workers” 2021 fund, Serene is exploring the income potential of conducting online workshops promoting sustainability.


Serene Lau (Kiat Chen) is a Chinese Malaysian artist raised in Brunei Darussalam. She has completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts and has been working as an artist in Melbourne under the pseudonym of @serenekitchen since 2012. Serene has conducted solo and group exhibitions, artist incursions at primary schools, artist residencies at community centres, and designed public outcome events for communities.

Serene’s current practice is community art as she finds it purposeful through its ability as a platform to discuss tough issues, is eye-opening with its audience interactions, and dynamic because of the variety in the outcome. There are always opportunities to explore different mediums and ways to be sustainable.

Serene is also an alumnus of the Environmental Leadership Program run by the City of Port Phillip. This program helped in the development of the Fish-Safe Paints Project that explores the impact of modern paints on our waterways and environment. Serene aims to create a range of food waste watercolours that can be sold and explore artist collaborations using this medium.

A notable community art project is ‘Earth Children’, a project exploring the taboos of getting dirty indoors using sustainable earth architecture by engaging with tactile-heavy natural medium. The project was developed as a response to healing touch-starved children following Melbourne’s Covid lockdown and is part of the New Ideas Lab 2021-22 at ArtPlay.

Fish Safe Paints - Resized
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Sat 26 / Feb 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM





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