The Purple Rain

“Every person who you will read about here has experienced homelessness
or extreme social disadvantage at some stage in their lives.
Through their stories I am seeking to remove their anonymity
and reveal the individuals.” Konstantin Dimopoulos, The Purple Rain.

The Purple Rain web front page image


World renowned artist Konstantin Dimopoulos will open his new interactive art installation on Thursday 14th May. Eighteen people who have experienced homelessness in Melbourne, or are at risk of being homeless, have shared their stories for The Purple Rain. A series of purple dots, having fallen like rain, will be installed at the Australian Catholic University’s St Mary of the Cross Square on Brunswick Street, at St Mary’s House of Welcome, and in STREAT cafes in the Melbourne CBD.

Each purple dot shares a person’s story of homelessness.


“Don’t be fooled by what you might think about people who are homeless. There would be few who choose to be without safe shelter, without a place to call home.  Suspend judgement. You don’t know what brought them to this place. These are good people to whom life has been so very unkind.”

The stories include people attending St Mary’s House of Welcome, homeless and disadvantaged youth who have participated in the STREAT life skills and training programs to kick start a career in hospitality, and people who participate in Australian Catholic University’s Clemente Liberal Studies Program.

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The Purple Rain Back row L-R: St Mary’s service users; Jong, Pat, Maria, Tuan. Front row L-R: Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos; St Mary’s service users Kenny, Trish, Nancy; City of Yarra Mayor Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis. Photo courtesy of City of Yarra.

The artwork is interactive.  Each dot includes a QR code which can be scanned using a mobile phone, and links to that person’s story on The Purple Rain website.  If you don’t have a QR code scanner on your phone, you can type the website links to read the stories.   St Mary’s Facebook page will be sharing one person’s story every few days for the duration of the installation.

“Homelessness does not mean hopelessness. The Purple Rain offers respect and dignity to the individual, introducing them by name, telling their stories of a future less adverse, their narratives leading word by word to the deeper social issues that exist at the root of homelessness.”

In Melbourne, Australia The Purple Rain is a collaborative project, the artist working with the Institute for Advancing Community Engagement of the Australian Catholic University; the City of YarraSt Mary’s House of WelcomeSTREAT; and Fehily Contemporary Gallery.

Friends of St Mary’s are invited to be a part of the official opening at ACU St Mary of the Cross Square on Thursday 14th May, 10am to 12pm; details below.  If you can’t make it to the opening, you can view the installation at the locations below until 5th July.

You can share your thoughts on the artworks on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #thepurplerain

The Purple Rain will be installed in multiple locations in Melbourne from 14 May – 5 July 2015

1.  St Mary of the Cross Square, Australian Catholic University, Brunswick Street near corner of Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne (near 16-18 Brunswick Street if using Google Maps).

2.  St Mary’s House of Welcome, 165-169 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne

3.  STREAT cafes in Melbourne CBD at 5 McKillop Street, Melbourne Central, RMIT Campus

4.  Outside Fehily Contemporary, Glasshouse Lane, Collingwood, Melbourne.

The Purple Rain partner logos

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