Unspoken
Calendar, December 18, Installation, November 18, October 18, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Unspoken by Olga Cironis

20 Oct – 23 Dec @ PICA ·
Presented by PICA ·

“I use and abuse art to communicate and create dialogue, to make sense of the world, even rage against it.” – Olga Cironis

Olga Cironis is a WA-based multidisciplinary artist working in installation and performance. Informed by her Greek, Czech and Australian heritage, Cironis investigates identity, connection to place and counter-histories.

Combining art and life, Unspoken is a durational performance that sees Cironis work in PICA’s Westend Gallery, in a hybrid of both studio and exhibition space. Visitors are invited to enter, observe and engage with the artist as she explores the theme of voicelessness through a participatory moulding project.

Unspoken will be Cironis’ most ambitious project to date and will navigate layers of research, collected stories, process and rituality.

Curated by Eugenio Viola

More info:
pica.org.au/

Pictured: Olga Cironis, home run, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Kaleidoscope Festival
Calendar, Festivals, Installation, November 18, Visual arts

Festivals: Kaleidoscope Festival

1 – 4 November @ Joondalup City Centre ·
Presented by Mellen Events ·

WA’s largest light and illumination festival, Kaleidoscope, is back for its biggest and brightest year yet, transforming the City of Joondalup into an extraordinary wonderland of light and art over four evenings from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th November 2018.

Now in its third year, Kaleidoscope combines world-class illumination, artistic installations, projections, live performance and food – creating a mind-blowing multi-sensory experience. Last year’s festival attracted 80,000+ attendees and shone a light on some of Australia’s most dynamic creatives. Kaleidoscope is fun, free, family friendly and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Highly acclaimed and internationally renowned Creative Director, Drew Anthony brings an audacious creative vision to this year’s festival program. He has secured a wide-ranged line up of local, interstate and international artists, set to entertain and inspire all ages with their innovative and awe-inspiring installations, projections and performances.

Mr Anthony says, “This year’s program has been curated based on the following powerful statement: There is beauty all around us. Everywhere. Notice it. Reflect on the past with gratitude. Squeeze every drop from the present. Hope and dream for wondrous future. Everything is extraordinary when you are seeing with loving eyes. From 1st to 4th November our illuminated urban space in Joondalup springs to life, becoming a must-see destination for creativity, inspiration and shared experience, thanks to works that are surprising, impressive and entertaining all at once! I encourage everyone to lock these dates in their diaries, it will be a festival experience to be enjoyed by the whole family,” concluded Mr Anthony.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said Kaleidoscope has been a resounding success for the City of Joondalup over the past two years.  “More than 140,000 people have visited the Joondalup City Centre from around the metropolitan area and beyond to enjoy a unique event that delivers spectacular and interactive art installations, illuminations, projections and live performances. Kaleidoscope is an important part of the City’s annual arts calendar and plays a role in driving positive economic outcomes for the local business economy, creating vibrancy in the City Centre and providing outstanding entertainment for residents and visitors alike.  I look forward to seeing the variety of fun attractions Kaleidoscope 2018 will deliver for the wider community as one of the biggest free, family-friendly events in WA.”

This year’s festival footprint extends over Joondalup City Centre and Lakeside Joondalup. Pre-show entertainment and food commences at 5pm, and as the sun goes down, the lights come on at 7.30pm and the illuminated magic begins. There will be over 60 food trucks serving endless options of street style food all evening, along with a bar presented by Lion.

More info
W:  kaleidoscopefestival.com.au
E:   holly@3amthoughts.com.au

Pictured: Intrude by Amanda Parer

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Artwork courtesy of Natsumi de Dianous. Work details: Slime fantasy grrl, 2018, Clay, acrylic, clear slime and temporary tattoo.
Comics, Features, Film, Installation, Mixed media, News, Sculpture, Visual arts

Recasting the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

We all know the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of the contemporary romantic film. She’s that off-beat, mysterious one, that free thinker who enables the male hero to shake off the shackles of his dull, suburban life… and though she may seem carefree, she’s a problematic figure, defined and delineated by her relationship to a male protagonist.

In “Magical Woman”, an art exhibition curated by Aisyah Aaqil Sumito and Sophie Nixon, she’s being utilised differently, however. A platform for six emerging female and non-binary artists to explore representations of romance in film and popular culture, “Magical Woman” invites artists to use the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope as a starting point to produce a new body of work, while taking into consideration the intersections of racism, misogyny, queer exclusion and trans exclusion. Nina Levy spoke to Sumito and Nixon to find out more.

Nina Levy: I think most of us are familiar with the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) but can you talk about who the MPDG is and what she represents?

Sophie Nixon
Sophie Nixon

Sophie Nixon: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a colourful and quirky character who exists to uplift, enrich and fulfil the

lives of white-male protagonists. Think of films like 500 days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you pay enough attention you may catch these women encouraging the male protagonist to try new things and step outside of his comfort zone.

Manic Pixie Dream Girls are characterised as having bubbly and eclectic exteriors, often partnered with underlying poor mental health; this is often romanticised as being part of their “quirk” to add seeming depth, mystery and intrigue to the character – a plot device in the central character’s narrative.

Aisyah Aaqil Sumito
Aisyah Aaqil Sumito

Aisyah Aaqil Sumito: Referring back to what Sophie said about encouraging centralised male characters to “live”… these characters are infantilised by their inability to communicate their feelings, how they act, and what they enjoy – while simultaneously being granted the emotional capacity to teach these men how to live their lives (almost like mothering). It’s a harmful and unrealistic representation of women that is very ingrained in our ways of seeing things. In more simple terms, it affects the way that we interact, and the warped standards that women and non-binary folk hold ourselves to – even if we don’t fit into the mould of a trope that applies to a very specific demographic.

NL: What made you decide to take the Manic Pixie Dream Girl as the starting point for this exhibition?
AAS: “Magical Woman” began as a means to vent about frustrations and representations of women in media. Initially we were only planning to respond to Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope itself – a small, spunky project that we would use to rock the boat. The longer we looked for a venue, the more time I had to actually think about this particular trope and how transgressive critiquing it would actually be, and how beneficial it would be for the artists. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a trope that only applies to white cisgender women. With that considered, I wanted to encourage the artists to go a bit deeper than the trope itself, critically engaging with intersections of racism, misogyny, trans exclusion, and queer exclusion, regardless of what kind of work they decided they would make. For me it’s really important that it is distinguished as a starting point, and that our exhibition is a small contribution to an ever-expanding conversation.

NL: You’re co-curating “Magical Woman” – how did you meet? And what made you decide to work together?
AAS: Sophie and I met around February 2017, for an exhibition that I curated alongside Olivia Tartaglia at City Arts Space for Propel Youth Art’s 2017 KickstART Festival “KickstARTISTS: Symbiosis”. Beyond the work we do as artists and as curators, we are good friends. Working together to embody discussions we have on a regular basis, in the form of a curated exhibition, was really beneficial and a huge learning curve for both of us.

SN: Outside of “Magical Woman”, I’m working to complete my honours in Fine Art at Curtin University and hustling odd-jobs. As Aisyah mentioned, we met within the happenings of the “Symbiosis exhibition”. I was a participating artist in mentorship with Jess Day, and Aisyah was co-curator with Olivia Tartaglia in a skillshare/mentorship context. Shortly after that, I produced work for another show that Aisyah curated alongside Claire Bushby. I remember being so in awe (still am to be honest) of Aisyah, their dedication, professionalism and how they carried themselves as a curator. For both of us, this is  our first time curating independently (outside the program of a mentorship/institution). Knowing Aisyah and I were in this together made the process of applying for shows and grants so much easier, I don’t know if I would have had the same amount of courage, ambition and motivation if they weren’t there.

NL: You’re both emerging curators as well as visual artists… what draws you to curating? What are the challenges/rewards of being a curator?
AAS: My first curatorial project was “KickstARTISTS: Symbiosis”, since then I’ve curated “Borders and Transitions” (in mentorship with Claire Bushby) and “The Corsini Collection: Revisited” (in mentorship with Dunja Rmandić), all of which have been hugely rewarding learning experiences. Before I took on these projects, I was really interested in the role of the curator, and how that role fostered growth for emerging artists in a gallery context. It was something I started thinking about when I visited my first Paper Mountain exhibition “Stay/Keep” (2014), curated by Melissa McGrath.

I find working with artists, pushing their conceptual development, as well as their capacity to do and be better (despite inevitably recurring moments of doubt) incredibly rewarding. For the most part, balancing unpaid administrative labour within my curatorial practice, and setting my boundaries so that I don’t burn out from overwork, have been the most challenging aspects of curating. “Magical Woman” is the first show I have co-curated beyond a mentorship context, which is both nerve-wracking and exciting.

SN: During the last year (2016) of my Bachelor of Fine Art at Curtin, I was the student coordinator of the graduate showcase exhibition, which included organising several fundraising exhibitions. This experience gave me a taste for arts management and curating. After that I completed an internship at PSAS in Fremantle under the wing of their director Tom Mùller, which saw me curate an exhibition of their studio artists.

When it comes to the opening night I usually have this moment of stillness where I really take it in: reflecting on where it started and seeing a show in its resolution. It’s a very wholesome feeling. I think that’s what drives me to keep curating. One of the most challenging things about curating for me personally is managing my time between curatorial duties and honours research.

“Magical Woman” opens at Paper Mountain 7 September, exhibition 8-23 September. Magical Woman is supported by Healthway, promoting the Drug Aware Message and Propel Youth Arts WA.

Pictured top: Artwork courtesy of Natsumi de Dianous. Work details: “Slime fantasy grrl”, 2018, Clay, acrylic, clear slime and temporary tattoo.

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Artwork courtesy of Natsumi de Dianous. Work details: Slime fantasy grrl, 2018, Clay, acrylic, clear slime and temporary tattoo.
Calendar, Comics, Film, Installation, Mixed media, Sculpture, September 18, Visual arts

Visual arts: Magical Woman exhibition

7-23 September @ Paper Mountain ·
Presented by Drug Aware and Propel Youth Arts ·

Opening Night: Co-curators Nixon and Sumito invite everyone to come along to the official opening of Magical Woman, and to meet each of the talented artists amongst an energetic celebration of queer and women art in Perth. Opening night event will be held Friday 7 September 6-8pm in Paper Mountain’s main gallery.

Please RSVP for this event via eventbrite

Exhibition open to public: Saturday 8 – 23 September, 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Friday, and 11am – 4pm on weekends

Curator & Artist Talk: A Curator & Artist Talk event will be held in Paper Mountain’s main gallery Wednesday 12 September 6pm. Facilitated by Megan Hyde (Adjunct Teaching Fellow, Cultural Precinct, UWA) and Carly Lynch (Artist), this event will offer an in-depth view into the motivations of the artists and curators, and a reflection on the outcomes of the exhibition.

Please RSVP for this event via eventbrite

Magical Woman is a public art exhibition set to be displayed in the main gallery of Paper Mountain Artist-Run Initiative. It has been developed to provide a platform for six emerging women and non-binary artists to explore representations of romance in film and popular culture. Taking into consideration the intersections of racism, misogyny, queer exclusion and trans exclusion — artists have used the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope as a starting point to produce a new body of work.

Emerging artists, Amy McGivern, Astro Francis, Sam Huxtable, Shannon Marlborough, Natsumi de Dianous and Pip Lewi have worked closely with Sumito and Nixon. Producing work across a variety of mediums including: animation, comic art, video, installation, textile soft-sculpture and ceramics.

More info
W: aaqilsumito.com
E: aisyahsumito@gmail.com

Pictured: Artwork courtesy of Natsumi de Dianous. Work details: Slime fantasy grrl, 2018, Clay, acrylic, clear slime and temporary tattoo.

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Title: Disembodied Cuisine Installation Artists: The Tissue Culture & Art (Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr & Guy Ben-Ary) Medium: mix Date: 2003 Photography: Axel Heise
Installation, Mixed media, News, Visual arts

A peek inside the lab

A monstrous arts event is about to take place in Perth. Named “Unhallowed Arts”, it’s timed to celebrate the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and features exhibitions and events that explore that seminal text’s influence on contemporary life and culture.

While Frankenstein’s laboratory may be fiction, behind the monstrosity that is “Unhallowed Arts” is a real lab, SymbioticA. Curious, Nina Levy got in touch with Symbiotica’s director, Oron Catts, to find out more.

Nestled deep in the heart of the School of Human Sciences building at the University of Western Australia (UWA) is a laboratory with a difference. Make your way up to the second floor, past the fridges storing biological material, and you’ll find the home of SymbioticA, an artistic research laboratory in a biological sciences department. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms then you’re about to have your mind opened. Rather than viewing science and the arts as mutually exclusive disciplines, SymbioticA is predicated on the idea that the two are inextricably linked.

“We are interested in the concept of life and how our relationship to that concept is changing and shifting,” explains SymbioticA’s director, Oron Catts. “So it makes sense for us to park ourselves in the biological science department, where the most radical shifts in dealing with the idea of life, and life in general, are happening. Our research scope ranges from the molecular to the ecological but with a keen interest in contemporary biotechnological ways of engaging with life. What makes us really special is that we have our own research lab, a level two biological lab, specifically for artistic research.” For the non-scientists amongst us, according to Wikipedia, “level 2” refers to the level of precautions that need to be taken in order to ensure that dangerous biological agents remain contained within the lab.

Wow.

In addition to enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices, SymbioticA also hosts residents, workshops, exhibitions and conferences. Based at UWA since 2000, SymbioticA was founded by Catts and Dr Ionat Zurr, now the academic co-ordinator. As Catts explains, from the beginning SymbioticA has been concerned with the idea that the rapidly developing field of biotechnology, which allows biological and genetic materials to be manipulated, needs the input of artists as well as scientists.

“The main reason SymbioticA got started was this interest in the idea that biology is becoming more and more of an engineering pursuit and [that] life [is becoming] the raw material for human wants and needs,” he elaborates. “We felt it was really important for artists to also start to use the living biological materials … if other professions are allowed to do it, it’s particularly important for artists to explore this area because we need to make sense of what it means to treat life in such a way.

“We try to be non-prescriptive … We’re not trying to tell [our residents and students] how to think about these issues, we’re trying to make them aware of those issues and trying to find different strategies to open up those questions to the wider community and get them involved in the awareness that something very, very strange is happening to life and that we shouldn’t leave those decisions about we’re doing [solely] to scientists, business people and engineers.”

As the name suggests, SymbioticA is founded on the idea that there is a symbiotic relationship between science and the arts – “the capital S stands for science and the capital A for arts,” says Catts – but he is anxious to emphasise that it’s not about outcomes or benefits for either field. He is wary of what he refers to as “the innovation paradigm.” He elaborates, “That’s the neoliberal idea that we always have to come up with gadgets and innovations to justify our existence. We try not to revert to that rhetoric because we believe that there’s way more important things to think about than just short-term profits… in most cases, they’re not even benefits.” Instead, he says, SymbioticA is engaged in a “critique of life science.”

This was the first attempt to use tissue engineering for meat production without the need to slaughter animals.
‘Tissue Engineered Steak No.1’, 2000, A study for “Disembodied Cuisine” by the Tissue Culture & Art (Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr & Guy Ben-Ary). Medium: Pre-Natal sheep skeletal muscle and degradable PGA polymer scaffold. This was the first attempt to use tissue engineering for meat production without the need to slaughter animals.

That said, SymbioticA has been involved in some exciting scientific developments, continues Catts. “We have quite a few scientific applications that have come out of SymbioticA … because the nature of the questions we ask can generate new knowledge, just by engaging with queries that artists have around the materiality of living systems and what can be done to them. We are credited, for example, with being the first place that was growing meat in the lab, and growing leather. We did that very early in the game. We have an artist here, Guy Ben Ary, who is also one of the technicians and is doing a lot of work with neuroscience and stem cell research and he has worked very closely with scientists to develop new ways of doing things.

“But first and foremost, we focus on the idea that we are living in a time when life is going through major transformations and there is a need for a wide variety of approaches in dealing with [the questions that arise as a result]. We represent one approach, which is experiential … we train the artists in techniques, so that they’re not looking over the shoulder of scientists, they’re actually working in the lab, with the materials and they gain a very intimate understanding of the field which allows them to be much more informed about the possibilities. This is another issue we have at the moment – the meat is a prime example, it’s being hailed as something that might save the world, but we see it as a symptom of the ailments of the world, rather than solving the [world’s] problems.”

It’s unsurprising, then, to learn that in spite of keeping a relatively low profile at home, SymbioticA has an international reputation. That low profile at home is about to change, however. Throughout September and October SymbioticA will be revealing itself on a monstrous scale, with “Unhallowed Arts”, a collection of arts events at various venues in Perth and Fremantle. The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to comparisons that have been made between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and his creature, and the SymbioticA artists working in their lab. Initially unwanted, the group has decided to embrace the comparison. It’s timely, as 2018 is the bicentenary of the publication of Shelley’s gothic novel.

The initial idea for “Unhallowed Arts” was to hold a conference, says Catts, but with overwhelming interest, it quickly developed into a much larger scale event, with exhibitions at the Art Gallery of WA, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Old Customs House (Fremantle), UWA’s Cullity Gallery and Paper Mountain, and a film program at the State Library, in addition to “Quite Frankly”, the conference being held at UWA.

One of these exhibitions is developed by Catts and Zurr as part of their Tissue Culture and Art Project. Intriguingly entitled “Biomess”, it is curated by the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s Curator of Contemporary Design and International Art, Robert Cook, and opens at AGWA, September 8. As the name suggests, the exhibition looks at what Catts describes as “the messiness of biology”.

“Biomess” started with Catts and Zurr approaching curators at the WA Museum. “We asked them if they have any specimens in their collection of organisms that defy a sense of self or body or reproduction,” says Catts. “We were starting to thinking about it around the time of the same-sex marriage plebiscite, when conservatives would use [arguments] like, it’s not natural to engage in particular sexual relationships. When you look at the way living biological systems deal with [sexual relationships], there is such a variety, so many organisms that change their gender in their lifetime, organisms that reproduce in different ways. One example, which unfortunately we don’t have in our show, is a bird that has two variants of the male, where one male looks like a female. The [female-looking male] gets the male-male to mount them. When they do so they transfer the sperm into the male-male and then that bird mounts the female. So the manly male is the vehicle for the feminised male to transfer its sperm into the female.”

While that example won’t be seen, there are plenty of fascinating specimens that will be part of the exhibition, says Catts. “An amazing example is that there’s a beetle where the male started to fall in love with a specific beer bottle, to such an extent that they lost interest in females and were only mounting the bottles. Biologists went to the brewery and asked them to change the design of the beer bottle because there was a risk that the beetle would go extinct from fetishizing the bottle.

“We have a marsupial that the males, when they reach sexual maturity, they stop everything and just procreate until they die of exhaustion.

“There are other organisms that are hermaphrodites, there’s fish that change their gender from female to male. There’s only one dominant male, so if that male disappears or dies, one of the females in the group becomes male.”

While that sounds fascinating enough, there’s another twist. “We’ve commissioned the designers who build the luxury display cases for David Jones to build display cases for the specimens. The idea is that when you enter the gallery you’re not sure if you’re in art museum, a natural history museum or a luxury shop,” elaborates Catts. “That will be contrasted with an incubator that we’re designing here. We’ll have living organisms there: snails, slugs…” he pauses to throw the question to taxidermist Teori Shannon, “What else will we have?”

“Stick insects, these pink sea cucumbers, some starfish… we’ve got these snails that can grow bigger than a tennis ball. They’re really nice,” replies Shannon.

“And then we’ll have lab-grown life,” continues Catts. “We are working with what’s called the hybridomas. As early as the late 1960s scientists found a way to fuse cells from different organisms to grow together and become one new organism … it’s a lifeform which can only exist within the confines of a lab, but defies any form of classification. You have human/mouse hybridomas, you have mouse/horse hybridomas, some of them have three different organisms.”

Listening to Catts talk I feel like I’ve slipped into some kind of futuristic sci-fi fantasy film set… except that I know that I am sitting in the Biological Sciences building at UWA. At the point where arts and science intersect it seems that anything is possible.

Catch Biomess at the Art Gallery of WA, September 8 – December 3. Find out more about that exhibition and the rest of the “Unhallowed Arts” program at https://unhallowedarts.org/

Pictured top: Disembodied Cuisine Installation, by the Tissue Culture & Art (Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr & Guy Ben-Ary), medium: mix, 2003. Photo: Axel Heise.

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Work by Harrison See
Installation, Mixed media, News, Reviews, Visual arts

In the face of waste

Review: Brenton Rossow, Darren Tynan, Harrison See, Zhang Lianxi  and Rebecca Jensen, “Paradise’s Parasite III” ·
Spectrum Project Space, ECU Mt Lawley, 13 July ·
Review by Miranda Johnson ·

“Paradise’s Parasite III”, at Spectrum Project Space, is a group show that explores humankind’s parasitic relationship with our natural world. Created as a dialogue between Edith Cowan University and Shanghai’s University of Science and Technology, the artists featured – Brenton Rossow, Darren Tynan, Harrison See, Zhang Lianxi and Rebecca Jensen – all have connections with both China and Australia, creating a link between the two countries through their work.

As I was in the gallery, it struck me that Australia has a similarly parasitic relationship with China through the avenue of our own waste. Until recently, the majority of Australian household recyclables, particularly paper and plastic, were sold to China. However, a recent change in import restrictions has meant that this can no longer be the case, which has led to a reckoning within Australian local councils and waste processing factories; no longer able to conveniently offload our leftovers out of sight and mind, the efficacy of recycling and our impact upon the planet has been firmly placed back in the national conversation.

work by Brenton Rossow
The bits of waste that you want to recycle but are never quite sure if you are allowed to reappear in Brenton Rossow’s works. Pictured here is his Mushroom Chest, Found seat, wooden possum box, baby doll parts. Photo: Derren Hall.

However, it’s the bigger objects, not necessarily the everyday paper and plastic recycling, that tend to appear most prominently in this show, particularly in Rossow’s works. The bits of waste that you want to recycle but are never quite sure if you are allowed to – such as baby dolls, old kettles, ironing boards and fridge shelving – reappear. Sometimes they are repurposed in different ways to create new shapes, such as Ned’s Hideout, which recreates Ned Kelly’s hiding spot out of found tin (bullet holes included), an exhaust pipe, a mudflap and a truck windscreen wiper. Other items Rossow keeps as found, once-usable objects such as a kettle and a bedpan irrevocably distorted into twisted metal, removed from any form of use-value they may have once had.

The gallery is dotted with plinths and metal shelves displaying various objects in this way, somewhat akin to a junk shop full of other people’s trash (or treasures). In the back room, Zhang Lianxi’s video work shows a grasshopper on a road tarmac, the insect shuddering with the force of the wind as cars roar past, seemingly aware of the peril it’s in but unable to escape. In the background, Darren Tynan’s sound piece of crickets and other sounds of the natural world provides another layer to the interactions between man-made and natural environments.

Lianxi and Tynan’s works provide something of a respite from the numerous objects in the gallery space, which at times felt a little overwhelming and in need of paring back… but of course, this is precisely the way one should feel when faced with the proof of our own waste products, twisted and rusting in front of our eyes. No longer useful, the works show the inefficacy of our attitudes towards waste, recycling, global trade and consumer capitalism, and the ways in which our decisions about our own consumption ripple across cultures, environments and generations.

“Paradises Parasite” is showing at Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley until July 26.

Top image: ‘Unstable Earth Sky VI, VII and VIII’, Harrison See, Oil on canvas. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

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polar permaculture dome in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
Film, Installation, News, Reviews, Visual arts

Under the dome

Review: Amy Perejuan-Capone, “This Is How We Walk on the Moon” ·
Artsource Old Customs House ·
Review by Belinda Hermawan ·

In a dark corner of Fremantle, guests wielded umbrellas in frigid and blustery conditions, battling horizontal rain, all to reach the opening night of Amy Perejuan-Capone’s “This Is How We Walk on the Moon”. The scene could not have been more fitting for an exhibition described by its Perth-based maker as “hope and inspired curiosity in the High Arctic”. Here in the seemingly endless night was a breathtaking, dynamic set of installation works that called to our sense of adventure.

Perejuan-Capone’s visit to Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway) earlier this year serves as a springboard for an enquiry into the dual pursuits of knowledge and resilience. The northernmost permanently settled place in the world, Longyearbyen is home to the Global Seed Vault and the world’s largest satellite stations. The recurring geodesic domes in this exhibition are effective on several levels, echoing the structure of permaculture greenhouses, aircraft and survival shelters, space exploration motifs and playground jungle-gyms. It is through a hand-built geometric scaffold that we view audio visual footage of a ship breaking through ice in One moment there. We then see footage of an actual permaculture greenhouse play on the small screen in the title installation This Is How We Walk on the Moon, the structure flashing pink like a beacon – an atmosphere recreated in the site-responsive intervention found in the ante-room, with its hot pink backlighting, plastic sheeting and containment.

There is a strength to this chosen geometric form. The dome in the centrepiece Every Step is Moving Me Up is constructed from aluminium and reminiscent of the metal frame of a hang glider. The magic of this piece, installed to capitalise on the venue’s atrium, is in watching the featured parachute inflate. Observers can hear and see the rush of air, the parachute’s movement evoking the freedom of floating in a hot air balloon or the memory of running under a parachute with thirty other kids in pre-primary, finding delight in the darkness. The pensive wait for the inflation is redolent of hope amidst uncertainty; the lull between bursts of artificial snow in New Snow/Clean Up is similarly poised with potential and anticipation.

Featuring sesame and poppy seeds vibrating on discs at high frequency, the installation One tiny, tiny, tiny, move/It’s all I need and I jump over is entrancing. The black seeds quiver like white noise, as if depicting an attempted transmission themselves, while the lighter seeds jump on the mirrored surface as though alive, leaving a crescent-shaped recess in their midst. While this last is an unintentional effect of the slightly uneven flooring in the building, it seems an excellent example of perseverance in the face of disruption.

“This Is How We Walk on the Moon” is a highly successful exhibition that taps into our natural sense of wonder and our instinct to survive. While humankind was curious well before the dawn of space exploration, space represents the next frontier, and there is something deeply captivating about imagining the ends of the Earth, the doorstep to beyond.

Perejuan-Capone’s unlikely experiment in the middle of a Perth winter is not to be missed – brave the conditions, for it will be worth it.

“This Is How We Walk on the Moon” is showing at Artsource Old Customs House until 29 July 29. 

Pictured top: A polar permaculture dome in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The dome features in video work ‘This Is How We Walk on the Moon’. Photo: Amy Perejuan-Capone.

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Linda Persson Light - Language
August 18, Calendar, December 18, Film, Installation, January 19, November 18, October 18, Photography, Sculpture, September 18, Visual arts

Visual Arts: spaced 3: north by southeast

18 August 2018 – 7 January 2019 @ The Art Gallery of Western Australia ·
Presented by: International Art Space, various artists ·

Organised by the WA-based International Art Space, spaced 3: north by southeast brings together 11 artists from Australia and the Nordic region.

Artistic explorers of a different kind are celebrated in spaced 3: north by southeast. Six Australian artists completed artistic residencies in the Nordic heartlands of Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden and five Nordic artists find their place in Western Australia’s rural and remote communities. Using sculpture, video, photography and installation, this show is an enlightening series of windows onto the world we know, and the world we have yet to understand.

The decision to place artists in regional and remote locations is motivated by the fact that even small and seemingly isolated towns are affected by global economic, environmental and social forces. The interplay between the strong sense of local identity, which is typical of these communities, and the effects of globalisation provides a fertile ground for artists to explore.

Participating Artists:
Robyn Backen (NSW), Michelle Eistrup (Denmark), Gustav Hellberg (Sweden), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Danius Kesminas (VIC), Tor Lindstrand (Sweden), Heidi Lunabba (Finland), Dan McCabe (WA), Linda Persson (Sweden), Keg de Souza (NSW), Sam Smith (NSW).

More info:

W: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/exhibitions/spaced-3-north-by-southeast.asp
E: admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured:
Linda Persson Light&Language event 2017. Photographer: Roderick Sprigg.

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snowy landscape
Calendar, Installation, July 18, Visual arts

This Is How We Walk on the Moon

14 – 29 July @ Artsource Old Customs House, 8 Phillimore Street, Fremantle WA ·
Presented by Amy Perejuan-Capone ·

Opening: Saturday 14th July, 5-8pm.
Exhibition continues: 15th – 29th July, Thurs-Sun 11am-5pm.
Free Workshops & Group Chat: Sundays 15th, 22nd & 29th July, 1-4pm. (RSVP recommended to amy@wilhelmwilhelm.com)

An exhibition of snowy installations by Amy Perejuan-Capone inspired by hope and intrepid curiosity in the High Arctic. A vault of seeds, a zeppelin headed north, a rocket to Mars. All in the irrationally misplaced weather, even the most unlikely experiments have a basis in hope.
Blizzards are forecast, but the shelter is warm. Come join us in the dome for a mug of hot chocolate (BYO mug!), freshly baked Norwegian seed-bread, and some dome-made dried fruit.

This is how we walk on the Moon explores earnest human endeavour and hope amid uncertainty, inspired by my recent time in Svalbard and Greenland in the High Arctic. Drawing upon the heroic spirit of cooperation that defines the polar regions, sweetly absurd gestures will suggest that collective hard work, communication, curiosity, and bravery are essential for resilience and adaptation.

FREE EVENTS:
-Ongoing durational performance, blizzard, and quality chats.
-Daily seed-bread baking and fruit preservation at 11am. Come learn how to make Norwegian ‘knekkebrød’!
-Workshop & Group Chat, Sundays 1-4pm. July 15th, 22nd & 29th .
Part barn-raising, part artist-talk, together we will build our own geodesic dome (great for greenhouses and chicken coops!). Afterwards we will chill and drink tea in the dome while Amy discusses the Arctic inspirations (and climate-anxieties) behind the exhibition. Suitable for ages 14+. Registration recommended, but walk-ins welcome subject to capacity. To register: RSVP to amy@wilhelmwilhelm.com

More info
W: www.amypcapone.com
E: amy@wilhelmwilhelm.com

Pictured: SVALSAT, Svalbard. Photo by Amy Perejuan-Capone 2018

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Paradise’s Parasite III
Calendar, Film, Installation, July 18, Painting, Visual arts

Visual arts: Paradise’s Parasite III

12 – 26 July @ Spectrum Project Space ·
Presented by Brenton Rossow, Darren Tynan, Harrison See, Lianxi Zhang and Rebecca Jensen ·

Opening Thursday, 12 July 6 – 8pm
Runs 13 – 26 July Tues – Fri 10am – 5pm; Sat 12 – 5pm

Paradise’s Parasite III comes to Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Spectrum Project Space after touring at Shanghai’s University of Science and Technology (USST), ARK Gallery I May 2017 and Yinghuang Tea Rooms at USST in October 2017. This series of exhibitions strengthens the relationship between ECU and USST, and creates a dialogue between China and Australia about the human impact upon the environment.

Paradise’s Parasite III draws attention to environmental issues though interdisciplinary collaboration and raises important questions about global consumer culture. The exhibition includes audio-visual, installation, painting, and found objects by Brenton Rossow, Darren Tynan, Harrison See, Lianxi Zhang and Rebecca Jensen. These five artists have created their work with the intention of meditating upon parasitic relationships humans have with the natural world.

Rossow and Zhang’s work has been an ongoing gestation for the past twenty years. By coincidence, both artists discovered they had been using the same photographic methods to capture their work, while living in different cultures thousands of kilometres apart.

See’s mediative reflections were created during his residency in China. Inspired by discussions with Zhang, concerning the relationship between humans and the natural world, See began to transpose these thoughts during a three month residency on the eastern Chinese island of Xiamen.

Tynan’s immersive soundscapes were recorded in the same locations Rossow produced his work, with the intention of providing a “pulse” to Rossow’s images collected in the Australian bush.

Jensen’s work explores the relationship one builds with nature in China. Using found cigarettes and production of tobacco as an analogy for her time spent in China, Jensen creates handmade papers with a questionable stench of consumption.

Paradise’s Parasite III will be open to the public from Friday, 13 July to 26 July at Spectrum Project Space, Mount Lawley Campus, Edith Cowan University.

More info: www.facebook.com/events/2048792485334738/
Email: spectrum@ecu.edu.au

Image courtesy of Brenton Rossow.

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