What’s on in the arts this spring.


In the past, Proximity Festival has brought its innovative, one-on-one short art performances to spaces such as Fremantle Arts Centre and PICA. Now it’s set to captivate audiences at its new home, the Art Gallery of WA.

“We recognise the significance of performance within the field of contemporary visual arts, and Proximity is an ideal occasion to engage with it in our program,” says AGWA director Stefano Carboni. “It is a mature program run by some truly incredible Western Australian curators, artists, and producers Sarah Rowbottam and Kelli McCluskey. Over the last three years, these two curators have crafted a rigorous approach to producing one-on-one performances, and we’re very proud to be able to support their achievements and host their festival, which has not only local, but national and international respect.”

Prior Arrangement, Janet Pettigrew, 2013.

Twelve performances will run simultaneously at regular intervals through the day.

“Visitors who have signed up to the program will move between many of our tucked-away spaces, and experience the building quite differently,” Stefano says. “In the past, there have been encounters with beards, driving classes, exercise routines, dancing, the rituals of death, and so much more. What we can promise is that each encounter will be entirely captivating, unique and surprising. Because visitors don’t just observe but are participants, they help ‘make’ the work. This creates a delightful, intellectually stimulating, and memorable experience.” Proximity Festival, Art Gallery of WA, October 28-November 8.



Move over Northbridge – the Perth Airport is the newest location to be given an artistic facelift by not-for-profit organisation FORM. Through its PUBLIC art program, FORM has arranged artworks, installations and furniture pieces throughout the airport, in an attempt to connect with and engage visitors. We look at three of the works.

Photography Robert Frith, courtesy FORM.

New Perspectives | Tom Muller

Lighting the way to the domestic terminal are five freestanding structures representing three-dimensional airstrips. The oxide-coated, fixed aluminium cross-sections glow in the dark, and resemble the actual configurations of international Australian airports. 


Photography Robert Frith, courtesy of FORM.

Night Day | Penny Coss

This glazed wall installation spans 53 metres of Perth’s International Airport, from plane to passport control. The large-scale work conjures up images of Perth’s pristine skies from sunrise to sunset – the beautiful rosy blush hues of dawn, the blue of mid-morning, the liquid gloss of the ocean and moody dusk. 


Photography Bewley Shaylor.

A Thousand Lights From a Hundred Skies | Kyle Hughes-Odgers

A kaleidoscope of colour bursts from the wall of the Cogeneration Building, which can be found on the approach to the international airport terminals. The mural boasts a vivid colour palette of pinks, oranges, yellows and blues, constructed into a series of geometric shapes that represent an aerial view of our sun-dappled country.



Head to the Fremantle Arts Centre this spring and discover four decades of award-winning prints from the FAC archives. Multiple Choices brings together every winner in the Award’s history, showcasing works that were created using various forms of printmaking, from the traditional to the controversial. The exhibition reveals the evolution of the art form in Australia through a selection of 21 artworks and a multi-channel video projection by WA filmmaker Steven Aaron Hughes, which features every winning work since 1976. The exhibition runs during this year’s FAC Print Award. Multiple Choices: 40 Years of the FAC Print Award, Fremantle Arts Centre, September 26- November 15.

Tony Ameneiro, Big Night Skull, 2006, colour linocut, 180x91cm.



West Australian artists Astrid Dahl and Margaret Heenan have joined forces to present Earth’s Poetry, an exhibition reflecting their love for the earth and natural landscape. A distilling of the emotive, visual responses to all things natural and organic, the exhibition celebrates the complexity and beauty of our planet through two media – painting and glass. Jah Roc Galleries, September 27-October 12.



A new group exhibition featuring artists Miik Green, Merrick Belyea and Paul Moncrieff, explores counterforce, both literally and abstractly, in its many forms. Underpinning Counterforce is the premise that arts practice is polemic in nature, revelation emerging in an oppositional pull. Each artist examines the term in different ways – from the serious and playful, to the physicality of resistance.
Linton and Kay Galleries, Perth City, November 24-December 16. 

The Facility III by Merrick Belyea. Oil on board, 120x180cm.



Perth-born artist Abdul Abdullah will represent Western Australia at this year’s Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. In its eighth year, the APT will be held at the Queensland Art Gallery and Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, with works by 83 artists from Asia and the Pacific occupying all of GOMA and key spaces at QAG.

“I think the event is important to our region because it is the only event of its kind that focuses on Australia, the Pacific and Asia,” Abdul says. “It connects us to a dialogue that is relevant to our geographic neighbours.”

The artist will show works from a new series called Coming to terms. The collection uses marriage as a motif to explore projections of identity, something that Abdul examines extensively throughout his repertoire. 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, November 21-April 10.

Bride I (Victoria) by Abdul Abdullah, 2015.



Twenty years ago, footage of a hairless mouse with a human ear growing on its back shocked and amazed viewers all over the world. DeMonstrable commemorates, reacts to, and reflects on the multifaceted cultural and scientific impact of the Earmouse, one of the defining moments of the late twentieth century. The exhibition features 20 years of artistic, scientific and popular culture responses to this experimental creature, and runs alongside a number of events hosted by UWA arts group SymbioticA, including the Australian Council’s National Experimental Arts Forum, the NeoLife conference, and Futile Labor, an exhibition held at John Curtin Gallery that scrutinises shifting perceptions of life and labour through the development of a vital machine – a tissue-engineered muscle that acts as an actuator (motor) inside a custom-designed ‘technoscientific body’ (a bioreactor). DeMonstrable, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, October 3-December 5; Futile Labor, John Curtin Gallery, October 2-November 8.


Ear on Arm by Stelarc (photography Nina Sellars).



First presented in 2001, The Bankwest Art Prize has since become one of the state’s most generous visual arts awards. This year’s 19 finalists, who include Teelah George, Christopher Hopewell, Ben Pushman and Penny Coss, will compete for up the $30,000 main prize and a $5000 People’s Choice award, plus the chance to feature alongside more than 450 artworks that are already part of Bankwest’s diverse and extensive collection. Bankwest Art Prize, Bankwest Art Gallery, October 20-February 12.

Gidgegannaup orchid map, with firebreaks and ponytail (detail) by Teelah George (2015). Oil, thread and cotton twine on cotton and linen canvas. 200x240x5cm (photography Bo Wong). 



The Perth Centre for Photography is celebrating its 21st birthday by moving out of its Northbridge home, and into its new premises in West Perth. The studio, which can be found within the two-storey period-style building at 18 Colin Street, was opened alongside the 2015 IRIS Awards. Up next: Conshumanism by Nicole Monks, Small Choir by Scott Morrison, and The Consolations of Photography by Juha Tolonen, who will also present his landscape book of the same title. Perth Centre for Photography, various dates from September to November.

Perth Centre for Photography’s new premises
(photography courtesy PCP).



Just because there is a geographical gap between East and West, doesn’t mean there should be an artistic one, and that’s where no-commission gallery Kinko Piano comes in. “By bringing art and artists to our gallery, both locally and nationally, we can slowly start to include Perth in the wider arts scene for the general public,” says creative director and curator Nick Zafir. Nick, alongside curators Daek William and Judy Young, who run the gallery above the Ellington Jazz Club in Northbridge, hopes to bring emerging artists to WA from all around Australia. He says they want to improve the opportunities for emerging artists and performers by giving all the profits back to the creatives. “We believe this is how it should be, and hope to put something back into the arts scene in Perth.”
Kinko Piano, 191 Beaufort Street, Perth. – words Hannah Lawrance

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