Expect toy train tracks, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and an inflatable Stonehenge.
From Balinese art to jumping castles, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at this year’s Perth festival. The vivid imagination and meticulous design skills of Paramodel – a collaboration between Japanese artists Yasuhiko Hayashi and Yusuke Nakano – will headline at this year’s festival. An immersive installation within blue and white landscapes, Paramodelic – Graffiti is a psychedelic diorama of fantasy landscapes. With installation pieces sourced locally from Perth, the work brings together construction equipment, toy train tracks and mountain vistas in a surreal explosion of texture and colour.
South African artist William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time will also be on display at the festival. Combining the magic of theatre, drawing and music with film and animation, this powerful work is characteristic of Kentridge’s unique, cross-media practice. Projections of shadow dancers are punctuated by the rhythmic command of metronomes and appearances of the artist himself. Amidst this sits a ‘breathing machine’ – a wooden sculpture akin to an accordion pulsing time.
Japanese artist Ryota Kuwakubo presents another immersive installation – The Tenth Sentiment. On display at the John Curtin Gallery, the work is a mystifying experimentation of light and darkness. Filling the space with everyday artefacts, Kuwakubo projects the silhouette of each artefact in the headlight of a single model train. By doing so, he provides a commentary upon modern society’s focus upon material possessions and the vapidity of consumer culture.
In some light-hearted fun, a giant inflatable Stonehenge and bouncing castle will also feature. A pop-up hit last year in London, Sacrilege from British artist Jeremy Deller is a feel-good and irreverent historical treat allowing patrons to get up close and personal with the sacrosanct monument in a family friendly collision of history and art.
The work of South Korean artist Do Ho Suh will be visiting Perth for the first time as part of the Festival. A vast fishing net made up of tiny interconnected human figures placed along the Sir James Mitchell Park Foreshore, the work is inspired by memories of the artist’s experience of physical and cultural displacement. Evoking contemplation of racial identity in today’s global society, the delicate yet powerful web is symbolic of immigration, discrimination, and the unified nature of humanity across boundaries, and is characteristic of Ho Suh’s architecturally-inspired output.
A survey of Australian artist Anne Ferran’s work will also be on display. Entitled Shadow Land, the exhibition at the Lawrence Wilson Arts Gallery will showcase diverse photo media highlights of Ferran’s output from her long career exploring Australia’s colonial past and contemporary events, notably the closure of the library at the Fremantle Prison.
In his first solo exhibition in Western Australia, the provocative work of Brisbane-based artist Richard Bell will see a recreation of the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. Transplanted to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Embassy aims to provide a powerful statement in support of Indigenous rights and struggles in contemporary Australia.
In another celebration of traditional cultures, Bali: Return Economy features works by a range of contemporary Australian and Balinese artists and aims to look beyond the clichés and kitsch souvenirs of the Balinese tourist industry.
The Perth International Festival runs from February 7-March 1. To find out more visit the Festival website.