Perth. My beautiful city…
When you have a moment, take yourself to forgotten areas of our growing town and really look at what is happening all around. Works of art are splayed fabulously in quiet alleys, hidden corners and in plain sight. These heartfelt expressions are complimenting our already gorgeous city, helping us rediscover the beautiful place we live in.
For the last few years, I have noticed art popping up around Perth and it has been a pleasure discovering them on my walks. However it wasn’t until recently that I have actually been stopping to admire and really think about how they came to be.
The work, organisation, support, funding and inspiration is a huge journey, and one that doesn’t come easily. City of Perth and Lisa Scaffidi have been instrumental in driving the beautification of our city and as a Perth-ling, I can say I feel proud to be part of this cultural community they have created.
This week, I was invited to partake in a journey around Perth, discovering the new TRANSART: RED installation. Mel McVee and Tim Burns were commissioned to create interpretations of “RED” and their pieces were strategically placed around the city.
Mel McVee opted for 3 pieces, entitled “Automaton in Red”. A beautifully created collection of sculptures that were created and welded by Mel herself. Basing the art on penny arcade machines and making it interactive drew me in completely.
Tim Burns created one striking piece, focusing on the subject “Victory or Revenge”. The location of this was strategically chosen and worked perfectly to “blend” into the surrounds.
Interpretation of art is very personal and sometimes it can be hard to articulate what you discover. I’ve included some of my thoughts on Mel and Tim’s work, as well as thoughtful notes from Pete, my willing guest who shared the TRANSART: RED journey with me. For a little more on Pete, check out Burgerpalooza.
Government Approvals – @ Babooshka
Kristy Leigh: red tape, hard to move, convoluted
Pete: also.. circular, endless, futile
Modern Dilemma – @ Toastface Grillah
Kristy Leigh: industrial revolution v cyber, carbon emission v radiation, future self taken aback by revelation of misappropriated priorities/activism.
Pete: Information pollution maybe rather than something as literal/concrete as radiation… neural/sensory overload
Sweet Lover Machine – @ Tiger, Tiger
Kristy Leigh: position of surrounding props- cactus/phallic, drainage/feminine, tinder relation (swipe/spin) – unrealistic constructed extremes (red hot, clammy) driving home the superficial.
Pete: Of the three, closest to an actual penny arcade (love tester) machine. Drives home the arbitrary nature of the judgement.. That said, it nailed me with “clammy”
Victory or Revenge? @ Perth Train Station Forecourt, Wellington Street
Pete: It’s significant to me how seamlessly this piece blended in with its surroundings, as though I expect to see rusted wrecks in public space and the scene we were witnessing had been gradually occurring there for years. Nature is patient and always prevails!
Kristy Leigh: Agreed… further to that, the placement and construction – powerful when juxtaposed with oblivious kids commuting and waiting for school.
Dynamic art pops-up in City spaces
Temporary public art is popping-up in Perth’s CBD today and over the coming month, creating surprising stories and interactive experiences for those visiting, living, and working in the City.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said two commissions from Western Australian contemporary artists Mel McVee and Tim Burns will appear in laneways and at the Perth Train Station forecourt on Wellington Street as part of the City’s TRANSART: RED program.
“Temporary art enhances the vibrancy of the urban environment in fun, interesting, and interactive ways,” Ms Scaffidi said.
“This is a great way for people to explore the city and discover all that it has to offer. We all benefit from being a part of a culturally rich and diverse place – it strengthens the community and improves wellbeing.”
TRANSART is a public art initiative that has been running since 2009. Earlier this year the City sought proposals for up to three commissions from local artists to a maximum value of $10,000 each, which asked them to interpret and respond to the colour red.
Tim Burns’ installation ‘Victory or Revenge?’ delivers a powerful narrative with ‘red’ explicit in the rust of a wrecked car and iron oxide prevalent across most of WA’s natural landscape.
Melissa McVee’s red-themed, interactive sculptures in the series ‘Automaton in Red’, are exhibited in three different laneway locations, and are based on old-fashioned penny arcade machines.
During April and May, a TRANSART: TRANSITION project for young and emerging artists titled ‘Elevated Conversations’ by artist Joanna Sulkowski, appeared as aerial banners flown over Perth’s CBD.
“Public art is entering a new and exciting phase of growth and activity as the City works towards delivering its new Public Art Strategy later this year,” Ms Scaffidi said.
“These public art exhibitions are a sign of great things to come. Seek them out, engage with them, and enjoy all they have to offer.”
What’s on listings:
VICTORY OR REVENGE? | TIM BURNS
3 – 28 June, Perth Train Station Forecourt, Wellington Street
‘Victory or Revenge?’ completes a sequence of narrative sculptures beginning in 1995, when artist Tim Burns observed kangaroo carnage and other destruction on Australian roads.
FREE | visitperthcity.com | 08 9461 3181 | facebook
AUTOMATON IN RED | MEL MCVEE
15 June – 12 July, Tiger Tiger Coffee Bar (Wolf Lane), Toastface Grillah (Grand Lane), Babooshka (William Street Arcade)
A series of three handmade automatons by artist Mel McVee will be tucked away in laneways around the City. The small interactive sculptures are based on old fashioned penny arcade machines.
FREE | visitperthcity.com | 08 9461 3181 | facebook
For more information about TRANSART 2015, visit:
Perth Arts & Culture | Perth Public Art | Pinterest