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PUBLICATION

PUBLIC: As part of FORM’s efforts to Build a State of Creativity, PUBLIC has its roots in the original Latin definition: ‘of the people; of or done for the state’. PUBLIC embraces diversity, prioritises community and aims for excellence.  It confirms the principle that art is for everybody, and if done well, can be a catalyst for positively shaping our environments and public life. Alexis Diaz, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor


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“Urban art is essential to the fabric and wellbeing of a city.” PUBLIC attendee

Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw

Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw

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Mags Webster is a writer, poet and researcher. Born in England and seasoned in Australia, she is currently based in Hong Kong.

Powering a Virtuous Circle: Creativity as a Public Good

A serpent uncoils around the angles of a wall

they put this building and its neighbourhood

How intently we look, when there is something

whether where—and importantly—how we

more than five storeys high and over 20 metres

on the map, they also have opened up the

alluring to draw the eye. How much the familiar

live makes us feel positive, compassionate

wide. On a neighbouring elevation, an owl-

chance for conversations to spark about city

surprises us, when we are asked to look at it

and confident; or negative, fearful and self-

headed creature, intricately patterned, extends

living, community, and identity. Creativity

afresh, forgive the imperfections and pock-

absorbed. These artworks show us what and

spindly limbs to the sky. Etched out in black and

like this becomes a talking point, a reason for

marks we have trained ourselves to ignore, and

who we are. ‘We’ is the operative word here.

white against a background red as Pilbara dust,

people to interact.

appreciate instead the audacity and generosity

‘We’ is about community: a collective made up

of human creativity.

of individuals, sharing space, sharing resources,

these figures are huge, elemental, mysterious; contemporary totems of a cityscape, a city psyche, even. Towering over one of Perth’s busiest CBD roads, they are visible to thousands of us, day after day. Commuters and visitors, residents and workers, we will layer our private interpretations on these figures. However we react, we are unlikely to be indifferent. This is public art at its strongest and most vivid.

There are now well over 30 new ‘talking

and, if things are working well, honouring

points’ over Perth and Fremantle, enabled by

We are offered the heart of Perth, recast as an

cultural organisation FORM as part of its social

outdoor gallery with exhibits by the world’s

innovation program, appropriately named

top urban artists, both home grown and

Positive human interaction depends on

‘PUBLIC.’ Around the city centre, paintings

international. Open all year round, accessible

shared space and shared rituals, tolerance

have flared up in laneways, car parks, and

to anyone. For free.

for difference, willingness to help. Put simply,

underpasses; on roller doors, corners, panels; the fascia of buildings old and new. An ethereal sea horse, seemingly constructed of ribbons and twigs. Kangaroos in Schiaparelli pink.

These artworks, courtesy of international

Gigantic geometric patterns, rearranging the

artists ROA (Belgium) and Phlegm (UK), adorn

city topography into a series of beguiling

the inner-city public housing development at

trompe l’oeil. Faces, messages, impossible

601 Wellington Street, a building that previously

beings spread in places that are cherished, or

would not have attracted a second glance,

places that seem neglected and overlooked.

let alone had a reason to shout ‘look at me’.

Murray Street car park walls: paint-chipped and

Before-and-after photographs testify to the

peeling. Yet the scarred brickwork becomes

unmistakeable power of this transformation. By

strangely beautiful and whole when framed

whatever name this place was known before,

by the outstretched arms of two enigmatic

henceforward surely it will be identified by

Stormie Mills figures, communing across its

these electrifying murals, for not only have

textured surface.

We are offered something precious, something intangible which renews itself each time we find a good reason to look around, look deeper, and perceive how it feels to be here, in Western Australia, right now. Creativity is our conduit. These artworks are uplifting, challenging, contemplative, playful, serious, angry, benign, secretive, expansive. They are introvert, extrovert. Being surrounded by this evidence of human creativity, amplified by scale and visibility, we are prompted to renegotiate how we interact with our surroundings, and with each other. On a subliminal level we are compelled to consider

plurality while sharing values.

people who feel good about their physical and social environment tend to feel better about themselves, and in turn are disposed to act more benevolently towards others— who may happen also to be part of their environment. This dynamic can be scaled up to embrace the size of a city, or down to focus on a neighbourhood, or a single block of apartments. The authors of an independent study investigating wellbeing and resilience of local communities1 concluded that ‘some people can be happy anywhere. But most people’s individual wellbeing is influenced by the community in which they live.’ ∞ (Infinitas), ROA, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor

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Phlegm, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Add creativity into this mix and you arrive at

community impact, in a quest to demonstrate

identity as a collaborative act. ‘Audience’ turns

the ethos driving FORM’s work over the past

empirically how creativity is integral to

into ‘community,’ spectators into co-creators.

decade—Creative Capital, Indigenous creative

generating public good. Initially, the focus will

The emphasis shifts from ‘to’ to ‘with.’ As

development, cultural infrastructure, creative

be on the 100 Hampton Road lodging house

Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of NESTA

place making—out of which PUBLIC is the

in Fremantle where FORM and Foundation

UK, and visiting professor at Melbourne

logical extension. Its self-declared intention

Housing will curate artist residencies, artwork

University notes: ‘Social innovation thrives on

is to offer creativity ‘as a catalyst for public

interventions, common space upgrades, and

collaboration; on doing things with others,

good2, to promote culture as an avenue for

a tailored program of extensive resident and

rather than just to them or for them6.’ By

meaningful engagement, [to demonstrate how]

broader community engagement. PUBLIC

being inclusive, creativity can help to move

the arts can be used as a means of prototyping

will also be working with communities in the

marginalised communities and individuals

new solutions across areas of public need.’

Pilbara.

from edge to centre, away from disadvantage

PUBLIC understands that ‘creativity happens where difference meets and contact between cultures is characterised by flux, stimulation, plurality and diversity3.’ So as an agent of public good, PUBLIC positions creativity as the vital ingredient to bond hard infrastructure— our physical environment—with the soft— ourselves—enabling us in turn to create more confident and fully-rounded communities.

Although many activities have a focus on transforming the built environment, this is not ‘artwash’. Painting murals on a social housing project wall is not an attempt to prettify things or offer an inauthentic facade. Street art alone won’t solve entrenched problems. But by employing this form of tactical urbanism , 5

blending the hard with the soft, it’s possible to

towards empowerment. Once residents discover how they might be able to contribute ‘they are valued as assets. This helps people move beyond the culture of dependency7 ’ observes Tris Dyson, co-founder and former director of social action enterprise Spice, which specialises in improvements to the social housing sector.

create a meaningful way of showing that the

By transforming the walls around Perth’s

Research suggests that participation in

public realm is fundamental to building social

city centre, PUBLIC has already started to

creativity and culture also helps to promote

and creative capital for Western Australia. It’s

demonstrate visible outcomes. The less visible

civic engagement. Scholars at the University of

not just about the art houses, the theatres and

outcomes, namely promoting understanding

Illinois have discovered that community-based

the concert halls. Creativity is in the streets, the

and tolerance, lifting confidence and

arts programs, due to their accessibility and

lanes, the walkways, the places we all use, all

improving quality of life and wellbeing—taking

inclusiveness ‘lead to increased social cohesion,

the time.

down the metaphorical walls—will of course

improved intergenerational and interracial communication, and enhanced sense of community among dispersed individuals .’ 4

Furthermore, because such programs bring people together for an extended period of time: ‘they serve as natural venues in which friendships, partnerships and cooperation can develop. Such activities can also nurture local democracy by encouraging people to become more active citizens, teaching them valuable community building skills, and helping them to learn about complex political and social ideas.’

It’s not just about how we design towns and

take more time.

cities either. It’s about how we enliven our

At 601 Wellington Street, ROA’s massive snake

public spaces, how we modify and remake

is depicted in the act of eating its own tail.

them in our own image. Being a democratic

The serpent is an ancient symbol, significant

activity that brings people together, and is

to many cultures and ethnicities, and when

antiphonal—dependent upon a happening and

it is shown in this attitude, it suggests both

its response—creativity is one of the means

continuity and renewal. It is a fitting emblem

we can use to do this. Humans instinctively

for what FORM hopes PUBLIC can inspire and

use creativity to communicate. As social

achieve: a dynamic, self-sustaining movement

innovation, creativity helps to shape local

that promotes strength and wholeness, which

identity; it brings out a distinctive voice

can effortlessly embrace buildings, spaces,

enabling people to tell important stories of

hearts and minds.

Over the next three to five years, FORM will

place. It starts the conversation, prompting

evolve PUBLIC exploring different areas of

exchanges so that people explore culture and

1. The Young Foundation’s Taking the temperature of communities: the Wellbeing and Resilience Measure (WARM) 2010 2. A simplified economic definition of ‘public good’ states that nobody is excluded from consuming the ‘good(s)’ once it is produced, and that producing it for one person effectively means producing it for all. Public good is also defined as the wellbeing of or a benefit to society. ‘A Theory of the Theory of Public Goods’ by Randall G. Holcombe. 3. Influence and Attraction: Culture and the race for soft power in the 21st Century The British Council 4. Impact of the Arts on Individual Contributions to U.S Civil Society, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts 5. A term coined to describe place-making by Mike Lydon of Street Plans Collaborative 6. ‘Happiness and how to find it’ The Observer, 3 April 2011 7. ‘How can we encourage people to give time to their communities?’ The Guardian, 18 May 2010 Phlegm, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

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Public “I have always been a big fan of street art, however after experiencing PUBLIC it has really shown me how the marriage of art and urban architecture can bring people together and also showcase the local artistic talent as well as the international artists. It was a real privilege to witness and I hope it happens again next year.” Survey respondent

Often it seems the age-old notion of ‘public’

For FORM, this original definition recaptures

the world joined with our local Australian

Aboriginal youth to create artwork for South

has become a taken for granted and somewhat

something in this shifting emphasis. PUBLIC, a

talent to transform more than 35 spaces or

Hedland, while Jetsonorama was inspired

conflated concept. What is public? In Australia

multi-year initiative of the organisation, seeks

walls around Perth into an urban canvas.

in his works for PUBLIC by his time with an

it has tended to become synonymous with

to take up this renewal of public spirit and its

The resulting artistic gifts recast the city as

Indigenous community in the Pilbara. ROA,

government and institutions, or societal

relevance for the ways we can collectively

an enormous outdoor gallery. These murals

Ever, Pixel Pancho, Gaia, and Remed explored

supports provided to a passive audience by

reshape our spaces, places, communities

enliven public spaces and laneways across

the landscape and the region’s towns, inspiring

government. There is some remnant of the

and legacy as inherently creative acts. It

two key axes of the city and Northbridge,

new works in these settings as well as bringing

concept used to describe amenities or spaces

also endeavours to explore what creativity

and invite audiences to see and engage with

those inspirations back to the city.

for open access, though sometimes these

can bring to our communities, cities and

their city through the artists’ lens. Many of the

now come with commercial if not regulatory

regions. How can this individual and collective

artists were influenced by the histories, stories

barriers. While the word is still relevant and

creativity become a positive engine for the

or context of the city and its communities,

in common use, in some ways the fullness

development of the potential of our places

inspiring the works they produced. In turn,

of ‘public’ has been lost in our everyday

and communities as well as individuals? What

over nine days from April 5 – 13, Perth’s

thinking. As we carve out our individual paths,

public good can be generated when creativity

community was invited to witness the creative

concerned with work, families and immediate

is employed?

process in action, with the creation of these

circles, personal pursuits, what does public mean for us as individuals today? What does it mean for us as a community?

for generating public good – for the wellbeing or benefit of society. Creativity and the arts

In its original Latin definition, public refers

have their own inherent value, but PUBLIC

to “something ‘of the people; of or done for

aims also to explore how creativity can benefit

the state’.

the shaping of our places, the connectivity

There is a more active and participatory dimension to public that is not always evident in our use of the word in contemporary settings. This sense of the civic, the communal, the collaborative, is a spirit which is remerging as an important ideal for current generations, who seem to be seeking new ways to engage,

Beastman and Vans the Omega, Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

PUBLIC aims to explore creativity as a catalyst

and vibrancy of our communities, the skills and confidence of our emerging talent, and

murals themselves a performative spectacle. This celebration of urban, visual and digital

program combining resident engagement and capacity building, community engagement, and beautification of the building and surrounding environment.

toward 2015, as FORM seeks collaborators to

for Perth’s residents and visitors to enjoy, and

join us on this journey of creative exploration

have become another layer of the storied

to positively enhance Western Australia’s

interactions that will continually shape the

communities and build a state of creativity.

fabric of our city.

Stay tuned for more to come...

journey into Western Australia’s regions before

community, reasserting the principle that

or following their city engagement, offering

if done well, art can catalyse change and

an exploration of a traditionally urban artform

improve quality of life.

in the vast landscapes that characterise our

City, bringing more than 45 artists from around

continues with the delivery of a structured

Now begins the next evolution of PUBLIC

Art in the Pilbara took selected artists on a

the planet more thoughtfully.

Hampton Road to enhance social housing now

a different nature. The artworks now remain

PUBLIC embraces diversity and prioritises

PUBLIC launched in April 2014 with Art in the

the City with key murals created in April at

art across the city offers place activation of

the living and social environments we share.

reconnect and share space in our cities and on

The work begun through PUBLIC: Art in

state, and shifting the boundaries between street, public and land art. Leading Australian artist Reko Rennie undertook mentoring with


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“The City was transformed within a week and has some iconic works now that I am already seeing popping up in footage on television etc and will continue to do so. The artists involved couldn’t have done such great work without such great support and care! Feedback I received from businesses on the weekend of #public was that attendances were way up, queues to get into venues they hadn’t ever previously experienced, as well as operating at capacity for far longer than they’d ever done before. A summation is: love your work, love what you did, you changed our City for the better.” Stormie Mills

Stormie Mills speaking to Carmel School, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

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Artist Insight

Jordan Seiler

Advertising One (large), Jordan Seiler + Heavy Projects, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Advertising One (large), Jordan Seiler + Heavy Projects, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

In public we are equals, and therefore the public is where the collective negotiation that shapes our cities takes place. The cities of the world are great collective

collection of private spaces, towers inhabited

common thoroughfares, the most direct route

negotiations, an unwritten pact between

by, or whose use is dictated by, individuals.

between point A and B, between the home

individuals to organise vertically. The result

As you get closer, those towers spread out,

and the post office. Used in this way, cities lose

of these negotiations is what we call a city,

descending to the ground the further away

much of their potential to serve our collective

a concrete abstraction constantly changing

they get from the centre, but they don’t

needs. They idle as the friction between us

shape under the pressure of our collective

become less private. Things seem fixed, each

is mitigated by the small amount of time

will. From the laws we choose to enact, to the

building serving a function, providing a home,

we spend in close proximity. As a collection

heights of our buildings and the widths of our

a service, a place to make or use the fruits of

of towers and private spaces our cities fail

streets, every aspect of a city, both concrete

individuals living in close proximity to one

to react to our needs, and the locus of our

and conceptual, is there because of a complex

another. No less important to the whole than

collective negotiation is lost due simply to

negotiation between individuals choosing to

any other, these buildings are individual fixed

the lack of our very presence. If cities seem

interact within a confined space. It is the heat

islands, the city an archipelago, with water

rigid, they are more so when public space sits

of our bodies that built the world around us,

separating the vast network. To navigate these

unused, or worse, acts only as a highway upon

and the continued friction of our proximity,

waters is to leave the privacy of our islands

which we shouldn’t stop.

that changes its form in both meaningful and

and enter the Public, our equal ground, and

dramatic ways.

the realm of our collective negotiations.

We surrender to this arrangement because

If the buildings that surround us are fixed and

the individuals that make up the city, and in

with this organisation comes efficiency,

their use predetermined by private agendas,

the process begin once more the constant

economic potential, and the benefits of a

the public space that flows through them is

negotiation that is required as we organise

precise division of labour. The resulting

decidedly not. It is within the public, the water

vertically. We are here to activate and invite

complexity of our culture, the endless

between islands, or the space between uses,

participation, promise everyone the water is

production of goods, and the constant

that we harness the potential of cities and our

warm, and beg that they join us in celebration.

innovation that marks our species’ progress,

proximal organisation. In public we are equals,

As public artists, our job is not to impose our

is our return for ascending stairs and waiting

and therefore the public is where the collective

will, or use public space as a platform for

for elevators to deliver us into the sky. For

negotiation that shapes our cities takes place.

specific issues, but rather to provide a reason

this reason cities are growing fast, and the

It is with this understanding that public space

to be in those spaces in which collective

percentage of our world population that lives

has served our cities in moments of crisis. We

negotiation can take place. If we do this, public

in them continues its march past the 50%

spill out from our towers and gather en masse

space contributes a vital role to the health

mark reached in 2008. Yet the benefits we

to declare our will, to stand against injustice,

of our cities, giving a venue to our collective

seek by stacking one atop the other are not

and to apply the pressure that is needed when

voices, so that they may have a chance to

always equitably distributed. So we fight, exert

change must come quickly and decisively.

play off one another and begin the process of

our will, and contest the very makeup of the

Public space serves its purpose well when our

negotiation that will spark the next dramatic

cities in which we live, in an effort to balance

collective desires cannot be contained, when

change, or even alter in some small way, how

the spoils that cities provide for us. It is this

our city must change to meet our collective

we live together.

constant negotiation that makes cities work

needs, but what purpose does public space

for all of us, but where do these negotiations

serve when the collective will is not focused,

take place, where does our collective will find

when we are between such decisive moments?

Jordan Seiler is an artist and activist who explores contemporary public space issues surrounding advertising and art by writing, making artwork, lecturing, organising, programming, and advocating for a more democratic use of our shared public spaces. Jordan participated as an artist in PUBLIC 2014.

its home and the change it desires?

Jordan Seiler, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

It is with this thought in mind that we work as

From a bird’s eye perspective, cities can look

public artists. Too often do the vast networks

quite rigid, and to think of altering them seems

between our buildings go underused, their

overwhelming at best. From afar, cities are a

potential squandered as they become

As public artists, we can provide a reason to gather again, an excuse to come closer to


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Helen Carroll Fairhall is Curator of the Wesfarmers Collection.

Alive to the City “Government and business can resource the kind of investment that can grow dynamic cities that draw to themselves both creative and economic energy.”

Art can transform the way we see ourselves:

All cities need a festival like PUBLIC - to

challenging how we think and lead our lives;

galvanise public debate around what it

inspiring us to respond with imagination, insight

means to be a contemporary city and just

and a spirit of adventure to an ever-changing

as importantly to provide us with the kind of

world.

direct and unmediated interaction with art and

In that spirit of adventure, PUBLIC asked us to experience our city afresh. Seemingly overnight, Perth’s buildings, streets and hidden spaces came into new focus as people, architecture and technology converged in the creation of art across the very skin of the city.

ideas that can infiltrate the spaces we live and work in, or those that we simply pass through, in new and compelling ways. Unexpected and casual encounters with art through the formal and the informal fabric of the city stretch our thinking and broaden our world view.

As a community we were taken by surprise

When art and architecture engage in a

by the ambition and sheer scale of the work

conversation between material, scale, light

created for PUBLIC – produced predominantly

and space, environments are created where

by a young set of artists from Australia and

people feel both alive to the city and in turn,

overseas who live and breathe the city and

enlivened by it. The wider societal benefits

who have far-ranging ideas for how art can

are significant. Artists get the access to

and should occupy public spaces. Artists like

commercial-scale projects that can take their

Melbourne-based Reko Rennie, who used the

practice and their visibility to a new level.

opportunity presented by PUBLIC to claim

Architects can work together with artists to

the city for nature and Indigenous Australia

create public spaces that are truly distinctive,

with the installation Big Red in the foyer of

that have personality, that are a pleasure to

Wesfarmers House. At the launch of this

inhabit and explore. Government and business

commissioned work for PUBLIC, Rennie talked

can resource the kind of investment that can

about the single-minded sense of purpose

grow dynamic cities that draw to themselves

and adventure that focuses him as an artist.

both creative and economic energy.

Born and raised a city boy, he uses the power of the visual image in combination with the scale and texture of the city to explore place, power, land and culture. His description of creative endeavour was simple and compelling in its universality: he articulated ideas about what it means to be an artist dedicated to the democracy of the public realm with a spirit and directness we could all respond to. This is a dedication shared by each of the artists in PUBLIC.

As a society we need to express a sense of identity and a sense of place, because these will provide us with an anchor in an uncertain economic climate. Our artists and creative forces articulate the fears, the joys, the triumphs and the challenges of life. We gain so much when we open ourselves to new conversations. Let our cities be the expression

“Getting involved by providing our walls for public art is a way to help make Perth a dynamic, vibrant city that is a great place to live and work.” Duncan Mackay, Department of Housing, Government of Western Australia8

of who we are and what we have to share. Big Red, Reko Rennie, Wesfarmers building foyer, Perth, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.


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“I had never seen street art on the scale or with the quality that I saw during PUBLIC. I thought it was a great way of adding vibrancy to the city and creating a form of artistic expression that ordinary people could get involved with.” PUBLIC Salon Exhibition, FORM Gallery, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Survey respondent


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Artist Profile Maya Hayuk, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean-Paul Horré.

Maya Hayuk

Although its magnitude and boldness could be overwhelming, there is an equilibrium which Maya has maintained with the space so that it feels as though the painting belongs to the wall and vice versa.

Sharmila Wood, FORM Curator

During PUBLIC I have the opportunity to

this for aloofness but I soon realise she is

most senior and important artists, evident in

watch Maya Hayuk in action on one of the

keeping herself in a trance and through the

the recognition she’s received with shows

festival’s most prominent walls. I’d recently

week she continues to put herself into this

at leading institutions such as The Hammer

returned from New York where I’d seen her

focused, meditative state. After five days I

Museum in Los Angeles. Her creative prowess

Bowery wall, an iconic and sought after site

walk down the laneway and am confronted

extends into studio and design practice –she

that you must be invited to paint. Maya is the

with her absence. The equipment is gone

has made zines, stage sets, album covers

only artist at this festival who has had this

and I feel a sense of melancholy that the

and collaborated with musicians like The

honour, one that she shares with the iconic

process is finished; it’s been a real joy to

Beastie Boys, The Flaming Lips and M.I.A.

Keith Haring. Maya stretches her body over

watch her working. The final artwork is a

the side of a scissor lift. Despite the unsteady

masterful expressive abstraction that hums

looking platform she has no fear and is

a psychedelic song. It is a giant quilted

soon rolling, pushing, smearing, dabbing,

work with rectangles, and squares forming

splashing, dragging paint across the mammoth

the composition through which lines of

site, pushing the material and herself to

colour move sinuously and, on occasion,

the limit. Her gestures alternate between

push out into clusters of phallic shapes.

being loose, and then controlled, paint drips teasingly down the wall, or is disciplined into rectangles and squares. These actions appear to alternate between anxiety and courage, freedom and constraint. Although it seems to be an improvisational process, propelled by Maya’s internal impulses, it’s clear there is an overall vision for the artwork that she is working towards. Maya is in control of the wall, carefully attentive to details as she moves with the curves and grooves of the wall. Passersby watch her in awe, stopping to marvel at the scale and height at which she is working.

Maya Hayuk, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Maya is one of only three women participating in a festival that has 45 artists. Whilst the machismo, ‘boys club’ scene of street art is deeply entrenched, the marginalisation of women is not isolated to this culture; the history of art reveals a similar bias. The feminist art activists, the Guerilla Girls use facts

There is depth and an illusory quality to the

to expose this inequality, highlighting that

work so that it appears to transform and

in art, pop culture and film there continues

multiply the more you look at it, pulsing with

to be systematic discrimination against

energy and vibrating with movement- a

women. In ‘Advantages of Being a Woman

fantastical landscape with hills built from

Artist’ they satirise a few of the ‘benefits’ of

triangles and squares, there seem to be

being a woman in art as: Being included in

galactic space ships taking off from its edges,

revised versions of art history; Not having to

yet the work also recalls the geometry

undergo the embarrassment of being called

of weaving. It seems more gestural and

a genius; Being reassured that whatever

experimental than the Bowery Wall, with

kind of art you make it will be labeled

a fierce emotional quality that is at once

feminine; Working without the pressure of

rhythmic and discordant, a jazz riff that blends

success8.’ Yet, as artists such as Maya Hayuk

together and creates something funky that

demonstrated in PUBLIC, women can bring

Maya seems to be in a state of deep

you can really vibe off. Although its magnitude

it: Maya’s bold artwork is a clear statement

concentration, psychically she is immersed

and boldness could be overwhelming, there

that the street also belongs to women.

in the mural, tuned in, totally absorbed. Even

is an equilibrium which Maya’s maintained

when she lowers herself to the ground to

with the space so that it feels as though the

have a break and contemplate her creation

painting belongs to the wall and vice versa.

she doesn’t talk with anyone. At first, I mistake

It’s clear to see why she is one of the festival’s

___

8. Guerilla Girls, ‘Advantages of Being a Woman Artist’, 1989


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Maya Hayuk, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean-Paul HorrĂŠ.


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The Narrow Passage, 2501, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean-Paul HorrĂŠ.


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100 Hampton Road Project

Curating Enhanced Living Environments

As part of the broader multi-year PUBLIC

The installation of murals by international

initiative, FORM has developed the Hampton

artists 2501, Maya Hayuk, JAZ and national

Road Project to enhance the confidence and

artist Lucas Grogan, has not only visually

wellbeing of disadvantaged people living in

enhanced the building fabric and its outlook

social housing, while simultaneously improving

into the neighbourhood, but has invited

environments and perceptions of social

interaction and engagement with residents and

housing. The project, undertaken with the

neighbours alike.  

support of BHP Billiton and in collaboration with Foundation Housing and the Department of Housing, launched in April alongside PUBLIC: Art in the City with the creation of 4 world-class, large-scale murals.

These initial artworks lead the way into a program of regular creative activities with residents that will be rolling out over the coming year, including a cooking and shared lunch program with leading chef Sophie Budd,

The lodging house located in Fremantle,

artists-in-residence program featuring talent

Western Australia, provides much needed

such as Eva Fernandez, furniture workshops

affordable accommodation for 190 individuals

with A Good Looking Man, mapping the

on welfare or low incomes. For many, the

community through the residents’ lens,

lodging house is the first stable accommodation

collaborative projects to upgrade communal

after time spent in crisis or on the streets.

areas, interior and exterior enhancements, and

The project is driven by a desire to ‘curate enriched living and social environments that can empower people and enhance communities.’  It is driven by the need to trial alternative models of resident engagement, enhance social connectivity, better connect facilities to their local neighbourhoods, and challenge the stigma associated with social housing in the broader community.  It is addressing a need expressly articulated by both the local community services sector and residents of the lodging houses.

much more.

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‘Every mural addresses the socio-politic

topic “as a trend of creative place making or

climate of its situation, whether directly or

re-visioning a space by changing the visual

inadvertently’ (Gaia)

nature of a neighbourhood with murals. This

For most of the artists it was their first visit to Australia, with the exception of ROA who travelled to Western Australia for his solo show ‘Paradox’ at FORM in 2011. Arriving in Perth’s CBD after a day in the air, they encountered a booming city where development has not stood still for the past decade. The landscape is still bejeweled with the omnipresence of construction cranes. The global recession did not destroy Western Australia’s prosperity, the mining industry flourished and Perth is a modern day boomtown.

then serves the city, its local residents and also development interests simultaneously.” City developers recognize the impact of the visual environment that street art creates and reach out to artists to paint in gentrifying neighbourhoods. Although this trend is apparent, many murals continue to be created

might generate the seed for a new movement.14

developers. Painting large scale murals requires

are integrated into popular culture and his

logistical efforts, organisation, wall licenses

work becomes inevitably connected to the art

and equipment such as cherry pickers which

market. Street Art and its subcultures emerge

are used to reach the top of the wall. The

in the streets without any institutional power,

street. Muralism is distinct from the ephemeral

outside, it is not Outsider Art, which is used to

or New York. Although The New York Times

nature of Street Art; it is often permanent and

describe the art of people who create external

praised Perth as the place to be; ‘a hipster

can be transformed into a landmark of the city.

to the establishment. Street Art has evolved over the past decade.

perceptions illustrate the city is a place of

‘Because of the ephemeral nature of graffiti

contradictory tensions as it makes a fast

the work survives sometimes only if it is

transition into a metropolis, there is a maturity

photographed’.12 (Jeffrey Deitch)

the artists absorbed the influences around

ownership and migration to give context to their murals. Street Artists and Muralists intervene in the public space to create an idea beyond representation. Art in public space is likely synergised by context, but artists focus on mental field prospection to create an idea beyond the representation.

The art in PUBLIC represents a group of painters –muralists - that paint large-scale murals globally. They travel to metropolises and remote areas to create work. They adapt

Malcolm McLuhan’s theory: ’the medium is the

themselves to new situations and paint with

message’13 , is illustrated through site specific

rollers, brushes or spray cans out of a cherry

art. When Keith Haring made thousands

picker basket. The artists in PUBLIC are

of chalk drawings in the New York subway

connected by their passion of mural painting

stations in the 1980s; the only remnants today

and travel. Every time they reach a new city

are pictures by his friend photographer Tseng

they face a new challenge, a blank canvas in

Kwon Chi who documented thousands of chalk

the middle of a public space. The performance

drawings in pictures. ‘Graffiti’ from the early

of painting is not hidden anymore, and the

days depended on photography for its further

public often becomes integrated in the mural

existence. The early iconic photo books about

experience. Neighbours hang out, taking time

Graffiti such as, Subway Art by Martha Cooper

out of their everyday to spend time in front

and Henry Chalfant have been distributed

of the wall, an encounter which may be a

around the world. For ROA they became his first

fundamental part of the execution of the mural.

by socio-political ideas. He participated in a

artist has their own individual approach,

contact with graffiti and encouraged him to

government-sponsored mural project after

artistically, they are subject to the same

paint in the streets.

the Mexican Revolution, his art was politically

challenge: how to immerse and merge their

‘Street Art today is too multifarious and

Today, social media has become a dominant

life itself. As Remed painted in calligraphy on a

controversial and attempted to reinforce

work in public space.

international to be reduced to a single set

medium. If an artist paints in the streets,

remote building in the Pilbara, ‘My lines are our

The artist Pixel Pancho argues that street

of strategies or one overriding agenda.’ 11

passersby with smart phones instantly post

song, to life we belong’.

cultural Indigenous significance, it reacted against the previous oppression of the working class. Mural Art has an inevitable, universal power that passes on in its contemporary

artists, by painting in the public space, create

The artists in PUBLIC demonstrate and

their own audience. This is one of the defining

represent a differentiated range of street artists.

and enduring qualities of working in public

Street Art can be considered as everything

space, which exists independently from the

creative that occurs on the streets, or as an

exclusivity of art institutions. Murals can

exclusively subversive ‘illegal’ art form. It

function as a signifier of the urban landscape.

has been used as a communication tool to

Painting in the street implies interaction

give recognition and visibility to oppressed

between the artwork and people, provoking

groups. Street art has been generated from

them to engage, loosening their perceptions

the underground, but it has increasingly

and mind.

resonated with the mainstream. Nonetheless,

many followers as possible. The internet is

Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949)

laptops, tablets, and other devices, directing

Another PUBLIC creative, the artist 2501,

Street Art and Graffiti continues as a subversive

and choosing their own information, it’s

observes a significant difference between

movement around the world, and there will

spellbinding to have a captivating accidental

Traditional muralist and the New Muralist,

always be artistic reaction on the streets

encounter with artwork that you stumble upon

believing the latter adapts to changing

towards the establishment.

around a corner.

situations, forced to step out of their own

Most of the PUBLIC artists have practiced

festivals around the globe: in Puerto Rico,

comfort zone. They travel globally to paint the

graffiti before, although the PUBLIC festival

Italy, the USA, South-Africa, Norway, Canada,

murals and must reconcile their individualistic

cannot be considered as a subversive forum.

Gambia, Mexico. The internet is an electric

artistic practice with the new surrounding

PUBLIC is a mural project organised by FORM

current that connects new talent around the

context. This makes the new wave of Muralism

illustrating that ‘Street Art’ nowadays, is serving

world, like a digital virus, urban murals go

the ultimate intercultural and international

as a way to reinterpret and renew buildings

virtual.

art movement. Street art is the reflection of a

and neighbourhoods. Gaia referred to this

visual language that stimulates the urban environment and the dynamic evolution of a place. An unpredictable or spontaneous action can broaden people’s interaction with the built environment. In contemporary life where people are wired to their smartphones,

In April 2014 a group of international artists arrived in Perth, Australia to participate in PUBLIC, FORM’s first mural festival. Along with Australian talent, they transformed once grey spaces and numerous facades of multistorey buildings into a vibrant and expressive urban

globalised world.

the way they live their life and is a reflection of

for the first photograph ‘scoop’ to gain as

The highest, the most logical, the purest and strongest form of painting is the mural. It is, too, the most disinterested form, for it cannot be made a matter of private gain; it cannot be hidden away for the benefit of a certain privileged few. It is for the people.9

Art or Mural Art, all mediums create a new

For the artists in PUBLIC, art is closely related to

pictures online. Specialised blogs compete

form. Whether it is called Graffiti, Street

Ann Van Hulle (1980) is a Belgian researcher and curator. She graduated at the University of Ghent as a Master in the Arts. For the past five years she been travelling intensively beside ROA, the Belgian muralist who was part of PUBLIC.

perception, Huizinga believes that the struggle

globally accepted. Although Street Art is made

socio-political issues around Aboriginal land

inspirations and influences. Although each

If the artist is indifferent to the mainstream

as muralists, they paint big scale murals in the

them, particularly attentive to contemporary

Mexican mural painter, his work is inspired

the restrictions of traditional art disciplines.

youth have migrated to Sydney, Melbourne

which embodies its own identity. Each of

The Electric Wave of Muralism

and valuing the artist that turns away from

but meanwhile ‘legal’ Street Art has become

and to build Northbridge as a downtown

landscape. The murals reflect a spectrum of

The Playing Man, praising the ‘play in art’,

international artists of PUBLIC are considered

emerged. Perth is eager to enliven the CBD

Orozco is an early twentieth century

in a publication of 1938, the ‘Homo Ludens’:

However, street art phenomena such as Banksy

as a bubble wrap society. These different

Ann Van Hulle

Dutch historian Johan Huizinga describes

thanks to ‘civic endeavour’ rather than city

heaven’10, several residents describe the city

The Future Iron Train, Pixel Pancho, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Homo Ludens

Despite this development, most of Perth’s

that is still being cultivated that has not yet

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also the way artists connect with each other, following each other’s work, sharing art on web platforms, often then travelling to visit each other’s cities. The internet has enabled a global village to emerge driven by a public with an appetite to consume the imagery of street art. Through digital media, street art connects with people all over the world, because of its public nature and easy access. As digital and physical worlds converge, most of the PUBLIC participants meet on the international street art circuit, at the fast growing range of mural

9. José Clemente Orozco, ‘The New World, New Races, and New Art’, In: Creative Art (New York,USA), Vol.4, 1929 10. www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/travel/catching-perthswave-in-western-australia.html+ http://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html?_r=0 11. Carlo McCormick, “The Writing on the Wall”, Art in the Streets ,Skira Rizzoli, 2011, p.24 12. Jeffrey Deitch, Subway Drawings, Art in the Streets, Skira Rizzoli-2011–p.100 13. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Mentor, New York, 1964 and The Medium is the Massage, Penguin Books, London, 1967. Huizinga, Johan, Homo Ludens: Versuch einer Bestimmung des Spielelements der Kultur 1939, translated as Homo Ludens; a study of the play-element in culture, Beacon Press Boston, 1955.


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Modern Family, Jetsonarama, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Not All Pain Is Bad, Andrew Frazer, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Stormie Mills, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Dementia, Gaia, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Mahi Mahi, Amok Island, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Human Effect 2013-2014, Yandell Walton, Perth, 2014. Image Courtesy of the Artist.

Telepathy, Hurben, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

The Equilibrium, Stormie Mills, Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

Anya Brock, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

YEAH YEAH YEAH, Lucas Grogan, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean-Paul HorrĂŠ.

E.L.K., Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

Jaz, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.


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PUBLIC House

2014 | Publication

PUBLIC House started as a challenge for

The result was PUBLIC House, a culmination

and entertain the public over two days and

simple edition of colourful hanging tape,

Perth’s creative community to explore the

of ideas and installations to collectively

nights.

enticed children to play and dance under

full dimension of creative place making and

demonstrate the potential of Perth spaces. As

urban design, offering up the central Wolf

a part of PUBLIC: Art in the City, the linchpin of

Lane as their canvas. What could be achieved

the weekend was the concentration of ‘world

when we dare to innovate and imagine,

class’ artworks transforming large scale walls

explore and experiment in public spaces?

throughout the laneway into an outdoor public

How could blank walls and dead spaces be

gallery. With this street art as its backdrop,

transformed over a weekend into places that

PUBLIC House saw Wolf Lane enlivened with

could engage pedestrians, ignite curiosity

temporary installations, digital projections,

and draw people in?

DJ’s and local musicians, and a pop up bar, each working synergistically to excite, surprise

Alongside PUBLIC’s muralists, local designers, architects, artists and students were invited to design and create temporary installations to transform hidden nooks and uninspiring spaces into engaging places that captivated the public. Over the two days an unnoticed

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the streamers; a concrete board with an image only visible when sprayed with water from pistols by Concrete-a-fish, provided endless entertainment for passersby. Vibrant Moveable Lounges were the simple solution to rest weary legs, being perfectly placed by spectators to observe the local happenings or

passage wall suddenly became the canvas

perhaps to enjoy a game of chess and a coffee

for a beautiful French poem by Anne-

from the local cafes.

Laure Gunson Bouillet; an alcove, with the

PUBLIC House in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor. PUBLIC House in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

The transformation of a rundown car park

In contrast to the pumping beats of the car

Perth’s creatives were challenged to think

asks the question: what other new ideas could

proved to be a highlight of the weekend.

park DJ’s, a barely audible strumming of a

again on the possibilities of public space – and

Perth’s creatives initiate and invent in order to

During the day, a collective of local, national

guitar emanated from ‘Folk in a Box’ by Joel

in the process they showed how places could

re-imagine, refresh and revitalise our public

and international artists converted the heavily

Barker – an intimate installation that offered

be transformed with simple, inexpensive

space? If the solutions offered for PUBLIC

grafittied car park walls into a gallery of urban

performance of a different kind. After waiting

interventions that make people stop, engage

House 2014 is anything to go by, we eagerly

art. By night the space came alive with a pop-

their turn on comfy couches visitors were

and enjoy. PUBLIC House showed creativity

await the next instalment.

up bar and an exciting line-up of local DJ’s and

welcomed through the cupboard door to

at play. But this was no one-way imposition

musicians. As night rolled on, the crowd grew

where a single car bay had been converted

of ideas. Audiences responded in kind,

and the laneway came alive with colour, sights

into a stage for two – the performer and one

taking on these spaces and installations as

and sound. VJ Zoo’s colourful projections lit

guest who experienced their very own private

their own creative tools to re-shape, enjoy

up the grey walls, responding to movement

musical performance. Sitting in the darkness,

and enliven the laneway through their own

and captivating everyone who walked by,

listening to a melodic voice and the smooth

energy. It highlighted the dynamic generated

particularly children who were often transfixed

folk guitar would be a highlight for many

between creatives and audiences recast as

at how their shadows could be reflected in a

visitors.

collaborators across space and time in our

technicolour wash.

public laneways and spaces. So PUBLIC House


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“Slowly the businesses that back on to the laneway are starting to turn around… Anything we can do to encourage people into the underutilised spaces, such as adding artwork, will make the city feel bigger and give people more options.” Patrick Coward, Margaret River Chocolate Company 14

PUBLIC House in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

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Paul McGillick lived for many years in Perth. He is now a Sydney-based writer on architecture, art and design.

PUBLIC house in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Paul McGillick

The Creative Citizen The Origins of Public Art The launch of Form’s PUBLIC, a “celebration of urban art and creativity” making use of the kinds of urban spaces which typically fly under the radar is an opportunity to reflect on the nature and role of what is generally known as public art. Of course, there is nothing new about public art. Try going back to the cave paintings of Lascaux, 17,300 years ago – or even further with the cave and rock art of north-western Australia. What is intriguing about these early forms of art is that, even though we know it was a form of public or collective art, we still do not really know what the precise purpose of it was. Was it the result of an evidential, all-too-human attempt to record the facts of the world around us? Was it a way to objectify a subjective experience? Or was it a ritualistic, shamanistic act of magic?

This is art in general. But public art is different

historical significance which the memorial

in at least one crucial way. Where the fine arts

celebrates, it is not otherwise site-specific.

imply private contemplation, public art focuses on collective identity, and on the significance of the public realm rather than the private space of individual consciousness.

Hamish Fulton and Andy Goldsworthy (who, over a period of time, has completed projects

responses are very much tempered by the

in the inland of South Australia and Western

fact that I am in that public space and invited

Australia).

– by the artistic intervention in that space – to reflect on a public landscape as well as my own internal landscape. The uniqueness of my individual consciousness starts up a conversation with my socially constructed self.

of land art”.

was not originally autonomous – it was integral Gothic cathedrals, the sculptures and paintings

precious.

Bernini and Donatello produced free-standing

contemplation.

the only meaningful public access was through Maria commented that “isolation is the essence

to buildings. Whether it was Greek temples or

sculptures. But broadly speaking, sculpture did not really come down off the pedestal and away from the wall until Rodin’s Burghers of Calais (1889), a piece which significantly aimed to provoke critical reflection on an historical event, thus flagging a key strategy in contemporary public art. Otherwise, public art has served a largely memorial function and continues to do so to this day. While memorial art invariably occupies prominent sites and may be located at specific sites because of the

PUBLIC house in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

locations – was not really ‘public’ at all “since

out (in The Stones of Venice, 1853), ‘public art’

for example, artists such as Michelangelo,

form and made available, out there, for

work – being often in deliberately remote

photographic documentation”. And Walter de

which transforms the everyday into something

been experienced internally is given material

artist, Robert Morris, once pointed out, this

we see a certain circularity. As Ruskin pointed

There were exceptions. In the Renaissance,

becomes objectified - something which has

But land art throws up a paradox because, as

Actually, if we look at the history of public art,

I like the idea of art as something alchemical

with it is about how subjective experience

Richard Long, Michael Heizer, Richard Serra,

I am in a public space. But my own personal

mix of social, religious and ritual functions.

Both the making of art and our encounter

1970s with figures such as Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, Walter de Maria, Christo,

what really rings a chord for me is the latter.

transformation of what we see about us.

art was ‘land art’ or ‘earth art’ beginning in the

I don’t stop being an individual just because

were a part of the building and served a

perception. In other words, a creative

The big move on the way to site-specific public

Of course, it is not quite as clear cut as that.

Probably, it was a combination of things. But

Schopenhauer called art imaginative

PUBLIC house in Wolf Lane, Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

The Creative City It was not an original idea, but more a

I like the idea of art as something alchemical which transforms the everyday into something precious.

foregrounding of a function which has always been true of art, public or otherwise - namely, to heighten our awareness of the

(Frederick Law Olmsted, Ebenezer Howard)

past and present functions, culture. Hence, the

in Australia and around the world, but it is

aimed to smooth out any ‘blemishes’ on the

interventions - either creative modifications or

particularly apt and timely for Perth. As the

landscape, much as a painter might smooth

using the site as a canvas for the art - engage

city surges through a phase of development

over the surface of a painting to remove any

in a dialogue with the site. The art is not

which will change its character fundamentally

texture.

autonomous, but part of and a response to

and permanently, PUBLIC will help us engage

the site.

creatively with the genius loci of the city, that

world around us in order to trigger a creative

Art has always been concerned with

encounter with it. Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970,

challenging our perceptual habits, demanding

The purpose of this kind of art is to heighten

a stone causeway which spirals into Great Salt

that we not take the world for granted.

our awareness of the urban landscape and

Lake, Utah which is sometimes visible and

Landscape painting was an imaginative

the social space we inhabit. It does this by

But there was a key idea behind land art which,

sometimes not, according to water levels) is a

response to the natural landscape. The new

triggering creative or imaginative responses,

once it made its way into the forefront of artists’

two-way dialogue between his construction

urban art, however, draws attention to the

leading to encounters which - as in all art - are

Who we are is a creative construction

consciousness, meant that these interventions

and the landscape it sits in. Indeed, Smithson

urban landscape.

a mix of the aesthetic, the emotional and the

assembled from the materials of the world

in the landscape eventually migrated from their

is central to contemporary public art and its

intellectual.

around us. This results from an active

typically rugged, remote, desert landscape

urban interventions. In his critical writings

into the urban landscape. Often - although by

he was particularly interested in the role of

no means always - as with inner city laneway

landscape architecture in the eighteenth and

locations and derelict buildings, the sites

nineteenth centuries and how architectural

were the urban equivalent of those remote,

elements worked together with the landscape

neglected, degraded and seemingly unfriendly

to generate imaginative encounters - or,

locations.

alternatively, how the Picturesque movement

A big difference here is the way the new urban art plays with context. The natural landscape

Charles Landry comments in his The Art of

is layered by receding planes and all the

City Making (2006), that the aim of public art

various material elements such as rocks, trees,

is to make the city a living work of art, giving

plants etc. The urban landscape is also layered

citizens permission to be creative in every

in this physical way, but it also has a huge

aspect of their social and professional lives.

amount of contextual layering - site, history,

There have been many precedents for PUBLIC

basic character formed over many years which must never be lost if we are to continue to enjoy that sense of belonging which is crucial to our humanity.

engagement. The urban art of laneways and forgotten spaces helps shift us from being passive observers to being active collaborators in the making of our world.


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Phlegm, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

“Hugely [important]. Love the character a regenerative project like this brings to the area, being a slightly vacuous area. It brings character and atmosphere without being contrived.� PUBLIC attendee

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Nevertheless ROA possessed a natural zeal

places. After the industrial revolution, Ghent

the time nobody was there more than him.

to draw daily in black books, an instinctive

became a manufacturing boomtown, and

Many of the paintings were never meant to

reflex that never seemed to require any effort.

was referred to as ‘The Manchester of the

be shown in public, as ROA experienced the

Likeminded friends gathered together in their

Continent’. However, its prominence crashed

sites as his own experimental zones, where,

studios and apartments to make music, sketch

during the World Wars. The city’s industrial

from time to time, he would collaborate with

and paint outdoors. Ghent is a densely built

past is illustrated by the abandoned factories

fellow artists. One of those urban explorers

town. They were on the lookout for more

on its outskirts. ROA was making a living by

was Kriebel, a Belgian native who filmed one of

remote places in the suburbs to exercise

giving creative workshops for kids, troubled

the factories in 2009, where ROA had created.

their creativity. ROA embellished the graffiti

youth and disabled people, but after hours he

His movie, Urban Jungle, was published on

of his friends with characters and started to

would paint in those dreary, decayed places on

Wooster Collective in July 2009 and a stream

develop his own approach to mural painting. A

a daily basis.

of reactions followed; suddenly ROA’s backyard

transition was happening, both artistically and personally, inevitably connected to each other.

This turning point was also catalysed by ROA’s prior visits to Berlin, Barcelona, New York and

eventually, steadily populate it with animals.

Los Angeles. Before the movie went viral,

The factories were often entirely painted

ROA went on a trip to NYC in February, where

ROA began to evolve strong individuality

when demolition finally took place. Once he

he walked into the gallery Factory Fresh in

which reflected his innate interests. From

witnessed how a crane smashed a trailer he

Bushwick, fleeing a snowstorm. He talked with

childhood onwards he was captivated by

painted on in one of these places. The factories

the gallery owners and asked if perhaps they

nature and particularly by animals. With an

functioned as his drawing pad and he filled

had a wall to paint. Although they were leaving

eye like a hawk, he could detect minute details

these empty decayed structures with new life

for the evening, they allowed ROA to paint their

from moving animals to insects to birds.

through his vigorous painting. ROA infused

backyard. It was freezing and the snow left

Animals had always been a point of focus in

the spirit of these places artistically into his

a thick white carpet on the ground, but ROA

his childhood drawings, and as a young boy

site-specific work. It was here he started to

wanted to realize one of his teenage dreams:

he collected comics, copying the illustrations

consider context in his paintings, with the

painting in NYC, even if it was the backyard of

and eventually creating his own. During

tactile quality of the structure and textures. The

a gallery. When the gallery owners returned,

his teenage years drawing the anatomy of

remnants of human activity, overgrown with

they were blown away by one of this unknown

animals challenged him to understand and to

weeds and fungus (hand in hand with rodents

artist’s iconic birds. They immediately offered

capture their representation. He also trained

and birds reshaping their territory in the urban

him his first US solo show and invited him to

in traditional human anatomy by taking after

landscape), became the backdrop for his

join them at the opening of an artist who is

hours drawing classes and he bought old

often dazed and disorientated animals which

nowadays a good friend, the artist Remed.

scientific animal books that inspired him in his

emerged in the foggy atmosphere.

the world.

practice. As an avid sketcher, he transmitted

rang doorbells to talk with owners and to

encountered urban explorers, most importantly

persuade them to give him their walls to paint.

urban architectural photographers. They would

He didn’t know that one day people would offer

be the first besides ROA himself to document

him walls. In the fall of 2009 he got offered his

his work. In the beginning he was reluctant

first large scale mural in Warsaw. Again under

Living in an old monastery as a kid encouraged

to show them around the sites, as he felt they

freezing temperatures he ascended to paint a

ROA’s passion for abandoned and neglected

were interfering in his back garden - most of

composition of sleeping bears.

a combination of hatching and charcoal lines this created a style that he continued to evolve from these early days.

Roa: ‘La Bete Humaine’ Ann Van Hulle

and break dancing. It echoed across the ocean

is a movement that falls under the umbrella

and was adopted by youth on the European

of Street Art. ROA is internationally acclaimed

continent.

for large scale murals presenting animal compositions in black and white that follow an intuitive and process-based approach, as this rare insight into his career shows.

As a teenager ROA became absorbed by the music of Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys and EPMD. The internet had yet to take hold, and music was sold on vinyl. ROA attended gigs to

Born in Ghent, a medieval provincial town in

immerse himself in this sound. His first worthy

the North of Belgium, ROA did not grow up

possessions were two second-hand Technics

in a metropolitan landscape. Ghent is well

turntables. In those early teenage years he

known for its 15th century altarpiece The

discovered the book Subway Art (1984),

Lamb of God, a milestone in European history

which triggered him and a friend to create

of painting that attracts tourists from around

their own graffiti under a town bridge - most

the world. During the 1980s when citizens of

likely his first act of street art. Attending Art

Ghent were still preoccupied with pursuing

School was a natural choice after ROA left the

the stolen panel of The Lamb of God, in the

Rudolph Steiner School. Nonetheless, he was

US a new culture sprouted on the periphery

soon a school dropout: due to a combination

of turbulent cities. Hip Hop culture was built

of both a lack of passion, and the fact he was

on the streets of East and West Coast cities by

autonomously providing for himself as a 16-year

young creatives making music, doing graffiti

old living alone in a small studio. ROA, Atlanta, Georgia USA, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.

ROA often organised his own walls: he even

By actively painting in those forlorn places he

evidence of his drawings into his painting. With

ROA (1976) is a mural artist. Urban Muralism

was exposed globally.

He would jump over fences, survey a site and

stay private and hidden; today it is seen all over

Artist Profile

He describes them as an oasis in the city where he found the harmony to experiment.

For a while it seemed as though his work would

ROA, 2010, Stavanger, Norway. Photographer Christoffer Johannesen.

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ROA, Pilbara, 2011. Photographer, Sharmila Wood.


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Publication | 2014

2014 | Publication

In the same autumn of 2009 Charlie from Pure

have impacted nature. During his travels he

invited by Jeffrey Deitch to be included in

Evil Gallery in London offered him to paint the

spends time in sanctuaries, natural parks and

the prestigious exhibition ‘Art in the Streets’

gate in Curtain Road, again, under freezing

neglected urban places. ROA considers his art

in MOCA, Los Angeles. ‘Art in the Streets’

conditions ROA created his lenticular bunny.

an ongoing study; something that evolves with

presented the history of the global movement

The lenticular bunny and the Urban Jungle

his experiences. In this regard ROA is an artist-

until the emergence of new Mural Art. ROA

movie brought much attention to the artist,

explorer, driven by the desire to explore his

built an installation with doors to open and

who earlier that year was described by RJ from

environments and to translate his research into

close, ensuring an inner view of a still life of

Vandalog as “my favourite artist you’ve never

his murals and art work.

animals. On the wall behind the entrance he

heard of”.

In February 2010, ROA opened his first

painted two hanging dead animals. Still Life and Vanitas painting genres are often referred

2010 would be a year of magic. ROA would

international solo show in Paris and began to

travel and show all around Europe and the US.

reflect on painting for the gallery setting. While

The artist-nomad was born and it was time

he was painting in factories, he contemplated

to leave the cradle of Ghent. The factories

his process. Naturally, he wanted to collect

he had painted there were being demolished

material from the sites in which he’d been

yet his walls which arose around the globe

painting. As an innate animal lover and a

became documented and supported by major

born collector over his whole life he has

specialized blogs such as Wooster Collective

created thematic collections. Searching

(NYC), Vandalog (UK), Brooklyn Street Art (BK),

through flea markets, he attached more value

Ekosystem (EU), and Unurth (LA). Inevitably

to an object that tells him a story than to a

these blogs have contributed to the global

new mass-produced object. He demounted

recognition ROA enjoys today. In 2010 ROA

rickety structures of cabinets and metal signs

Since 2010, ROA’s life has become a

travelled to Paris, London, New York and Los

from forlorn factories to bring home. The

rollercoaster of travel, having participated in a

Angeles for solo shows and participated in

relationship between the materials and the

dozen mural festivals in Gambia, South-Africa,

mural festivals in Spain, Italy, Norway, Germany,

place became a central focus in his work.

Puerto Rico, Mexico, Sydney, Montreal, the US,

Russia and more. In this year he began to

When ROA arrives in a city to work on a show,

the UK and all around Europe. In between he

understand the dynamic of painting big murals,

he starts from the beginning. He browses the

has undertaken art residencies in Vienna at

arriving in new situations with new walls in

city, seeking specific materials that reflect the

Museum Quartier, in the Cambodia Kampot

different environments and different fauna.

place, and recycles them to create his own

Province, in the Navajo Nation, in the Pilbara

ROA has been pushing the heights mentally

canvas. He picks up parts from scrap-yards,

outback, in the Gambian forest, and in animal

and physically throughout his travels. The

and props from antique stores. Most of his

sanctuaries. Often he gets to experience

travels brought him closer to his core subject:

works now can be considered art installations.

a richer quality of travel, as opposed to

the animals. As Charles Darwin would say

They are built to be interactive with the viewer.

wandering across the world with blinkers on.

during his Voyage of the Beagle: “it appears

Like a carpenter he builds his own structures

His work has appeared in the New York Times,

that nothing can be more improving to a young

that are an assemblage of scrap wood and

The Guardian, The Age, and his murals have

naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.”15

other found materials. The representation is

been published in multiple art books. Over

multiplied by the structure, showing different

the past years he has held solo shows in three

perspectives, exhibiting art that unfolds in a

different continents and his art installations

prism of metaphorical meanings and has plural

have become more site-specific and bold. In

anatomical angles.

his quest for self-development, he dreams of

ROA’s art is always related to his location, as he chooses to depict native animals of the countries he visits. Showing the citizens their natural environment in an urbane

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to in ROA’s murals and installations. Both genres are historical, rooted in the Low Lands, and the depiction of inanimate and dead animals has been interpreted in symbolism and iconography throughout the history of art. Animal painters reflect indirectly on their society. A few examples of ROA’s ‘still lifes’ in his murals are compositions of different local animals, seemingly dormant, piled on top of each other.

entering a new stage, a transition to create art

space is a device to show people the life

ROA’s interest in animals and collecting has

which surrounded them, particularly as

driven his own private collection. He has

animals are increasingly being subordinated

created his own Wunderkammer during the

ROA’s murals are an expression of his main

to human existence as they lose territory

past years; an accumulation of souvenirs

passion. He follows his intuition and does not

to urban development, global warming and

and found objects from his travels. He has

compromise his artistic vision or process: he

environmentally-unfriendly politics. The fate of

investigated this concept in past shows,

adapts to situations and conditions, as animals

animals is often in the hands of mankind, and

with props in his own curiosity cabinets,

have to do in order to survive today.

in this era, humankind never has been more

referring to the early explorers and the

estranged from its origin and nature. ROA is

ongoing repercussions of colonisation. Often

interested in opening up this dialogue: he is

he borrows iconic paradigms from Natural

stimulated by the dynamics of globalisation

History such as dioramas, cabinets, and skulls

and nature, in the way nature adapts to

that he reinterprets in a neo-colonial time.

changing habits and the attitude of humanity;

His art installations are reflections of both

how European settlement and colonisation

his travels and his process. In 2011 he was

in close relationship to a location.

___ 15. DARWIN,CHARLES, ‘The Voyage of the Beagle’, P. F. Collier St Son, New York, 1909, pg 508.

ROA, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.


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Protection Against the Immigrant in Myself (Protezione Dell’Io Immigrante), Pixel Pancho, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Artist Insight

Pixel Pancho What inspired your work in Northbridge for PUBLIC? It was my first time in Australia and I felt I had to base my imaginings on the knowledge I have of Australia in Europe. So, I based this painting on the history I knew of Italian immigration to Perth. Italians have always been migratory. Since the Romans, Italians have tried to escape Italy, to live elsewhere –one of these places was Australia, and Perth was where the ships arrived from Europe. The Australians, of course, reacted badly to Italians coming to live here, as Italians now complain about North Africans immigrating to Italy to live and work. So, I mix these two sides of the coin and this work comes out of these ideas. The reference picture I worked from is the poster for a 1950s movie. But by the end, the work had changed a little through the painting process.

Pixel Pancho’s artwork can be seen at the corner of Museum and Aberdeen Streets.


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2014 | Publication

Dear William, a dedication to William Street

800 Minutes, the Burrow of the Rainbow Serpent, 2501, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

they may overlook for the rest of the year. The

Photographer Nigel Bennet was

performance was re-staged for the exhibition

artist-in-residence in the Central William Street

opening, culminating with the lion watching

Precinct from March-May 2014, developing

Dear William was curated by FORM in

itself on Ayres’ video, displayed in the window

works in consultation with numerous local

partnership with the City of Vincent, as an

of a local business.

business owners and employees, and current

affectionate dedication to one of Perth’s most iconic streets. The project focused on ‘central William Street’ (as it runs north of Newcastle Street) and its surrounding neighbourhood.

Andrew Nicholls, FORM Curator

This very small precinct – less than 1 square km – is incredibly diverse historically, particularly in relation to Perth’s migrant communities, the majority of whom initially

Dear William

settled within it upon arrival in Australia. Five artists were invited to participate, all known for their work with discrete community groups to develop collaborative or site informed projects: Western Australians Abdul Abdullah, AbdulRahman Abdullah, Casey Ayres and Nathan Beard, and European-based photographer Nigel Bennet. A mural was simultaneously commissioned for the project by Italian street artist 2501, and a number of complementary works selected from the broader PUBLIC program to similarly reflect the diversity of the precinct. These murals and installations showed in locations along William and Newcastle Streets in the form of a walking tour for PUBLIC’s closing event in April, with select

dates to the late nineteenth century, recent decades have seen equally strong affiliations with south-east Asia, via immigration from Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Nathan Beard’s practice draws upon his Thai/ Australian heritage, and particularly explores the experiences of his mother and other Thai-born women of her generation. For Dear William, he worked with the owners and

relate, reinterpret or re-stage anecdotes relating to the area, resulting in a series of collaborative images from the precinct’s history: a collective conflation of its past, present and future. Again, understatement and intimacy were central to Bennet’s project, his subjects largely relating intimate moments of personal significance or catharsis, rather than heroic narratives or melodrama.

clients of two Thai video and grocery stores

Finally, internationally-renowned street artist

located off William Street that his mother

2501 (Jacopo Ceccarelli) created a striking

regularly frequents. A series of interviews with

mural for the new Washing Lane development,

the proprietors and customers was edited

a site reflecting the precinct’s gentrification

into a video work that showed on the shops

during the past decade (its first in 180 years).

in-store televisions during the exhibition,

2501 is famed for his large-scale murals in

encouraging members of the non-Thai

black and white, which create optical effects

community to enter the shops and experience

through a complex use of line. In a street

a space of cultural ‘otherness’ they may not

with over a century of history relating to the

otherwise have reason to access. A more

state’s Italian community, his work provided an

formal documentary-style edit of the work

assertive statement of cultural identity.

was created for the exhibition re-hang, where it had to be viewed in a gallery context.

delivered in partnership with City of Vincent, a number of artists from FORM’s broader PUBLIC

Street pop-up space in early May, 2014.

experiences of a different cultural minority,

program produced new works for the area.

exploring the anxiety and displacement felt

The first Turner Gallery Art Angels residents

by young Muslims in contemporary Australia.

for 2014, The Yok and Sheryo produced the

His photographic work for Dear William

exhibition Nasty Goreng at the leading local

aggressively camped upon the stereotypes

gallery in association with PUBLIC, which drew

and paranoia associated with Muslim identity

upon the decorative traditions of Indonesia.

in post-9/11 Western culture, depicting the

The pair additionally created a mural for the

artist wearing a rubber mask from the 2001

adjacent carpark, complemented by a mural

film of Planet of the Apes, and clothing

by PUBLIC artist Jaz, and a facade treatment

popularly associated with dissenting Muslim

for the gallery by local artist Trevor Richards,

youth following the media coverage of the

a founding member of the Australian Centre

2011 London riots. The work’s ambiguous

for Concrete Art collective responsible

aggression made it difficult to place, with two

for numerous large-scale minimalist and

William Street businesses refusing to show it

geometric-abstract murals throughout Perth

before Northbridge icon The Moon café agreed

and Fremantle. Dear William additionally

to exhibit it. Abdullah formerly worked as a

featured works by young clients of the

delivery boy for a pizza shop previously located

Salvation Army Doorways Program, mentored

next to The Moon, providing a serendipitous

by street artists Ian Strange and Daek William,

reference his own personal links to the precinct.

former members of iconic street art collective

Dr. Robert Cook describing the artworks as “incredibly quiet” in his opening comments at the exhibition artists’ talks, “...they [aren’t] as loud as the murals that you see around, they have a quietness to them and almost are wilfully setting themselves up to be overlooked in a way. And I thought that was an interesting set of aesthetic strategies, to actually fall into the crevices, not for the art or the aesthetics to try to push out and try to conquer something, but to actually reverberate with the history of the place…” Even those mural artworks produced for the project reflected this quality of understatement in their refined pallets (largely comprising black, grey, cream and white), and ‘non-heroic’ locations, overlooking carparks and largely set back from the street. The residency artists created works that reflected their own relationship to the precinct, as much as that of the individuals who interact with it on a daily basis. Casey Ayres’ work drew upon the artist’s Chinese-Malay/Australian heritage: in collaboration with the Chinese Community Centre Lion Dance Troupe, Ayres documented a performance work that placed the lion dancers in and around William Street during March, 2014. While a familiar sight during Chinese New Year, the lion took on a more subversive character outside of this context, challenging passing pedestrians to acknowledge cultural histories

Abdullah’s brother, Abdul-Rahman undertook a more benevolent exploration

Someone Else’s King and Someone Else’s Country, lightbox installation by Abdul Abdullah, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor

In addition to these residency projects

Abdul Abdullah’s practice references the

with the broader PUBLIC programme, with

Calendar, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

and former residents. Participants were asked to

works re-showing at the project’s Newcastle

Dear William’s curatorial approach contrasted

Jaz, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.

While the precinct’s Chinese community

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Casey Ayres, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Last Chance who called William Street home until 2010.

of cultural and religious difference, creating

The more curatorial research I undertook for

a stately projection of the full moon for

this project, the more excited I became at the

the north-facing wall of Perth Mosque that

area’s almost unimaginable diversity in the

acknowledged the significance of lunar

context of a city as young and geographically

cycles to a number of religions. Hence, the

expansive as Perth. I was unaware for example

work functioned to both situate itself firmly

that the area was Perth’s Jewish quarter for

academic, blogger and font-designer Daniel

within Islamic tradition, while simultaneously

the majority of the twentieth century, or of

Midgely, whose typeface ‘Daniel’ we used

opening out in a gesture of inclusivity, aptly

the colourful lives (and deaths) of community

for the exhibition logo. “I love Perth because

reflecting the cultural mix of the precinct,

icons such as notorious brothel madam,

people can get sentimental about a street” he

which alongside the Mosque has housed two

Shirley Finn. Not all of this research made

blogged prior to the exhibition opening, and

synagogues, a Vietnamese-Buddhist temple

it into the final exhibition, but I hope it may

while I’m sure his observation was not entirely

and places of worship for Christian and

come to light through future such projects. My

benign, it nicely summed up Dear William’s

Chinese communities, over the past century.

favourite review of Dear William was by local

idiosyncratic engagement with local history.


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Migration, Ever, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Artist Interview MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

Ever When the Argentinian based artist Ever quit cigarettes but not graffiti he realised that painting was no longer a past time. Now, his every day is organised around what to paint, where to paint, and how to paint. In Perth and the Pilbara for PUBLIC, Ever spoke to Sharmila Wood, FORM Curator.

When did you start to think of yourself

You seem to represent women in your

You ended up extending your stay after

as an artist?

work - why?

everyone else had left to spend time at

I started to feel I was an artist when I started

Women represent the republic, sensitivity,

thinking about what I wanted to say on the

freedom, dreams, the peace of our bodies.

walls. There is a point where you enjoy the

The nature of truth.

process of painting just for the process, but

FORM’s Spinifex Hill Studio (Aboriginal Art Centre). What was the connection you felt to the artists, particularly Selena? What do you see in Aboriginal art?

also there is a moment that has to do with the

Do you feel that this approach is objectifying

When I got into the Studio, I felt scared to see

maturation of the individual. You understand

to women?

such beautiful art, art that comes from the soul,

through certain processes that we can say something important, or at least generate questions to the observer. Why do you paint on the street?

Believing that I use women as objects in my work is wrong, they are the bridge to the compression of my complex ideas. Can you tell me about your experience in

I believe that painting on the streets creates

Perth and explain the work you created in

unexpected moments. In my case Buenos

Northbridge.

Aires (where I live) is a chaotic city, everything is so messy it looks set to explode. The days are always different, each day is distinct. In this environment working in the streets creates situations that you do not expect or can’t control. Maybe I go to paint with an idea, but when I’m painting something new is generated, there is a dialogue between the wall, or people. I know I have control over the process of creating, but in the end I don’t have it because the work is not mine. It belongs to the people. That’s what excites me about painting on the streets: you lose control when you think you have it. In some of our conversations we’ve spoken

Migration is a piece that talks about the movement of people, not just the movement of the body, but also the mind and culture. This figure Landing is wrapped in the flag of Australia. The flag is the invisible division that sometimes leaves us to move us forward or back as human beings. The Figure deposited a thought (represented on the small portrait) near the door. We are never going to know if it is open or closed: that is a free interpretation of the observer. Following your time in Perth you travelled to the Pilbara with a group of the PUBLIC artists. What was significant to you about this

from the depths of hearts, of knowledge. I felt that these artists don’t need inspiration; they were just a bridge between culture and the Pilbara, a bridge of history. There is a connection that we can’t understand because we were educated in the Western culture. They just allowed themselves to paint without any fear, any issues. I felt completely connected with the work of Selena. Her works were waves of energy; it was a sign of her soul. But it was hard to talk to her.  Every day I was trying to talk with her, but every small step forward made my day happy. To start she didn’t like my work.  That put me in a position to fight against my ego, in order to find an artistic connection. I painted every day trying to forget what I knew and trying to be like her, to create a bridge. She was telling me about her family and I tried to imagine that life, I wanted that life. She was an inspiration for me. That was the reason I was trying to understand, listen, look. I finally managed to do two works

experience?

that came of playing, pretending to be someone

The Pilbara experience was exciting. I never

liked the colours and shapes. That made me

expected so much information for my head!

the happiest man in the world - the exchange

Painting on the streets is a political action, even

I think as a street artist to find myself in a

of culture, of two different cultures that live

if the person who paints doesn’t want to say

situation that is not a city scared me, excited

together.

anything. It is a message, because the action of

me, but above all I was there to understand.

painting happens in a common space, perhaps

Nature in the Pilbara seems to speak with you.

the only place where we interact, perhaps the

Every day we had new talks. Every day I felt her

only place that we think is ours: the streets.

message getting through my eyes to stay in my

The walls are the consequences of not feeling

mind. The most important thing for me was

represented in the place where everyone can see,

seeing it from the eyes of the Aboriginal people,

and that’s politics, that is what surrounds it.

not the Western human vision.

about the connection between art and politics. How does your artistic practice reflect your politics?

else. I think Selena liked these two works. She


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Publication | 2014

Phlegm, Port Hedland, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.

2014 | Publication

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2014 | Publication

REMED, South Hedland, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

Sharmila Wood, FORM Curator

Another Place

As part of PUBLIC, FORM Curator Sharmila

around the artwork and from some angles

Yet, it’s not only the colours or the wondrous

the blue shapes in both paintings look as

environment that works on you in the Pilbara,

REMED (France/Spain) to the Indigenous

though they could detach and float upwards

the remoteness and wildness elicits a different

town of Roebourne where, working with

in union with the cloudless sky. Whether

sensory awareness and perception. Whilst the

local Ngarluma people, they painted an

sharpening the painting, warming the colours

mining industry races forward in mechanised,

abandoned building where the sky meets

or framing the building in its expansive

industrialised time around you, there are still

the earth in the spirit of improvisation.

horizon, the environment of the Pilbara plays

many places where you can welcome the

a key role in the creation of this artwork.

quietness. In a society where everything is

Wood travelled with Ever (Argentina) and

There is a universe of colour on display in the Pilbara. In this landscape an ancient, pindan red glows as though the earth has been turned inside out. It’s in the rocks and hills, in the setting sun and the rising sun, it’s radiating from the clay and giving warmth to the earth. Purple is a colour that is overlooked in this landscape of bold, seductive red, but it’s also everywhere. From violets, to mulberry, to mauve you find the spectrum of gentler purples in the Pilbara; from the ground where lavender mulla mullas rise up after the rains, to the sky at dusk. In fact, these purple skies can be so overwhelmingly sublime, that it’s quite possible to lapse into a pointless nostalgia as the sun sets. In this light, the white paint on the building painted by Ever and Remed just out of Roebourne blushes a soft pink. As though it is living, the shed transforms at different times of the day like a reflective surface for the sky and land surrounding it. I spent a number of days with the artists as they painted the corrugated iron shed, and as they built their compositions I noticed how at midday the gold in Remed’s work caught the bright light, glowing like the mineral found in creeks and riverbeds around the Pilbara. In the afternoon, a blue sky presents an aura

about acceleration, with limited Internet and The shed that has been painted was part of

phone connectivity you can be freed from the

the old Roebourne Airport complex, but is

preoccupations and anxiety of technology.

now a lonely structure in an incomprehensibly expansive plateau of crisp, golden spinifex.

Sitting with the dust dirtying my feet, I

The building is framed between triangular

feel a sense of overwhelming release from

hills that appear from a distance, to look like

the gadgets of modernity, and a sense

pyramids displaced from Egypt. Now re-

of connectedness to the present. Remed

created by street artists from urban centres

commented how these qualities of the Pilbara

as a creative three-dimensional work, the

impacted him. “In the city I don’t follow

shed could appear absurd, but it doesn’t.

nature’s cycle. Here, naturally, my reason just

Perhaps this is because the topography

follows the sun because I am connected and

and atmosphere of the Pilbara has seeped

feeling I am in the present, for me that is the

into the artwork in forms and shapes.

best. In the city I don’t wake up at the sunrise. For what? To see concrete or advertising?”

Whilst finishing his work Remed looks to the constellation in the night sky as a guide for

The building they paint is all that remains of

the stars he paints into the picture, whilst

the old Roebourne Airport now that it’s been

Ever, enchanted by the moon, represents the

replaced by a larger, newer version in Karratha.

lunar phases with a woman’s face illuminated

This shift reflects the demise of Roebourne

by a field of exploding colour- as rich as the

as the region’s central hub, a cycle of boom

Pilbara’s visual spectrum. The materiality

and bust, of retraction and expansion that

of the shed with the undulating lines of

mirrors the fortunes of the town throughout

corrugation provides the ideal surface for

its colonial history. Like many places around

Remed’s boat to be applied, evoking the

Roebourne the shed is in a state of neglect,

idea of ocean and movement. I have my

but now, it begins to bring new audiences to

doubts about the paranormal, but something

it, most of whom are not from a traditional

uncanny may have been at work in finding this

art public. Resplendent in the colours of the

particular site. Placed in a different context

Pilbara, the shed also represents place created.

the artwork would lose much of its meaning.

MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

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2014 | Publication

Keith Churnside, who belongs to the Ngarluma

Whilst Remed and Ever are strangers in this

community and upon whose traditional

land, and don’t deny their ignorance, or the

lands the building has been constructed,

difficulty of leaving behind their presumptions

brings his family to view the shed and they

about what they will find, they are looking to

return at different times of day to see it again

connect with people in a meaningful way and

and again. I have known Keith for many

acquire a certain amount of understanding

years and he has been our guide. He has

about the processes and histories that are

also developed a friendship with the artists,

going on here. Remed was fascinated with

and in this way the site becomes a place

the petroglyphs along the Burrup, one of the

for human encounters, for the expression

world’s largest and oldest collections of rock

of the relationships and connections that

art, as a way to understand the essence of

can emerge on these journeys. The artwork

creation and the human imagination. “I’m

synthesises the artist’s experience of being

very interested in knowing other points of

here, of the many transient, beautiful

view and remembering that we come from

encounters we’ve had on the trip through

a very, very long time ago. We didn’t live as

Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi country with

we live in this modern world. The petroglyph

Indigenous men Clinton Walker and Keith.

is like a memory of who we were, and even

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though I cannot understand it, I want to see In sharing their knowledge about Indigenous

it, I want to feel it, as I want to touch a sacred

cosmogonies where earth, body and spirit

place, or to hear about the oldest stories,

connect, Clinton and Keith reveal other ways

about the creation of our world or human

of being and other ways of knowing the

kind, and the petroglyphs are part of that.”

world. I’ve spent the last five years learning and participating in Pilbara Indigenous culture

Although we’ve only skimmed across

and whilst I have so much still to learn, I do

the encyclopaedic knowledge that exists

feel more aware about the depths of the world

here, it has been expansive, illustrating

around us, about the visible and invisible

how ancient knowledges can be valued

connecting. As the world’s oldest continuous

by people from radically divergent worlds,

culture, the Pilbara’s Indigenous people hold

reflecting the importance of connections and

knowledge that is connected with ancient

differences between cultures and the way

ways, from the Ngurra Nyujunggamu-

these encounters can reveal more about our

a time when the world was soft.

existence.

MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

It’s a reminder that in a rapidly homogenising

Yet, as a believer in humanity, I’m also hopeful.

melancholy and I feel he’s thinking about his

world there are different ways of living and

In this century of globalisation I love the way

love, his wife, who recently passed away. He

thinking that can disrupt the dominant

street artists from Europe and South America

says there is a beautiful woman in the middle

idea of modernity in which we live; there

can connect with, imbibe and admire cultures

of the painting. I can’t see her, but that’s

are other social and economic systems

so far from their own; that they now carry

not the point. Remed’s abstract figuration

available to construct our world. Both

ideas and values of Indigenous culture back

allows for what can be felt and intuited.

artists are critical of the structure of

home, to perhaps share alternative, divergent

modernity that exists in the cities in which

ways of being in the modern system in which

Ever returns to Port Hedland, but before Remed

they live, which Remed cites as being part

they live, and maybe they’ll return to learn

and I fly back to Perth we are invited to the

of, “the erasure of memory, the illusion of

more. Indeed, their practice as street artists

house of Keith’s sister in Roebourne where

progress, the abundance of uselessness,

is situated as a counter to modernity and its

we meet some people from the community.

the illusion of domination over nature.”

crushing materialism. For instance, this act

Remed is struck by the impoverished material

of painting in the Pilbara produces nothing

realities of life here, and I’m reminded yet

For some time I’ve been reading the work of

in the way of saleable objects and upsets the

again of the deep economic and social

Wade Davis and his ideas of the ‘ethnosphere,’

regulation of public space by bureaucracy.

inequities that exist in Roebourne compared

a term he uses to describe the sum total

Beyond the gallery walls, in an unexpected

to where I live in Australia. Everyone is

of all the thoughts, beliefs, myths, and

location, the artwork is essentially democratic:

excited about the artwork. They’ve been to

institutions brought into being by the human

anyone with a car can drive out to see it, touch

see it with their children and will go back

imagination.16 Davis argues the ethnosphere is

it, really do as they wish. It’s beyond our

to experience it again. Given the sensations

critical to the meaning of being human, to the

control, and whether or not it is vandalised

and feeling this artwork has gifted people, I

artistic, intellectual, and spiritual expression

is a test of people’s opinion on its merit.

know I’m witnessing the energy of art, the

of the full complexity and diversity of the

MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

love which can emanate, an affect, which

human experience.17 Davis warns against the

The shed offers a welcome surprise in an

impoverishment that will result as cultures and

otherwise forgotten, desolate space. Remed

languages disappear. It fills me with sadness

creates the work he has been developing since

–––

that I am witnessing this diminishment, that

he arrived in Australia with elegant precision.

the Indigenous cultures in the Pilbara are listed

The profiles and curves of interlocking shapes

by UNESCO as under threat of extinction,

and figures form a harmonious duality,

16. See Wade Davis, The Wayfinders; Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, University of Western Australia, 2009

and that languages are disappearing, which,

and whilst Remed has his own description

along with an estimated half of the 6000

of what he has painted, it’s quite open to

plus languages spoken today will disappear

interpretation. “You can arrive, anyone can

by the end of this century. According to

arrive and see something else in my painting,”

UNESCO, the danger is that humanity

Remed says. On the last day of our time in the

will lose not only cultural wealth but also

Pilbara, I witness how the painting unlocks

important ancestral knowledge embedded,

a deep emotion in Keith, as though it has

in particular, in Indigenous languages.18

tapped into his subconscious. I detect some

cannot be measured, but must be felt.

17. See Wade Davis, The Wayfinders; Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, University of Western Australia, 2009 18. UNESCO: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/ themes/endangered-languages/


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Deadly, Reko Rennie, South Hedland, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Sharmila Wood, FORM Curator

Still Deadly ‘When someone says I can’t do something, then that just fuels my desire to create even more.’ - Reko Rennie

This particular artwork is exemplary of the

Reko also travelled to work with Aboriginal

way in which Reko utilises the tools and

youth in South Hedland as part of FORM’s

visual language of street art as a medium for

ongoing Pilbara programming. In a regional

rebellion and communication to explore the

environment with few opportunities to engage

challenges and complexities of Indigenous

with leading artists, Reko’s short term residency

identity in urban, contemporary Australia. As a

demonstrated the energising DIY culture that

young man growing up in inner city Melbourne

art can ignite, whilst also reflecting Reko’s

Reko connected with early forms of street

commitment to mentoring and empowering his

art – writing, getting up, graffiti, as a model

Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

for creative expression. He was influenced by the movement out of New York City that Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant captured in Subway Art, and the seminal documentary Style Wars, which document how this form of creative expression was empowering people from disenfranchised communities in the USA to find a radical creative freedom.

Following negotiation for the relevant permissions, a ‘Deadly’ mural emerged on a wall in the new Osprey Development in South Hedland, with children and teenagers using stencil techniques they’d learnt from Reko to embed their handprints into the letters of ‘Deadly’ - a term widely used in Aboriginal communities which means cool or wicked. It’s

Similar to the old school street art scene, Reko’s

a phrase distinctively and proudly Indigenous

earliest creative impulses were subversive.

in character which has been adopted by The

However, when he decided to pursue a career

Deadly Awards, held annually in Sydney to

in art after working in journalism, Reko began

celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

using the skills and tools he’d learnt on the

talent and achievement on a national stage.

street to articulate his political sentiments, melding these with a desire to represent his experiences as an urban Indigenous man with Kamilaroi heritage. Creating a visual vocabulary inspired by the ethos of graffiti and his Indigenous heritage Reko has created

The Pilbara workshop and wall was about creating and learning, about exchanges between people from a different place with a different perspective; it was about young people coming together in unity and cooperation, and presenting them with the opportunity to feel

If you have recently visited Sydney you could

a radically fresh approach to contemporary

not have missed Reko Rennie’s T2 building

expression that remixes diverse influences,

at Taylor Square. Occupying an entire corner

art movements and media. Using spray

block, the building is painted in valiant diurnal

paint, stencil, neon, sculpture, photography

patterns of pink, black and blue, which

and moving images, Reko moves fluidly

references the cultural designs and markings of

between the street, popular culture and

Reko’s Kamilaroi ancestry. Whilst these popping

the gallery context. Collected by Australia’s

colours are powerful, it is the neon signage,

most important institutions, Reko has also

Although it is widely acknowledged that there

Always was, Always will be which makes a

completed major commissions in Paris,

is an inherently transient and ephemeral quality

profound impact. The text, which is familiar

Shanghai and Washington.

to art painted in public space, it is disappointing

to those connected with the struggle for land rights, asserts the presence and strength of Indigenous communities who continue to be largely invisible in mainstream Australia. In contrast to the chants of protest and activist happenings which dissipate from the street, Reko’s artwork reclaims public space with this poignant message of resistance.

FORM invited Reko to participate in PUBLIC with Wesfarmers commissioning him to create a large-scale installation entitled ‘Big Red’, where a series of kangaroos that stand strong and tall occupy the floor to ceiling space of windows in the foyer of the Wesfarmers corporate headquarters in Perth.

they were being given a voice and a making a contribution to the community in which they live. The intention of this project was a harmonious and celebratory one, designed to transform the wall from representing a barrier into a positive symbol.

and, seemingly unfair that this wall has already been buffed. I can’t recall any public murals in Western Australia that demonstrate artistic excellence and convey a bold Indigenous identity. So it seems some walls remain, and you’ll have need to make a trip over east to be reminded that this always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Deadly, Reko Rennie, South Hedland, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.


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Artist Insight

Remed

Aboriginal artists, even though I know the art

In the Pilbara I think I can have a better

was just a metal curved wall, like it was water,

is being wrongly used, misappropriated and

understanding of what I’ve been playing

air or a stream. So, out of the car I take a spray.

used for commercial gain in some cases. So,

with, the serpent and human kind. I want to

The night is almost here, but I do a horizontal,

even though I didn’t like feeling I was doing

understand why he didn’t let me paint.

the sphere and a sentence.

I meet two great people, Clinton Walker and

We watch the moon rise perfectly in the centre

Keith Churnside who tell me Ngarluma and

of the building, and then the next day, it’s time

Yindjibarndi stories. We visit the place where

for the sun to do the same, then for the first

the creators arrive on the mountain of clay,

star to do the same. Every day I paint, I also

and the hole from which the serpent went

go to swim. I talk with my brother Keith, he

out. I went there with a lot of respect, a little

tells me stories. I learn a little bit about the

bit of fear. I was more a spectator and that’s

language. Ever paints the moon on the wall

what I needed to be. I now understand this is

of the building. I’m becoming friends with the

all I can be, towards the serpent, towards the

serpent, or maybe not friends, but maybe I’m

movement, towards the evolution of life, so I

more in tune. Anyway, the painting happens,

start to understand some more.

the moonrises, the sun also, and my universe

wrong and using something I didn’t completely understand, the desire for connection with it was higher than anything else. I am totally absorbed in all the drawings in the Arnhem Land book, but twice I fall on a centre page, MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

which really strikes me with its harmony. I feel

Guillaume ALBY aka REMED is a leading

good looking at it. I feel it’s what I have to see.

innovator and creative whose bold,

For me this is a flying boat, but it’s actually Ngalyod, the rainbow serpent of Kuninjku

graphically inspired artwork distils

language of western-central Arnhem Land.

complex philosophical ideas and

It looks like a ship with a head of a horse or

aesthetic movements. From exploring the

maybe, a seahorse, and the tail of a fish. It has

universal nature of human experience, to communicating emotion or feeling, REMED’s artwork is constantly in motion, responding to the different contexts and

I arrive in the places that I travel, empty, so that

countries in which he finds himself on his

I’m able to learn something for real and leave something for real; this is the opportunity you

travels. REMED recounts the development of

have in a journey. Before I came to Western

the work he painted in the Pilbara.

Australia I knew very few things, but I did know there was great rock art. When I arrive in Perth, I become really conscious that I won’t have access to what I want to discover, to the roots, to the people, the land, nor the art. I feel there is a big veil over the city’s memory and I’m conscious there is a lack of connection with MAANI GURI NURAH, REMED and Ever, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

the land. I’m in this Disneyland. It’s like any city, but built very fast. I find some Aboriginal art only in the museum. Even there, I’m fascinated by only a few artworks, but ROA and I find some books and I start to read about Old Masters from Arnhem Land. I make a very big connection between the way these artists paint and the way I paint. It’s about figurative abstraction or abstract figuration and that’s what I do. I feel these artists don’t always paint what they see, but what they have seen, or what they could see. I do just the same. They use simplicity and geometry to express complexity. For example, a circle can be a waterhole, it can be the sun, it can be everything. There is no claiming of a

I see guri guri, the rising star, everyday; wilara,

like it a lot. I shut the book. Naturally, without

the moon just after the yurndu, the sun, goes

On the last day, I came back to take a picture

looking at it, I draw a ship. In my work I have

down. The most beautiful memory is the

and I decided to write a sentence. When I finish

represented ships many times for the idea of

moment when the sun was going down and

a very careful work that is precise I like to do

movement, for travel, for challenge, and all that

the moon was rising exactly at the perfect

something very gestural, to breathe and relax.

you can imagine. I’m very in love with the idea

alignment. This was very significant to me.

Here in the Pilbara, I didn’t want that, but I had

of movement, change and its evolution.

I’m there in the Pilbara and I don’t really

a black spray because I thought I might need to

think about painting, I’m just thinking about

correct some things. I had this with me and I’m

understanding, feeling and experimenting.

just walking by and then very naturally I write:

But, even though I do this drawing with positive intention, I don’t get to paint it in Perth,

My Roots are My Wings. I feel I understand,

as everything goes wrong. The brush breaks

Finally, in the car, I take a pencil and my

anytime I try to put it on a wall. Frustration,

sketchbook. The car is moving, and it’s not

frustration, logistic problems. Nothing happens

the perfect spot to concentrate, but actually in

and everything happens around me. I know

some way, it is, because it’s moving and I’m in

there is something wrong and I know it is my

movement, and all I was drawing was about

It is important as an artist, more at the egoistic

fault. I feel I should have accepted to paint

that. I know more stories. I know the serpent is

level, when I finish something I have to feel

something like the faces I usually do. But,

beyond the creator, it’s something else; perhaps

it, touch, it, understand it, finishing a process

sometimes, that’s not enough. Each time I do a

it’s the creator and the destroyer. My drawing

in the step of a very large process. I look at it,

mural I want people to feel something. If I can

is still the serpent, boat, flying bird, but the

I digest it. I’m feeling very good, the stars are

make them remember something that is very

human is not a human anymore. It’s a being for

all above with the painting below in the night.

large, that will make them more tolerant to the

sure, similar to us, but it’s actually one being

The most beautiful part of this experience

unknown. Then I am happy.

and his mirror is reflected, complementary, or

was Keith. He stayed so long, so long in front

you could say opposed. On this ship there is

the painting, it felt so good. There were just

a sphere between two beings, but instead of

three of us there in front of this painting, no

trying to go inside the serpent, they just ride it,

sound, no words. If you said a word it would

just handle what is to be handled. I don’t know

be answered by a question, or by silence. Then

where I will paint this, but I know, definitely,

Keith sang. From very far away the lights of cars

that it will happen, because I’m not putting

fall over the painting. They make it glow and

my head stupidly into what I can’t understand.

then disappear and this wall of waves starts to

It was probably pretentious to do that first

move.

So, I couldn’t paint in Perth, all the frustration comes from there. I did a video that I wanted to project but that didn’t really happen either. The process of the drawing is in the video, with the serpent biting his tail, endlessly in a loop, starting with a black point and ending with a red point, on and on. It was six hours of non-stop drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, creating, erasing, creating, destroying, building.

truth, it’s more like infinite potential, it’s very

But then, the marvellous journey happened,

open to interpretation, even though it’s based

finally. At last, in the Pilbara, I see what is

on a specific truth to the artist who created it.

under the concrete. I’m there, and we get

I’m seduced by that perception, and I see the

back in touch with the earth, with land and,

connection.

with the sky, and here, I know, I will have a

Naturally I’m not afraid of being inspired by

is built.

sails that look like the sleeves of a peacock. I

better understanding of what I did wrong.

drawing. We see one structure on a station, which I think will be possible to paint, but then it does not happen. But we arrive close to Roebourne, and Sharmila says there is another structure we can paint. We see there is this triangle structure with one pyramid on each side and horizon. I knew it was the perfect place and the structure

now. I got back to my roots and they can become my wings. Then the next sentence: My Lines are Our Songs, To Life We Belong.


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Thorny Devil, The Yok and Sheryo, Port Hedland, 2014. Photographer ?.

“I understand the connection with audience a lot better now – it is not done selfishly, it’s a gift to the public.” Survey respondent

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PUBLIC Salon exhibition opening, Perth, 2014. Photograph Luke Shirlaw.

The Yok, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Alexis Diaz, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

PUBLIC stimulated a number of outcomes, some intended and others unexpected. Though qualitative assessment of such events is difficult, there were a number of observable outcomes in addition to those the numbers show. The diversity in audience visitation and the significantly positive feedback that was generated across the main period of activity, and indeed beyond, were important achievements. Ultimately, audiences voted

Making a Splash

Public Impact

with their feet and it was exciting to see Perth locals and tourists alike coming out in droves. Creatives, young professionals, families, elderly couples, tourists, corporates, local residents, students and more were seen wandering the Perth CBD and Northbridge with map in hand. While the demographics of those attending ranged widely, the feedback was consistently resoundingly positive. The spread of activity generated in the CBD and Northbridge across the weeks also extended the range of usual activity in key city areas: in the CBD the audiences were sustained through Saturdays, after-hours and public

“I strongly believe that this type of event positively contributes to a more vibrant city environment, providing visibility and much needed support for artist development outside of the more traditional channels. Great work. Really!” Survey respondent

holidays in addition to the usual business and hospitality hours; in Northbridge, audiences were encouraged through the day, weekends and evenings, in addition to the usual nightlife activity. Both the creative process and the resulting artworks asked residents and visitors

PUBLIC was picked up internationally

to look again at the city, and discover it anew.

by leading urban art blogs, websites and magazines from Argentina to the USA

The increased foot traffic not only has

to France, with a number of industry

important flow on effects for the perceived

representatives making the trip to visit

vibrancy of the city, but also for businesses

from interstate for the event. The event

in the area in terms of increased customer

was reported in diverse media as a

visitation and spend as the infographics below

success both locally and globally, for the

illustrate. As a PUBLIC visitor interviewed on

community and for the artistic sector.

Wolf Lane suggested, events like PUBLIC give locals and tourists alike an opportunity to

The artistic community similarly rated

do something different and unique in their

the event as a successful launch and

city, drawing people to areas that would not

an experience to rival any they had had

usually be a destination in their own right.

internationally. This is an important part

The murals have become something to draw

of putting Western Australia on the map in

people in, to challenge, thrill and mesmerise,

new ways that build a positive reputation.

Jordan Seiler + Heavy Projects, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

whether as a destination themselves or as part of the everyday experience of the city.

Some of these more difficult to define impacts resulting from PUBLIC are alluded to in the testimonials of participants and attendees recorded, a sample of which are shown throughout this publication. While there is nothing that can capture the buzz and energy that was evident during the event period, a survey was undertaken with attendees. The following provides a snapshot of the impact indicated in the results. Dingo, Kangaroo, Panther, Hog, The Yok & Sheryo, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Phibs and Vans the Omega, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Maya Hayuk, Alexis Diaz, and Hyuro, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Jordan Seiler + Heavy Projects, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Moving Forward, Jaz, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean-Paul Horré.

PUBLIC Salon exhibition opening, FORM Gallery, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Maya Hayuk, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

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Making a Splash

Infographics

“I already love and enjoy public art, this event just proved that people do think it’s important and essential to our city.” Survey respondent

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Artist Profiles

which boast great detail. The pieces which

Her PUBLIC mural in Wolf Lane remains true

held four solo exhibitions in Western Australia

Nanook, a festival to engage and revitalise a

is in very high demand appearing throughout

are equally as at home in a gallery setting as

to her signature style, created at lightning-fast

and participated in many group shows. For

disused space in their native city.

the streets of Europe, the Americas and now

on a wall, often resemble large-scale intricate

speed, and rewarding Perth audiences with a

her Masters project McFarlane produced a

engravings of folkloric, imaginary animals.

bright new addition to the under-used car park.

body of work that investigated the connection

2501

painted the Leafy Sea Dragon (Phycodurus eques), found along the southern and western

Andrew Frazer, Perth, 2013. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

coasts of Australia, for PUBLIC. In contrast to his

The Italian artist 2501 hails from Milan and has

usual imagined creatures, in this case the artist

Frazer is a Western Australian illustrator, hand-

a background in the sciences and filmmaking.

drew on a real, yet equally fantastical creature.

letterer, designer and artist based in Bunbury.

common point of reference. Her subsequent work continues to reference the histories of scientific inquiry and the decorative arts to investigate Australian identity. Drawing on the designs of the William Morris Company,

He began painting at the age of 14. His

He is also Creative Director of Six Two Three

participation in PUBLIC produced early works

Zero, a Bunbury based initiative that uses

fora project he is developing over 2014, titled

street art as a catalyst for urban development

“Nomadic Experiment.” In Perth he created

and social change by bringing communities

works on a large-scale that complement

together in conversation and creative

their architectural surroundings and explore

inspiration, including through their recent street

Sydney-based artist Beastman’s loveable deities

important contextual social themes.

art program Re.Discover. He has exhibited

and instantly recognisable geometric detailing

across Western Australia, including his solo

illustrate his love of beauty within nature. He

show at Sugarman in Margaret River.

has been painting and curating for a number

lodging house in Fremantle, and in the heart of Northbridge at Washing Lane. Both display his

Mahi Mahi, Amok Island, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

With a passion for story-telling, Frazer’s

signature style: black and white undulating lines

pieces engage audiences on a personal level:

that fold together to create visually striking works

welcoming the viewer into a conversation on

that beckon the viewer in for a closer look.

Amok Island

The artist dedicated The Narrow Passage

The artist and designer known as Amok Island

(Fremantle) to anyone who has ever struggled to

originates from Amsterdam. There, he spent

“exit a difficult situation” or to achieve a new life.

more than a decade painting before embarking

It also serves as a tribute to the late Italian video

on travels across the Asian continent which

and multimedia artist, Claudio Sinatti. From the

eventually led him to Perth. He is a self-taught

death of a personal source of inspiration for the

and self-employed art practitioner whose work

artist, he has created a message of hope and

reflects his fascination with the natural world.

determination.

His penchant for underwater photography

shared human emotions such as pain, hope, despair, redemption and contentment. Frazer’s work for PUBLIC is no exception. Entitled, Not All Pain Is Bad, the artist focuses on notions of self-discovery: when choosing selfishness over generous living I have discovered the pain of loneliness. [I am] grateful for this pain as it has shown [me] that this life is too beautiful not to

she combines this lyrical Pre-Raphaelite patterning with the detailed depiction of birds, Beastman, Perth, 2012. Photographer Phil Hill.

Beastman

of years. Fresh from painting in Perth for PUBLIC, this artist from Sydney staged a solo

Alexis Diaz

butterflies, insects and plants native to Australia, arranged so as to reference the collection of specimens for scientific inquiry. McFarlane’s work can be found in collections including the City of Perth, Cruthers, Curtin University,

condition and her own personal experiences,

fellow Argentine painter, Jaz, with whom he

with common themes of identity, place,

has shared a studio since 2003, Ever began

emotion and freedom, often employing

to seriously develop the sophisticated work now being produced on walls and in gallery

collective trio ‘ololo,’ has been painting since he was a teenager. Like many PUBLIC artists,

mentoring local students; producing a highly

he began with traditional graffiti styles before

visible piece at Central Institute of Technology

progressing to more conceptual work. The

in Northbridge, as well as collaborating in the

artist’s mission is to create a conversation,

Pilbara with Remed.

engage and inspire through his work. Since

Ever’s piece in Northbridge, entitled Migration,

internationally. In addition, Beastman curates

is inspired by “the movement of people through

dimensional works.

As a former blue collar worker from Canberra,

most remarkable series is the large concrete

Following his 2012 debut collaboration with

Sydney-based stencil artist Luke Cornish (aka

letters (spelling out ‘A M O K’) submerged

FORM for the Living Walls initiative,he returned

E.L.K) is accustomed to meticulous manual work

in various underwater locations off Perth,

for PUBLIC to collaborate with fellow Eastern

and came to his multi-layering photo-realistic

capturing their slow incorporation into the

states based artist, Vans the Omega. A

stencil technique by the desire for a hobby

marine environment.

celebration of colour in the Murray Street Car

roughly ten years ago. Now with a rapidly

Park outdoor gallery, their wall is “inspired by

growing international career, Cornish has

His graphic style is at once both refined and

our individual bodies of work, blended together

lived in Melbourne and worked at well-known

simplistic in nature. His hand-pulled silk

organically.2”

collective, Blender Studios. His work typically

mind, body and culture.” The female figure is wrapped in the Australian flag and has deposited a thought in the form of the artist’s signature ‘thought clouds’ near a door.

victim of redundancy.”

This ex-fashion industry stalwart-turned-artist’s

nature of the street ‘canvas.’ As a stencil artist,

black and white. Diaz incorporates contrary

Mahi, or Common Dolphinfish, as its subject on

work is “neither about the subject

he produces gallery and exhibition work that is

Although the youngest participant in PUBLIC,

elements into his animals, making them

a large scale.

nor the observer... it is about the process.”

more introspective and inward-looking.

American artist Gaia brought a wealth of

analogous with the mythological creatures of

A Perth native, Brock is now based in Sydney

Ancient Greek, Roman or Egyptian folklore.

while maintaining strong roots with her

Diaz is organiser of international urban art

hometown, including her pop-up gallery

festival Los Muros Hablan or ‘The Walls Talk’ in

at MANY 6160 co-operative space in the

conjunction with local museum, El Museo de

reclaimed Myer building in Fremantle. Her

Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico.

colourful and intense feminine faces and

E.L.K has achieved growing acclaim both before and since his nomination for the 2012 Archibald Clare McFarlane, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Clare McFarlane

Prize for portraiture, as the first stencil artist nominated for the prestigious award. The lightning-fast pieces created for PUBLIC rework some of his most high profile works to date.

illustrator, Mutch is a freelance graphic

to everyone; the phone box has become the

in the unique Wolf Lane setting takes the Mahi

Gaia, Subiaco, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.

hybrid book, magazine, art zine periodical which has gained cult status and global acclaim. In addition to his own periodical, the artist’s illustration work has featured in major publications including Monster Children, Oyster and Desktop. Moreover, Mutch has exhibited extensively in Australia, Singapore, Bangkok, New York and London.

environment for his playful paintings, characters and drawings, often improvised. He aims to engage viewers at two levels with his work: from afar, with the overall thematic elements, and up-close with its detail and

Art, Gaia has exhibited in galleries throughout

intricacy.

Europe and the United States, undertaken Hyuro, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Hyuro

re-imagined menagerie of animals (from The artist has a meticulous technique based

Clare McFarlane has a Masters and an Honours

budgerigars to zebras) are in high-demand,

almost entirely on simple crosshatch using a

Degree in Fine Art from Curtin University

histories. He also has a curatorial role in “Open

Argentinean-born, Valencia-based artist Hyuro

as the artist is sought after for commissions

small paintbrush to create enormous works

of Technology, where she also completed a

Walls Baltimore”with fellow Baltimore artist

has been painting on public walls for only a

throughout Australia.

Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage. She has

powerful social commentary and intricate place

He co-produces Kingbrown Magazine: a

he is always informed by his immediate

graduation from Maryland Institute College of

walls in cities worldwide. His work explores

designer and painter in the state’s South West.

His artwork has taken him many places but

experience. Only three years out of his

residencies in Africa and Asia, and has painted

Ian Mutch A Western Australian designer, artist and

telepathy as a mass-market product affordable

animals, often carried out in monochromatic

Ian Mutch, Perth, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

installation for Bar de Halcyon.

the past that once connected us. [It] presents

Gaia

heroines.

realm and most recently completed an interior

another advances, we discard the objects of

sought after. The wall he painted for PUBLIC

commentary focus, leveraging the highly visible

both on the streets and in the gallery or private

“As the hardware we use to connect to one

La Pandilla. The pair is known for their fantastical

Anya Brock

been producing his work for mass consumption

the same laneway. Telepathy suggests that

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Diaz is one half of duo,

As a street artist, E.L.K maintains a social

project, organised by ololo in 2009, Hurben has

presents a contrast to his earlier work in

are instantly recognisable, playful and highly

quotidian female characters as commonplace

the locally renowned Condor Tower Car Park

Hurben’s mural for PUBLIC in Wolf Lane

displays a dichotomy of self-identification.

Anya Brock, Perth, 2013. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Hurben, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

a mural in a West Leederville underpass and

E.L.K

screen prints and brightly coloured murals

Her work generally is informed by the human

a trip to Paris in the early 2000s, and meeting

been in high demand throughout Australia and

chooses artists to interpret their works through

as the greater vehicle for communication it

youth and focus on hip-hop culture. Inspired by

of the program: collaborating with Gaia on

ELK, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

medium and visibility of public walls as well

inside each person that stands [before] it.3”

His initially letter-based graffiti style reflected his

Hurben, a member of West Australian art

Arts & Culture (SMAC) Awards, Beastman has

street artist Escif she was seduced by the

my words, and the interpretation of it will be

Buenos Aires streets since he was a teenager.

For PUBLIC, the artist participated in all aspects

named ‘Best Artist’ at the 2010 Sydney Music,

more traditional forms. However, after meeting

work to speak for itself: “[it] speaks better than

Argentine artist, Ever, has been painting the

throughout the Cities of Perth and Subiaco.

of new life, hope and survival. Since being

Australia. Originally, her fine art works took

provided with the viewer. Hyuro allows her

Ever

University, and on the walls of laneways

Artbank, Joondalup Hospital and Edith Cowan

His unique paintings depict a parallel world

the East Editions home wares collection that

have influenced the city’s development.

Hurben

limited editions of functional objects and three-

be shared.1”

Ever, Subiaco, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.

exhibitions worldwide.

show at Backwoods Gallery in Collingwood.

often translates to his work. One of the artist’s

Alexis Diaz, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

with iconic Western Australian identities who

the patterns of the Pre-Raphaelites as a

Andrew Frazer

2501 created works at 100 Hampton Road

and infrastructure past and present, interspersed

between technology and the feminine using

Inspired by his visit to Perth Zoo, the artist 2501, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Gaia’s mural for PUBLIC explores Perth’s ecology

few years. Her prolific, character-based work


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Artist Profiles

Jaz, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Jaz Painting under the moniker Jaz since the 1990s,

the photographs collected from his community

from a penchant for philosophical discussion,

characters to serve as broad metaphors for

imaginative, pop-culture inspired imagery to

and fellow street artist Vhils as some of the

outreach efforts into wheatpaste posters in

Heavy has an interdisciplinary background in

alienation amongst technological progress and

canvases and walls. Since 2010, he has shown

main influences on his works. The artist also

the late 2000s. Since 2012, Jetsonorama has

technology, academia, and the arts. With a PhD

material abundance.

extensively in exhibitions throughout Australia.

places great importance on the capacity for

run ‘The Painted Desert Project’, bringing

in Humanities [Intermedia Analysis ] from the

In a span of only four years, Deej has held three

communication through the internet and

visiting artists to work in the reservation with

Universiteit van Amsterdam, he has worked

successful solo shows in his hometown and his

globalism as vital to producing work and gaining

aim of creating resonant positive imagery of

as a university professor and a tech developer

the Navajo community to its public locales for

in Anaheim, Prague, and Saint Louis. Since

public enjoyment, greater visibility and to boost

2007, Heavy has internationally presented his

tourism.

academic work, which explores augmented

the Buenos Aires-based artist merges fine and

As part of the ‘Art in the Pilbara’ component of

street art in to beautiful outcomes. Franco

PUBLIC, Jetsonarama undertook part one of a

Fasoli was one of the original letter-based graffiti

two part residency in rural Pilbara communities

artists from the South American street arthub.

to research, photograph, and expand his work in

After finishing art school, the artist created

an analogous environment to his home practice.

theatrical sets as a scenographer, before a trip to

Using photos and stories from the residency,

Barcelona initiated his return to painting in the

Jetsonarama translated his work to two Wolf

public realm where his work progressed with

Lane walls. One piece, Modern Family, was

sophistication.

the artist’s response to observing more African

Fasoli is fascinated by the ephemeral nature of painting in public spaces because of the visibility, environment and experience of

people than Indigenous Australians in the Perth CBD, an experience the African-American artist

reality, art and semiotics in public space. As a synthesis of scholarly inquiry and emerging media, Heavy founded The Heavy Projects to investigate how the fusion of creativity and technology can uncover new modes of relaying ideas. Building upon existing technological and theoretical frameworks, Heavy creates innovative interfaces between digital design and physical worlds in ways that provoke the imagination and question existing styles of art, design, and interaction.

found interesting.

For PUBLIC, Will’s participated in the Last Chance Studios collaboration in the Murray Street car Lucas Grogan, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

He is also involved in the local hip hop scene,

Phlegm

Fine artist Lucas Grogan bases his practice in

Deej’s PUBLIC mural in the Wolf Lane car park is

Welsh-born, London-based artist Phlegm

the foyer of the King Street Arts Centre, in

Melbourne, though he has exhibited across

representative of his style, including pop-culture

views himself as a self-publishing, underground

Northbridge, on an abandoned building in the

Australia. His recognisable work spans

references and urban elements in a background

cartoonist. The artist enjoys the ephemeral

Pilbara, and upon return from the Pilbara, on a

textiles, drawing, painting and murals. He

cityscape.

nature that painting public walls provides

wall in Wolf Lane. The latter piece, entitled ‘The

him along with the individual control offered

Future Iron Train,’ was influenced by the artist’s

through self-publishing his hand-drawn

Pilbara experiences. His wall in Northbridge,

comics. His recent site-specific show, ‘The

entitled ‘Protection Against the Immigrant in

Bestiary,’ at the Howard Griffith gallery in

Myself (Protezione dell’io Immigrante)’ is the

London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood created a

artist’s exploration of the neighbourhood’s

walkthrough labyrinth of paintings, structures,

history as centre for newly arrived immigrants,

walls, and three-dimensional pieces. The show

especially Italians.

has undertaken diverse residencies including at Beijing’s privately owned Red Gate gallery,

Maya Hayuk, Fremantle, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Australian fashion label Rittenhouse, and

Maya Hayuk

homewares company Third Drawer Down.

Brooklyn-based artist Maya Hayuk is one of

His work generated debate even prior to completing study at the School of Fine Art at the University of Newcastle, and the artist has balanced mural and exhibition work since

the most prominent, well-respected names in mural practice. She has been commissioned to paint her bright pieces worldwide since the late 1990s and has shown in global exhibitions since completing her fine art degree. She has held various teaching fellowships and

Phibs, Perth, 2013. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Citing influences of the surreal worlds of artists

Phibs’ 22 year career has made him one of

Phlegm creates for the viewer vividly portrayed

Australia’s most prolific street artists. Phibs

worlds and their own ‘Creation Myth.’

passersby a brush. The inclusion of cheeky,

was recently invited to paint the prestigious

engaging phrases is a signature element of his

Bowery Wall in Manhattan, a selective honour.

like murals that draw the viewer in to the artist’s

work. He created two murals for PUBLIC: at

Hayuk weaves visual information from her

struggle with contemporary culture.

Hampton Road, and Arcade 800 in Wolf Lane.

immediate surroundings into her elaborate

“Dead Posh,” the title of the Wolf Lane piece,

abstractions, creating an engaging mix of

Last Chance Studios

is the artist’s response to Wolf Lane and Perth

referents from popular culture and advanced

stating that he “took into consideration the

painting practices.

Begun in 2008 as a local Perth artist collective

surrounding businesses and buildings in relation

in a shopfront on Northbridge’s William Street,

to the facade. Hopefully [it] offers the public a lot

With their often geometric compositions,

multi-dimensional practice of sculptural works,

Last Chance Studios shuttered their studio

of humour and fun”.

intricate patterns, and lush colours, her

canvases and walls. A true professional, his

paintings and massively scaled murals recall

well-loved characters are some of the most

views of outer space, traditional Ukrainian crafts,

visible and documented within the Melbourne

airbrushed manicures, and mandalas. Her work

and Sydney street art scene. Furthermore, his

is celebratory and colourful and each piece is

canvas works have even been acquired by the

improvised, creating ad hoc beauty informed

National Gallery of Australia.

Last Chance, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Recently named top of Huffington Post’s ’25 Street Artists From Around the World Who Are Shaking Up Public Art,’ Fasoli painted three

Jordan Seiler and Heavy Projects, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

walls for PUBLIC: a Northbridge carpark, the façade of Hampton Road lodging house, and a panel in Wolf Lane. His most visible mural at Hampton Road, entitled “Moving Forward,” is a testament to the idea of leaving the past behind as the tiger progresses along the wall leaving his stripes behind.

Jordan Seiler + Heavy Projects Jordan is an artist / activist born in New

space in 2011 due to the growing demand for

York City and living in Brooklyn. As the

the participating artists’ individual work, many

founder of PublicAdCampaign, Jordan’s

of whose careers have grown nationally and

work explores the intersection of public and

internationally. Artists regularly involved in

private media in our shared environments.

the collective during its four year existence

Seeing public participation in the curation

include founders Daek William and Kid Zoom,

of our public spaces as a vital component

along with Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Creepy), Sean

to metropolitan health, Jordan seeks to

Morris, Ryan Boserio, Tim Rollin, Martin E. Wills,

promote social interaction through artistic

and Yohyo.

and activist projects that question current uses of our shared environment, particularly for commercial media. Through street work, gallery shows, collaborative civil disobedience, and the curation of public media projects, Jetsonorama, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Jetsonarama

PublicAdCampaign investigates how we may adorn our cities for greater sociability. The resulting works from PublicAdCampaign blur

The Last Chance artists reunited for PUBLIC to create a ‘family collaboration’ in the Murray Street car park. One of the walls is a cohesive display of the six main artists’ individual styles: Ryan Boserio, Sean Morris, Kid Zoom, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Daek William, and Tim Rollin; while the other is a mash-up of styles with a tropical theme, and includes later studio

by the specific sense of place. The piece she created for PUBLIC plays with the curves of the wall at the back of the Wesley Centre in Wolf Lane, instantly drawing passersby to the piece. Martin E Wills, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Martin E. Wills

to Melbourne and the renowned Everfresh Studio. Though he attended art school, he prefers to allow his experience to inform his

buildings and objects in Sheffield UK, Phlegm’s detailed characters, animals and fantastical

Reko Rennie

murals have been commissioned throughout

Melbourne based Reko Rennie is one of

the UK, Europe, US, and Australasia. For PUBLIC he painted at large scale at the highly visible Murray Street car park featuring a character from the ‘Creation Myth’ series; as well as in the Pilbara, on an abandoned building in Port Hedland.

devote himself to his passion of provoking discussion about contemporary Indigenous

works at the Ibis Hotel laneway in collaboration

culture through artistic practice. As an artist,

with Vans the Omega, who described “the idea

Rennie maintains that, “being invited to work

prolific former Perth collective, Last Chance

the entire surrounding, [the] idea is to engulf the

commissioned to paint his ‘anatomical street

Studios, Wills’ work has been decorating the

onlook[er] in a world apart from what they know

robots’ extensively throughout Europe, North

or comprehend.”

America and Latin America. He is extremely

Heavy is a tech artist and academic living in

The Future Iron Train, Pixel Pancho, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Paul Deej

prolific and has worked in various mediums

humanoid characters interacting with their

Local artist Paul Deej has been practising in

objects. Pixel cites classical painters, 1950s

galactic surroundings. The artist creates these

Perth as a professional artist and illustrator since

film posters, human (and android) anatomy

2002. Eight years later, he began to apply his

of Australia in contemporary street and gallery

of signature characters. For PUBLIC, he created

Italian artist Pixel Pancho has been

His work revolves around improbably coiffed

ancestral designs and re-claims native symbols

It wasn’t until 2009 that Rennie decided to

seduce. Then once you are submerged within

it means to be increasingly urban.

Kamilaroi heritage, Rennie re-contextualises

nature, his works have spawned a menagerie

project gallery since 2008. As a member of

late in the game. The artist has been living and

Washington. Drawing inspiration from his

urban with the organic. Largely inspired by

Pixel Pancho

since the 2009 Condor Tower Car Park project.

been commissioned in Paris, Shanghai and

sculpture, photography and moving images.

Phibs signifies the symbiotic: engaging the

styling bursting with colour works [primarily] to

Paul Deej, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Australia’s leading artists, his work has

settings, using spray paint, stencil, neon,

the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore

streets and buildings throughout the urban area

Reko Rennie, South Hedland, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

scenes have been in high demand and his

filled with the strong and recognizable Phibs

to define engaged citizenry as we navigate what

Southern California. Deriving his pseudonym

skills through the 90s. In 2000, he moved

Since beginning to paint murals on abandoned

has exhibited his work nationally as well as in

Jetsonarama, came to the medium relatively

Arizona since 1987 but only began translating

and ‘bombing’ in the late 1980s, growing his

of peering down the lane way to a snapshot

the line between art and activism, and attempt

practicing medicine on a Navajo reservation in

residents at Hampton Road.

began his career in Sydney creating characters

like Charles Dellschau and Henry Darger,

Western Australian visual artist Martin E. Wills

North Carolina-born wheatpaste artist,

collaborators.

Hayuk created a second work for lodging house

and cast of characters from his comic books.

Phibs

residencies throughout the United States and

made brushes to create layered, watercolour-

multiple pieces for PUBLIC, including in

represented a condensed view of his sketches

Grogan paints walls freehand, often handing

as asphaltic paint, petrol, and tar as well as self-

His first time in Australia, Pixel Pancho painted

working with bands to design album covers.

Melbourne.

his fine art experience, he uses materials such

visibility and connectivity as an artist. Phlegm, Port Hedland, 2014. Photographer Brendan Hutchens.

Lucas Grogan

his first commissioned mural by Movida in

making art in different contexts. Drawing on

park, and created a solo work in Wolf Lane.

work can be seen in several mural commissions.

from walls and tiles to stickers and found

with various Aboriginal communities and doing workshops with the community around art are always proud moments for me.” His bright, geometric works are at once innovative and interrogative inviting the viewer in to a conversation not often explored within the Australian urban art scene. His participation in PUBLIC encompassed both a residency focusing on community engagement in the Pilbara region, and a piece for Wesfarmers for the foyer of their building in the Perth CBD.


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Artist Profiles

Remed, Roebourne, 2014. Photographer Sharmila Wood.

Remed

the city and Pilbara, ROA returned to Perth for

illustration. His work is heavily character-based

His style has since evolved from complex

For PUBLIC the pair created an interactive

PUBLIC. ROA painted the largest wall of the

and often incorporates vibrantly coloured

lettering to intricate patterning and blocking,

installation during PUBLIC House. The

festival, a work entitled “Infinitas,” depicting a 24

designs intended to transport the viewer on

drawing influence from travels, architecture,

installation featured the iconic Fairlight CVI

metre tall, finely detailed serpent in an infinite

a continuous journey of rediscovery. Highly

ancient scripts, nature, and balance. The artist

(Computer Video Instrument), an early video

loop. The piece takes inspiration from three

involved in the up and coming visual arts scene

recently held two shows in Sydney, released hand

synthesiser developed in Australia in the

aspects: the ancient mythological symbol of the

in Perth, the artist has recently been asked

painted furniture with East Editions homewares,

1980s and influential in music and video

Ouroboros (the serpent devouring its own tail),

to coordinate the Art Direction for this year’s

and completed a collaboration with Adidas.

collaborations. The installation engaged

the infinity symbol, and the Rainbow Serpent of

Beaufort Street Festival.

At PUBLIC , he collaborated with Phibs and

audiences and passers-by, reflecting their

Beastman for the artworks at Ibis Hotel laneway

silhouettes and movement in a dynamic

and in the Murray Street car park.

projection work.

Indigenous culture.

Trevor Richards, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

Trevor Richards

DEAR WILLIAM ARTISTS

The Yok and Sheryo, Perth, 2014. Photographer Like Shirlaw.

The Yok and Sheryo

SHRINK has begun to showcase his work in

Born in Merredin in 1954 and attaining

“make[s] rhymes with colours, shapes and

exhibitions, digital platforms and now on the

an Associateship in Fine Art from Curtin

sounds to express emotion, feeling, or the

streetscape. His wall for the Secret Garden Cafe

University and a Masters in Fine Art from

Both collaborations are characteristic pieces

work over several years. Basing their practice

evolution of thought. [He] paints as you write a

in Wolf Lane is entitled “Garden Ghouls,” and

the University of Western Australia, Trevor

for Vans, who paints organically with balance

from New York, they have travelled extensively

diary, a notebook of inventions, or philosophical

references the “mysteries of the garden as a

Richards is one of Western Australia’s most

and movement in mind. The massive range of

painting commissions, publishing magazines

essay. Art is for [him] the sincere blend of

child, where imagination runs wild and anything

senior abstract painters. He has held twenty

aerosol colours Vans employs work well with

and participating in artistic residences. Recently,

science and Soul. ” He has been painting for

is possible.”

seven solo exhibitions, most recently in Perth,

Beastman’s colourful blocking:“Inspired by our

the Yok and Sheryo completed a residency

Canberra and Paris, and participated in more

individual bodies of work, blended together

in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working with Batik

than sixty group exhibitions since 1984.

organically through colour, geometry, balance,

fabricators to learn traditional techniques and

French artist Remed, now based in Madrid

4

public consumption steadily for nearly a decade and his work is highly regarded throughout the public art community. He originally came to mural painting through his desire to exhibit his highly polished work to a larger audience. Flowing, graphic and highly researched, Remed

Ryan Boserio, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

endeavours to evoke the nature, history and philosophy of each location’s surrounding

contemporary artist, illustrator and designer

environment.

who works in multiple mediums from canvas

an abandoned building in the Pilbara, informed by his powerful experience learning about Indigenous communities. He also created a sketch animation shown during PUBLIC House.

ROA

collective’s second project on Market Street, Fremantle, in 2002, and has since undertaken numerous interventions in architectural spaces

a building offers windows, we offer new worlds to view from, drawing one eye in and around and

Yandell Walton is a video, multi-media and projection installation artist based in Melbourne.

and hand-painted ceramics produced in a North Vietnamese village, formed their recent exhibition, Nasty Goreng, held at the Turner

University of Technology in 2008, immediately launching into a highly visible career. In 2009 he received the ‘Highly Commended’ in the National Youth Self Portraiture Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. In 2011 he was a recipient of Kickstarter art funding for the 2012 Next Wave Festival, was selected as a finalist in the 2011 Archibald Prize, and won the Blake Prize for Human Justice. In 2013 he collaborated with his brother, Abdul-Rahman

throughout Australia and internationally,

festival in Sydney, and had his portrait of boxer

practices seamlessly together, they maintain

Stormie Mills

including a commission and residency at New

Anthony Mundine selected as a finalist in the

Artbank, the Art Gallery of Western Australia,

their own individual practices. Singaporean

York’s The Gershwin Hotel, an installation

Archibald Prize. He was also selected as an

Australian Capital Equity, Holmes a Court, the

Sheryo’s recognisable, “imperfect gnarly

Using a limited colour palette, celebrated

and award at the Digital Graffiti Festival in

Archibald finalist in 2014. His work is included

University of Western Australia and the City of

characters that are calming to disoriented

Perth native Stormie Mills has been creating

Florida, and various installations at arts festivals

in the collections of the National Gallery of

Fremantle, as well as numerous other national

souls,”5 adorn walls throughout Asia, North

his iconic characters worldwide since the

throughout Australia. As well as continuing

Australia, the University of Western Australia,

public and private collections, in addition

America, Europe and Australia. The Yok,

mid-1980s. His character-driven work reflects

to develop her studio practice, Walton has

Murdoch University, The Islamic Museum of

to the Bank Sparkasse and Daimler Chrysler

co-founder of aforementioned Kingbrown

Boserio’s solo piece for PUBLIC is a fresh

the artist’s constant study of the human

been working creatively with youth and

Australia, and The Bendigo Art Gallery.

Collections in Germany.

Magazine, creates his characters globally stating:

reworking of an original piece in the same

condition. Though he has travelled extensively

community groups on collaborative community

“if the artwork produced by [myself] ever came

location behind Arcade 189 in Northbridge.

for commissions and exhibitions, Mills bases

development projects and mentoring programs.

to life, it would be a fantastic army of eccentric,

Entitled ‘Faces,’ Boserio’s new wall has taken

himself from his hometown where he produces work exploring emotions and desires at the core

For PUBLIC, the industrious Walton created

moustached, bike riding Gargoyle-esque

inspiration from “the nature of diversity in Northbridge- both good and bad and how

of humanity. A highly collected artist, using

important that diversity is.” In addition, the artist

unique materials he incorporates in to his works

worked alongside his former Last Chance studio

including aerosol, graffiti remover and paint

partners to collaborate on two walls in the

mixed with dirt. These materials comment on

performance art in Western Australia. With a

Murray Street car park hub.

the transience and ephemeral nature of Perth’s

background in photography, painting, and film-

street art scene, communicated through his

making, the pair met in art school where their

masterful layering technique.

collaborations began, using newly developed

Boserio was previously a member of the Last Chance Studios artist collective, now based in Melbourne. His ethereal, far-fetched work has been commissioned for walls throughout Perth as well as for numerous collaborations with

Stormie Mills, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

A strong advocate for and supporter of PUBLIC,

His lifelike creatures are in high demand taking

Mills painted a memento mori on a beautifully

the artist around the globe. His exhibition work

decaying wall entitled ‘The Equilibrium’ in the

is site-specific, informed by the found objects

Murray Street car park. The piece depicting

he sources from each location. The artist’s main

two of his iconic characters is “based on the

body of work focuses on documenting the native

quote ‘life goes on.’ It came from the physical condition of the wall itself – that had seen many

fauna of the places he visits re-establishing them

gallery in 2011 in addition to his residency in

Phibs so that the message conveyed was, “Where

Yandell Walton

works. These batik textiles, prints, canvas works

Abdul Abdullah graduated from Curtin

Though the pair have evolved their artistic

Switzerland. His work is represented in the

animals on public walls for more than a decade.

After his first solo exhibition at the FORM

off the pastel creatures that are characteristic for

apply their contemporary designs to textile

Abdul Abdullah

works in galleries and non-traditional spaces

across Western Australia, and in Belgium and

to film, on walls and within digital platforms.

has been painting his large-scale depictions of

urban expansion.

focus on organic movement in his work plays

Yandell Walton, Melbourne, 2014. Photographer Lauren Dunn.

‘Someone Else’s King and Someone Else’s Countr’y, Abdul Abdullah, 2014.

Galleries in conjunction with PUBLIC.

Modern-day urban naturalist, Belgian artist ROA

within the habitats they may have lost due to

precision and movement.” Furthermore, Vans’

Singapore have been sharing their lives and

She has regularly exhibited her innovative art

brands such as Converse, Becks, and Absolut.

Infinitas, ROA, Perth, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

Centre for Concrete Art, designing the

Ryan Boserio Originally from Perth, Ryan Boserio is a

For PUBLIC, Remed created a beautiful work on

He is a founding member of the Australian

The duo of The Yok from Perth and Sheryo from

Shrink, Perth, 2014. Photographer Matt Biocich.

SHRINK Based in Perth, Dutch born artist SHRINK has a background in graphic design and

years and no doubt many things.” Mills also created a second work in Wolf Lane, a figure whose open cape invites viewers to embrace and be photographed with the character.

collections of the National Gallery of Australia,

through space. Beauty and joy are a big part of my life [and] I try to convey that in my work.”

The work he painted on the façade of the Turner Gallery in conjunction with Dear William and PUBLIC is entitled ‘Salve.’ The distinctive design was created from a stone-paving pattern found in the portico of a hostel in the historic town of New Norcia.

VJ Zoo, Perth, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

VJZOO VJZOO, a creative partnership of Jasper Cook and Kat Black, lead the way in VJ and live video

video tools to inform their creative practice. Their live performances and VJ courses have been in demand globally, and they have worked with diverse groups from musicians and dancers to circus performers and DJs. They Vans the Omega, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

Vans the Omega

have undertaken commissions for various

two ephemeral installations: “Human Effect

creatures who may or may not have connections

Abdullah on Project HOME for Underbelly Arts

In his work for the Dear William component of PUBLIC, Abdullah delved into aspects of the Muslim experience in Australia – a common theme throughout his artistic practice – as well as “ideas concerning identity in terms of

2013-2014” and “Transitions 2014.” Her digital

with Australian bushrangers.”6

projections mounted in Wolf and Munster Lanes

In addition to the Nasty Goreng exhibition, the

during the PUBLIC House festivities were unique

attitudes that potentially hinder or diminish

Yok and Sheryo participated in PUBLIC painting

aspects of the PUBLIC program that added

opportunities for intercultural dialogue.7”

a four panelled wall in the Murray Street car park

stunning interactive digital imagery intended

and a mural at the Turner Galleries carpark in

to engage passersby with ideas of sustainability

Northbridge.

‘otherness,’[hoping] to question adversarial

and impermanence within their architectural contexts. Through her artistic practice, she explores what constitutes human experience through emotional response to our world, human impact, and impermanence. Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.

festivals and Public Art projects and their work now increasingly explores highly visible urban

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

Based in Adelaide, Vans the Omega’s work is in

and public space opportunities for live video

demand throughout Australia. Like many street

performance, interactive projection and multi-

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah completed a Bachelor

artists, he began in his youth in the early 1990s

media work that engages a range of audiences.

of Arts in Fine Art from Curtin University of

starting with letter-based aerosol works.

Technology in 2012. In 2013 he held his lauded first major solo exhibition, Maghrib.


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Artist Profiles

Following this work he produced collaborative

In response to the common uses of space in the

exhibition, Project HOME, with his brother

Central William Street Precinct, Ayres created

Abdul Abdullah for the Underbelly Arts Festival.

work exhibited during Dear William that was

Recently, he was announced as an inaugural

intended to bring these ‘spaces in between’ to

recipient of Emerging Artists Program funding

light. By documenting the spaces, places, and

from Artsource, as well as being selected as

people of William Street in order to present

a finalist in the Blake Prize, Substation, and

them to the transient commuters in hopes of

FishersGhost Art Prizes. Abdullah was the

encouraging them to look and notice this ‘space

Western Australian recipient of the 2013 Qantas

in between’ he hoped to pique the interests of

Foundation Encouragement of Australian

William Street’s temporary inhabitants.9

Contemporary Art Award.

Mimi Mills/Anonymous 3/Riccardo Carrano, Nigel Bennet, 2014.

Nigel Bennet Nigel Bennet is a photographic artist based in Europe. His photographs have been exhibited across Australasia, Europe, and North America,

His participation in Dear William was a digital

his short films screened at the CannesFilm

projection of the moon, focusing on the

Festival, and he has undertaken residency

“relevance of lunar cycles as a common basis

projects in Colombia, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the

of the Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu religious

United Kingdom. In addition to numerous other

calendars. As a cyclical motif, the moon has

awards and prizes, in 2011 he was awarded a

represented the passage of time throughout

Santo Foundation Individual Artist Grant and

human history, relating the individual

won the Conscientious Portfolio Competition;

experience of observation to a perpetual process...8” The artist used his digital projection to re-examine the “pervasive nature of the

in 2012 he won the Onward Compe 12 Video Home System, Nathan Beard, 2014. Photographer Bewley Shaylor.

international photography competition and

Nathan Beard

was awarded a bursary by the Queen Elizabeth

create dialogue on the “subjective responses

Nathan Beard is an interdisciplinary artist whose

grants by the AsianCultural Council, New York,

to a universal presence.”

recent work investigates the myriad influences

USA and the Oppenheim – John Downes

of his Thai-Australian cultural heritage alongside

Memorial Trust, London, UK.

moon in an urban environment,” in order to

esoteric pop culture iconography. His work explores and deconstructs the tensions and shifting realignments between East/West, highbrow/lowbrow,and centre/periphery. Graduating with first class Honours from Curtin University of Technology in 2010, Beard has exhibited nationally since then, most notably as part of The Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Casey Ayres, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer Jean Paul Horre.

Casey Ayres

(GACPS). In 2012 he was a recipient of ArtStart funding from the Australia Council for the Arts,and in 2013 participated in a residency at

Casey Ayres produces work across a number

Speedy Grandma gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.

of disciplines, including photography, print,

In 2013 he was the recipient of JUMP funding

sculpture, and video, investigating and often

from the Australia Council for the Arts, allowing

subverting the iconography and rituals of

him to undertake mentorship from iconic Thai

masculinity. Ayres graduated from Curtin

artist Michael Shaowanasai.

University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts

His participation in PUBLIC through Dear

(Fine Art) and completed his first class

William was comprised of a series of interviews

Honours in 2010. In 2011, as part of The

and reflections entitled ‘Video Home

Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (GACPS)

System,’focusing on the way that commercial

collaboration, he was named as a participant

enterprises can satisfy the specific nostalgic or

in Next Wave Festival’s prestigious Kickstarter

cultural needs of the local Thai community by

mentorship program. Ayres held two solo

providing easy access to Thai entertainment

exhibitions at OK Gallery in 2011 and 2013,

and brands. The work was informed by footage

and he has contributed work to a number

shot on-location at two prominent Thai video

of group exhibitions locally, nationally,

and grocery stores in Northbridge.10

and internationally as part of the Pingyao

Scholarship Trust; and in 2013 he was awarded

Bennet undertook a residency and photographic project as part of Dear William. From March-April 2014, he worked to create a kind of virtual folk-museum of the Central William Street Precinct in collaboration with local residents: employing aural, textual, and photographic research methods to map the local psyche. The artist had a pop-up studio space open to passersby during the week of PUBLIC which displayed some of the photographic works from his William Street residency to engage the community to share local histories, opinions and anecdotes relevant to the area in question..11

1 Source: Andrew Frazer, artist response, email message to Margot L. Strasburger (19 May 2014) 2 Source: Beastman artist response, email message to Amy Plant (29 May 2014)

Source: Hyuro artist response, email message to Margot L. Strasburger (4 June 2014)

3

4 “Biography,” Remed personal website. Site accessed 12 June 2014, http://remed.es/web/biography/ 5 Sheryo - Artist Info, Personal Website. Site accessed 11 June 2014, http://www.sheryoart.com/about/ 6 The Yok – Artist CV, Personal Website. Site accessed 11 June 2014, http://theyok.com/content/Bio/ 7

Abdul Abdullah, artist’s statement, December 2013

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, artist’s statement, December 2013

8

Casey Ayres, artist’s statement, December 2013

International Photography festival. His

9

work is represented in a number of private

10

Nathan Beard, artist’s statement, March 2014

11

Nigel Bennet, artist’s statement, May 2014

collections andhas recently been acquired by Deutsche Bank.

Jordan Seiler, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.


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2014 | PUBLICATION

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ARTWORKKEY PERTH CITY AND NORTHBRIDGE 21

22

1.REKO RENNIE 2.MAYA HAYUK 3.ALExIS DIAz 4.HYURO 5.ELK 6.JORDAN SEILER + HEAvY PROJECTS 7.PIxEL PANCHO

34

8.ROA 9.JAz 10.STORMIE MILLS 11.HYURO 12.AMOK ISLAND 13.SHRINK 14.LUCAS GROGAN 15.MARTIN E WILLS FEAT. JAMES COOPER, JETSONORAMA, ELK, ANYA BROCK, HURBEN, ANDREW FRAzER, IAN MUTCH, PAUL DEEJ,

16.JETSONEROMA 17.JORDAN SEILER + HEAvY PROJECTS 18.PHIBS 19.vANS THE OMEGA AND PHIBS 20.PHIBS 21.STORMIE MILLS 22.THE YOK AND SHERYO 23.LAST CHANCE 24.PHLEGM

25.ROA 26.LAST CHANCE 27.BEASTMAN AND vANS THE OMEGA 28.GAIA 29. RYAN BOSERIO 30.EvER 31.PIxEL PANCHO 32.2501 33.THE YOK AND SHERYO

34.JAz 35.TREvOR RICHARDS

WEST LEEDERvILLE 36. EvER & GAIA

35

36

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Publication | 2014

2014 | Publication

Map

Join us as a

Connecting Globally

PUBLIC Patron

75

FORM is working toward the next evolution of PUBLIC in 2015. We invite you to join us in shaping our public: our public realm, our public life and our communities. Get involved as we research future sites for PUBLIC, where a mix of metropolitan

PUBLIC Salon exhibition opening, FORM Gallery, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

and regional locations will be selected. We welcome your ideas on where the world’s best talent might make their mark in Western Australia. Or make your PUBLIC contribution with essential financial support to realise this vision. As Bruce Mau noted: “Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank

“Congratulations Lynda and to the FORM

“Man, PUBLIC has made us really excited

Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao

team. Last week’s events brought an

to be living in Perth these last couple of

because his studio can deliver it on budget.

amazing buzz around town and the ongoing

weeks. Waiting for a coffee lately, you look

The myth of a split between “creatives” and

impacts are huge for Perth – dare I say

up, and there’s a giant figure leering down

‘transformational’. We owe you.”

at you from the Central TAFE building.

Chris Melsom, Principal Architect, Hassell Studio,

Sitting in traffic, suddenly notice a killer

Perth

python wrapped around a multi-level

“suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artefact of the past.’” Contact Lynda Dorrington or Rebecca Eggleston at mail@form.net.au to join your

international, national and local artists

in WA and I truly believe FORM has been

have been hitting Perth’s walls as part of

SHRINK PERTH www.facebook.com/kneadingashrink

a catalyst for a lot of the positive change

PUBLIC - shout outs to FORM for making it

and PUBLIC is just one of many examples

all happen.”

NATHAN BEARD PERTH beardworks.wordpress.com

STORMIE MILLS PERTH stormiemills.com

of the respect and attention Form attracts.

thethousands.com.au

NIGEL BENNET UK / USA www.nigelbennet.com

THE YOK PERTH/USA www.theyok.com

professionalism and ability to deliver socially

“PUBLIC was the largest, most professional,

conscious projects that have enhanced

generous, organised and well curated urban

PAUL DEEJ PERTH www.pauldeej.com

TREVOR RICHARDS PERTH trevorrichards.iinet.net.au

the cultural fabric of WA and help build its

art project I have ever been a part of. Big

PHIBS SYDNEY www.phibs.com

YANDELL WALTON MELBOURNE www.yandellwalton.com

reputation as a source of innovation and

thanks to all those at FORM for inviting

progression in the arts. ... I have had some

me over from Sydney to be involved, I am

dealings with other arts organisations both

baffled as to how many walls you were able

in WA and on the East coast and I have to

to get permission to paint, and have them

say that I’m proud to be associated with

all painted in a concentrated period of time.

FORM and the standard you set.”

Well done!”

Chris Nixon, Illustrator and FORM member, Perth

Beastman, Artist, Sydney

EVER ARGENTINA eversiempre.com

MARTIN E WILLS PERTH www.martinewills.com

SHERYO SINGAPORE/USA www.sheryoart.com

ABDUL ABDULLAH PERTH abdulabdullah.com

GAIA USA gaiastreetart.com

MAYA HAYUK USA www.mayahayuk.com

ABDUL-RAHMAN ABDULLAH PERTH abdulrahmanabdullah.com

HEAVY PROJECTS USA www.theheavyprojects.com

ALEXIS DIAZ PUERTO RICO cargocollective.com/alexisdiaz

HURBEN PERTH

AMOK ISLAND PERTH www.amokisland.com ANDREW FRAZER PERTH adfdesigns.com.au ANYA BROCK PERTH www.anyabrock.com BEASTMAN SYDNEY www.beastman.com.au CASEY AYRES PERTH christopherfordwalken.blogspot.de

IAN MUTCH PERTH www.ianmutch.com JAZ ARGENTINA www.francofasoli.com.ar JETSONORAMA USA speakingloudandsayingnothing.blogspot.com.au JORDAN SEILER USA www.republiclab.com/projects

CLARE MCFARLANE PERTH www.facebook.com/claremcfarlaneart

LAST CHANCE PERTH www.facebook.com/pages/LASTCHANCESTUDIOS/54892549388

ELK MELBOURNE www.elkstencils.com

LUCAS GROGAN MELBOURNE www.lucasgrogan.com

carpark! Large-scale urban artworks from “I’ve seen a significant shift in the art scene

2501 ITALY www.2501.org.uk

HYURO ARGENTINA www.hyuro.es

energy to the efforts behind PUBLIC.

PHLEGM UK www.phlegmcomics.com PIXEL PANCHO ITALY www.flickr.com/photos/pixelpancho/ REKO RENNIE MELBOURNE rekorennie.com

VANS THE OMEGA ADELAIDE vanstheomega.com VJ ZOO Perth vjzoo.com

I’ve always been impressed with FORM’s

REMED FRANCE remed.es/web

“FORM [and PUBLIC] is the best festival ever!

ROA BELGIUM roaweb.tumblr.com

Ever, Artist, Buenos Aires, Argentina

My mind and heart [are] still in Australia!”


76

PUBLICATION | 2014

2014 | PUBLICATION

Thank You!

Produced by FORM Edited and compiled by Rebecca Eggleston Designed by Folklore Brand Storytelling Printed by Scott Print

FORM would like to thank the all those who have made PUBLIC’s launch in 2014 possible, most importantly the artists, our sponsors, collaborators, volunteers and the public – YOU!

Copyright 2014

FORM gratefully acknowledges the support of:

All rights reserved. Copyright for written content and this publication are held by FORM unless otherwise noted. Copyright for artworks resides with the artist. Copyright for photographic images

Presented by:

is held by the individual photographer. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without Principal Partner of FORM and the 100 Hampton Road Project

Major Sponsors:

prior permission from the publisher.

Supporters and collaborators:

FORM is an independent non-profit that develops and leverages creativity for community William Street Artists in Residence

transformation and cultural development in Western Australia. We believe that the best most

Media: FORM gratefully acknowledges the support of Turner Galleries, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Eat Drink Perth, and the City of Subiaco.

vibrant places to live are the ones that nurture creativity, showcase cultural diversity, insist on quality and are shaped with people in mind.

FORM is supported by the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, and initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. FORM is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

+61 (0)8 9226 2799 mail@form.net.au

FORM would also like to thank the volunteers or collaborators who assisted with the delivery of this program.

8- “Urban artists to take over Department of Housing walls,” Department of Housing website, April 4, 2014 14- Anne Gartner, “Belgian Chocolate Artistry,” In My Community Online, April 1, 2014

www.form.net.au public.form.net.au

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Publication | 2014

Rap Panther, The Yok and Sheryo, Northbridge, 2014. Photographer David Dare Parker.

2014 | Publication

79


Hyuro, Perth, 2014. Photographer Luke Shirlaw.

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PUBLICATION - FORM Building a State of Creativity  

Featuring stunning photographs, beautifully written essays and commentary from leading writers, curators, artists and creative thinkers, thi...

PUBLICATION - FORM Building a State of Creativity  

Featuring stunning photographs, beautifully written essays and commentary from leading writers, curators, artists and creative thinkers, thi...

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