Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fremantle Arts Centre x Light Geist | #localloves

Fremantle Art's Centre (FAC) has to be one of my favourite places. For starters, it is situated in my favourite towns in Perth. Named one of the top towns by Lonely Planet earlier this year, there is always something quirky going on in Fremantle, such as live music acts, art exhibitions and festivals. But even if one were to brush these attractions aside, Fremantle is generally one of the nicest places to chill out: it has the beach, a plethora of local businesses and more cafes than you can poke a stick at.

FAC to me embodies everything good about this port city town. Once an asylum, the historic building and surrounding premises was transformed into an art gallery with a stunning courtyard cafe. On a recent visit, I not only indulged in some treats from said cafe, but also in the recent exhibition Light Geist. And I was truly mesmorized.

While the works don't translate all that well through my photos, they were absolutely breathtaking. The program described the works in the exhibition as 'throwing light to transform the gallery. Projected light in Light Geist does not rest lightly on a flat surface. Rather, it enlivens architectural space, animates three dimensional forms, and even makes the ground beneath us seethe...the light is powerfully generative and creates energised landscapes'. These landscapes were immersive to a whole other degree.

The third image is an animated piece of a work by Aboriginal artist Ngamaru Bidu titled Walyja Ngurra. Aboriginal art is highly intricate and is never the case of 'what you see is what you get'. Without knowledge of Aboriginal art and how the artists envision, depict and see their native land, it can be hard to understand. This particular piece is drawn from the landscapes that the artist calls home and relies heavily on the use of waru (fire). Painted form an aerial perspective, it is 'charged with 'information about plant species, the multiple stages of regeneration, Bidu's narrative of walking through this country with her family, and their deep ancestral connection to these places'. A highly interactive piece, visitors can walk through the space and 'bathe in intense chromatic light'. In doing so, the animator of Bidu's work hoped to emulate what paintings to Martu artists such as Bidu are like; that is, 'animate; charged with the country they paint...ancient, ever evolving and filled with knowledge'.

The first two images are from a piece I found particularly impressive. Titled Hive Mind, the artist Sam Price explores 'the relationship between human consciousness and the digital world' through his installation. Consisting hexagonal foam shapes assembled on a wall, the hive mind 'flickers with points of light and creates the illusion of the cerebral form physically undulating and pulsing with neural energy'. These projections were directly based off scans of the artists brain which gave fascinating insight into the workings of his mind and how it responds to stimulants such as screens and digital technology. 

There was also one other piece on display that I was sadly unable to capture. Overall, Light Geist was one of the most phenomenal exhibitions I have had the pleasure of experiencing this year. I never know what to expect when I visit FAC, but I always know that I will walk away seeing, thinking and contemplating the world differently. 

Find out more about FAC here

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