Where art meets culture
23 June 2011
A gigantic, white, inflatable hand appeared in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre (PCC) in late January. The hand was an unexpected sight that, overlaid on the well known landscape of the area, created a humorous and surprising rupture in the every day environment.
The appearance of the hand coincided with a number of greatly anticipated events in the PCC, including the extremely successful Fringe World, the opening of the new State Theatre Centre and other Perth International Arts Festival events.
The playful work by Melbourne artist Carl Scrase is the first piece in a twelve month public art program commissioned by EPRA, in partnership with the Department of Culture and Arts. Throughout 2011, the works of several emerging and successful West Australian, interstate and international artists will be on display in the newly transformed cultural heart of Perth. The program will focus on temporary and ephemeral public art, including installations, performances and events and will be.run under the vision of a single curator.
EPRA is revitalising Northbridge - creating places where people will want to work, live, visit and stay. A number of short term works have revitalised the PCC making it a favourite meeting place and premier events destination
CEO Tony Morgan believes incorporating public art into EPRA’s redevelopment areas enhanced the visual appeal of an area, drawing people in and encouraging them to stay a while, connect with others and enjoy the space.
The public art program promotes a curated approach to the site rather than pursuing the installation of single, stand-alone works. It also sets up a program over an extended period of time, which provides the opportunity for some continuity in the engagement with the space. Most significantly, the ephemeral program promotes an approach to public art that takes visitors on a journey of surprise.
There is something intrinsically dynamic about ephemeral art – its brief duration and reliance on word of mouth to publicise its existence, the way it appears often unannounced, and the short burst of change it brings to a site. Whether subtle and quiet or grandiose and spectacular, these works are brief interventions in a space that have the ability to create a new experience for visitors.
In planning the program, a key consideration has been how the works respond to the space and to provide both the accidental viewer and art audiences with a meaningful interaction with contemporary art works that are entertaining, thoughtful and impressive.
In addition to providing a different experience of the PCC, EPRA’s public art program gives artists the opportunity to respond to a highly relevant and contested site. Importantly, it also provides input into the local arts scene with the presence of relevant national and international artists who will not only showcase their work in the site but also connect and converse with local practitioners and industry people. It is an exciting initiative that has the potential to grow into a sustained approach to the Perth Cultural Centre.
View the PCC's public art pieces on the Perth Cultural Centre website.