Perth Festival 2021

From 5 to 28 February ‘Perth Festival’ will energise the City’s centre with an extraordinary program of theatre, music, film, visual art, dance, conversations and more. The theme of Bilya (river) is at the core of the Festival’s inspiration. Bilya is also deeply connected to the creation story of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River) region through the presence of the Wargl (serpent), the embodiment of all fresh water sources for Whadjuk Noongar people.

Festival highlights include ‘City of Lights’ at the Perth Cultural Centre, which brings an immersive 360-degree spectacle of music, projection and animation to audiences. Step into the new WA Museum Boola Bardip for ‘Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters’, an exhibition featuring 300 paintings and objects, as well as song, dance, photography and multimedia. Join Noongar performer Ian Wilkes for an interactive walking performance on-country. Alongside an oral history presented by Elder Doolan-Leisha Eatts, Wilkes takes participants on a step back in time to the 1830s with his retelling of a number of largely unknown stories of the Galup area. Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery presents ‘Dislocation’ a survey exhibition by Olga Cironis who explores migration and otherness through creative practice, and John Curtin Gallery hosts ‘Everything is True’, a retrospective of Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s work.

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, The Dogs, 2017, carved wood, stain, chandeliers, 300 x 500 x 500cm. Courtesy the artist and Perth Festival, South Australia

‘Perth Festival 2021 is a love song to this place – to its people, its artists, its stories, its river,’ says Artistic Director Iain Grandage. ‘We hope this Festival will be a beacon for us to gather around in all our wonderful diversity here on Noongar Boodjar.’