Emerging from the shells of art schools across Australia, the latest batch of visual arts graduates take over the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) for the ‘Hatched National Graduate Show 2020’, on show until 18 October.
From painting, sculpture, and drawing, to installation, video, and sound work, this annual exhibition offers an intriguing snapshot of the nation’s current contemporary art practices and trends and the role of arts education in fostering critical thought. This year outlines the personal and political concerns of 24 artists who raise questions of identity, political protest, and media consumption. They range from intensely personal subjects of family histories, gender identity and mental health, to global issues of surveillance culture, medical capitalism and the politics of appearing in a crowd.
Highlights include; Jody Ralah, a descendant of the Biri Gubba, Warangu and Yuggera peoples, presents her large-scale installation, 250 Years (The Coolamon Project), a community-based project featuring 250 ceramic coolamons, traditionally used by Aboriginal women to carry tools, food and water. In contrast, Emma Hutton’s sculptural installation, Timber Skin, features more than 5,000 hand-drawn, laser-cut timber pieces, threaded together with fine wire to form a scaled surface. Metaphorically soak in Michelle Vine’s sensory-inspired bathtub lined with foam and faux fur with an audio track of whispered affirmations or experience her tactile installation, Surrogates for Social Touch, composed of everyday household objects reimagined as tools for self-soothing. Alternatively, learn about some local history with Siahne Rogers’ creative response to her grandfather’s fantastical biography as the founder of the iconic Fast Eddy’s restaurant empire in Perth.
PICA has introduced a range of digital initiatives, including a virtual guided tour and online artist-created activities for some at-home creativity, as well as interviews shared across their social media platforms. Stay tuned for the announcement of the $50,000 Schenberg Art Fellowship and the Hatched artist residency, in partnership with North Metropolitan TAFE.