When I finished my Diploma in Interior Design, I was very keen for some hands on experience. A chance came to volunteer for the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) and I emailed my acceptance in the subject line to be sure to catch attention!
The exhibition I was lucky enough to help out with installing was Hatched : National Graduate Art Show, an exhibition of final year art students from throughout the country, chosen by their respective art schools to compete for the $35 000 Schenburg Art Fellowship, now in it's 25th year.
I wasn't sure what to expect as the instructions were to wear old clothes. Well I did want to get hands on! I did a lot of sweeping, dusting and paintbrush cleaning but I also was able to help gallery attendants in their work and really loved being surrounded by the buzz of so many creative minds. I helped to hang a large canvas by Cat Mueller titled 'Dawn Fairy'. Cat also created a looping, swirling rainbow made of loom bands that compelled you to touch it.
Graham Mathwin from Perth used giant wall stickers - it was fascinating to watch these go up and being smoothed onto the wall. Many of the artist featured installations, as opposed to paintings hanging on the wall. Not only had these taken months to create, many of them had be dismantled and assembled for several exhibitions. I always wondered what was in the 'dark room' as I walked past in my search for drills, tape measures, etc. Turns out it was Louisa Magrics' crotcheted artwork 'Parabola'. Isn't it lit effectively!
These artists had travelled from all universities and colleges all over Australia at their own expense to show their work in this heritage listed building. The beautiful old wooden floors and lofty ceilings contrasting with the contemporary works.
I wondered where artist Eloise Genner had found an old house with all the furnishings so perfectly preserved. Eloise explained they were actually tiny scale models, with floors of pop sticks, walls of scrapbook paper and glue stiffened fabric made to billow like a curtain blowing in the breeze.
I've only featured a few artworks here and all the images are from PICA's wonderful website. If you want to see more and find out the winner, click on this link.http://pica.org.au/show/hatched-2016/
In closing, here I am, cleaning the paint trays on my final day of volunteering.