Perth Cultural Centre

Past Interventions

Jonathan Jones 
Untitled (car parks)
29 March - 29 April 2012
Underground car park below the State Library (enter through James street pedestrian entrance). 

Jonathan Jones, Untitled (car parks), 2012.

Continuing his investigation of space, structures and ephemeral architecture Jonathan Jones has developed a site-specific work that takes a new approach to the space of the cultural centre by presenting three sculptural forms entirely below ground – his works will inhabit the underground car park below the state library.

“untitled (car parks) 2012 is a site-specific artwork which sits within my ongoing practice where cultural patterns, as mapped out in fluorescent lights, are sheathed in the banal and pervasive material of blue tarpaulin”.

“The physicality of the structure quotes the principles of ephemeral architecture where rules are bent, reinterpreted and broken to allow the construction of places like homes and shelters. This in turn encourages the viewer to re-imagine their own environment and the concept of ‘home’. untitled (car parks) then draws upon recurring concerns in my practice, in particularly the notion of creating a sense of shared space and evoking a common memory by working with domestic materials, minimal form and designs, and historical moments of bicultural relationships”.

Download the Jonathan Jones Catalogue Essay by Clotilde Bullen - Indigenous Curator at the Art Gallery of WA, here (pdf).

Thea Costantino and Tim Cunniffe
Siren, with the Churchlands Choral Society 
23 March - 15 April 2012, 7pm nightly
Duration: 10 minutes 
PICA Tower

Launched on Friday 23 March 2012, as part of the program of ephemeral public art in the Perth Cultural Centre is a new work developed through collaborations between artist Thea Costantino (WA), composer Tim Cunniffe (WA) and local choir, the Churchlands Choral Society. 

Siren by Thea Costatino and Tin Cunniffe with the Churchlands Choral Society...

Join Thea, Tim and members of the Churchlands Choral Society for a conversation on the work at 6:30pm on Friday 25 at the PICA bar, followed by the launch of the work at 7:00pm. 

Tim and Thea’s talk follows the open studio talk by artist Robbie Karmel in the PICA Tower Studio starting at 6:00pm.

Nightly, when darkness falls, the aural landscape of the Perth Cultural Centre will be temporarily transformed. The PICA tower will glow with a beckoning light and transmit a flood of voices: a musical composition and a layered soundscape. This evocative work loosely references the maritime symbols of the lighthouse, which guides lost ships away from a hazardous shore, and the siren, whose haunting voice lures sailors to their deaths. 

Nathan Coley
Friday 24 February - 26 March 2012
Perth Cultural Centre 

Presented by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Department of Culture and the Arts and Artsource.


Curatorial Statement

As part of the program of ephemeral public art in the Perth Cultural Centre we are very proud to present a work by internationally acclaimed artist Nathan Coley - WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR GARDEN.

The ten-metre long work is a text piece constructed from aluminium letters and fairground lights supported by a scaffolding frame and will be installed on the rooftop of the car park entrance and amenities building across from the Art Gallery of WA.

Coley is an eminent Scottish artist and Turner prize nominee, whose practice is based on the exploration of public space and the social aspects of our built environment.

Artist Statement

"All of the text works I make are found from an existing source; from stories I have heard, popular song titles, radio programs or written texts,” Coley says. “We Must Cultivate Our Garden is a quote from the last line of the book Candide, written by French author Voltaire in 1759. It is commonly held up as a masterwork of the Enlightenment.”

WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR GARDEN has garnered worldwide praise since first being conceived in 2006 and has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe including Edinburgh, Paris and Stockholm.

WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR GARDEN  is presented courtesy of the artist and Haunch of Venison (London).

pressure/Compression (2007, 7mins)
Screened daily in the Perth Cultural Centre 

Screened daily in the Perth Cultural Centre until 22 January, 10:00am and 6:45pm

Elise/Jurgen, pressure/Compression

On the large LED screen Elise/Jurgen’s  Pressure/Compression is the latest work in the ongoing program of ephemeral public art in the Perth Cultural Centre.This emerging dynamic duo have been producing some very exciting and sophisticated video work  – one of their strongest pieces to date Pressure/Compression is a mesmeric and poetic work on the idea of collaboration, through a consideration of rivalry, dependence and support.

Brendan Van Hek – The Shark Net
Perth Cultural Centre
30 December - 31 January 2012

Brendan Van Hek, The Shark Net.

Curatorial Statement

"Coming up, in the line up of projects of ephemeral public art in the Perth Cultural Centre, is a new light work by local artist Brendan Van Hek.

Based on the iconic novel by Robert Drewe, The Shark Net, Brendan produces a series of text pieces that are rendered in yellow neon. The text pieces are both a continuation of Brendan’s use of neon as a primary material and also his clean, lyrical text works.  

Exhibited in the windows of PICA, the Art Gallery of WA, the Museum and the Library, the neon works connect the space between the main cultural institutions and invite viewers to walk through, reading their way around the open public space of the Cultural Centre."

pvi collective – resist
Urban Orchard
Saturday 12 November, 2011, 11am – 1pm

pvi collective - resist

resist is a participatory performance work that invites audiences to step up and champion a cause using the ancient art of tug-of-war. Over the course of two hours, participants publically wage war one-on-one with the pvi conflict resolution team over a series of issues that the community feels passionate about, using only a 10m length of rope, their physical prowess and the spirit of their own convictions. For this version of resist it’s time to find out, once and for all, what the citizens of Perth want and need from the Cultural Centre.

This is a one-day event.

Don't miss it!

Huseyin Sami   Painting Machine No. 10
Perth Cultural Centre
Saturday 5 November, 2011, 11.30am - 12.30pm

Painting Machine by Huseyin Sami

A new non-permanent public art project brings to the Perth Cultural Centre Huseyin Sami’s distinctive approach to painting.
The Sydney based artist has been working on the idea of a painting machine, a structure that essentially allows a ‘painting to paint itself’.
Huseyin’s artwork is active, vibrant and has a strong element of humour.
For the Perth Cultural centre Huseyin will set up a cluster of painting machines Painting Machine no. 10 (group) for a one-day event.
Don’t miss this participatory paint-pouring performance

A new non-permanent public art project brings to the Perth Cultural Centre Huseyin Sami’s distinctive approach to painting.The Sydney based artist has been working on the idea of a painting machine, a structure that essentially allows a ‘painting to paint itself’. Huseyin’s artwork is active, vibrant and has a strong element of humour. For the Perth Cultural Centre, Huseyin will set up a cluster of painting machines Painting Machine no. 10 (group) for a one-day event.

Don’t miss this participatory paint-pouring performance.

Laura Adel Johnson  marigold
Vacant Space, 206 William Street, Northbridge 
9 September - 9 October, 2011, 4pm - 3am daily


Curatorial Statement

"In her distinctive drawing style, using fairy lights to delineate a form, Laura Adel Johnson brings an elegant figurative work to the vacant space on the corner of William and James Street. Illuminated from early evening, the work brings to life one of Northbridge's busiest corners. The rich bunches of lights that make up the drawing and then spill across the wooden floors create a point of attraction that draws viewers from the street and passing cars, bringing a transforming energy to the intersection."

 Consuelo Cavaniglia, 2011.


marigold by Laura Adel Johnson, 2011. Photo by Eva Fernandez. marigold by Laura Adel Johnson, 2011. Photo by Eva Fernandez.

Artist's Statement

"In my recent work I have been inspired by cultural ceremonies and festivals that make shrines to venerate gods, saints and the dead. In particular I have been researching el Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday where people create shrines to commemorate the life of their loved ones. Adorned with candles, fruit and marigold flowers, these shrines are elaborate, entrancing and joyful tributes to family and loved ones. 

Light has been a key element in my practice. In my most recent work, I have chosen to represent and celebrate the female form, creating lustrous, glowing portraits. I am interested in representing the female nude as an empowered image, highlighting its delicate and elegant form. In this two-dimensional light drawing I aim to make a ‘shrine-like’ installation that is a tribute to everyday beauty and intimacy." 

- Laura Adel Johnson, 2011.

Urban Orchard
8 August – 5 September, 2011

Bevan Honey’s PUSHMEPULLYOU IN UTOPIA is the new intervention in the Perth Cultural Centre – from Monday 8 August to Monday 5 September, 2011. 

Curatorial Statement

"Light, minimal and lively Bevan’s work brings fluorescent coloured bird houses and animal traps to the urban orchard. Engaging as sculptural forms these small interventions can be read on a number of levels, from insights into taming nature, nurture/destruction, to considerations on the structure of our urban dwellings and references to modernist aesthetics.”  

 - Consuelo Cavaniglia, 2011.

PUSHMEPULLYOU IN UTOPIA by Bevan Honey, 2011. Photo by the artist. PUSHMEPULLYOU IN UTOPIA by Bevan Honey, 2011. Photo by Eva Fernandez.

Artist’s Statement

“Located in the city’s Cultural Centre, the orchard can be seen as an attempt to introduce a structured version of nature to the urban environment, and lends itself to discussions surrounding urban habitation, pre and post colonial survival strategies, places of exchange, and Perth as a business centre. The idea is to place a number of brightly coloured rudimentary animal traps around the orchard, in conjunction with a number of birdhouses mounted to existing light poles.

Together the works can be read on many levels; the bright fluorescent colours of the trap seduces the viewer into focussing on aesthetic concerns and sculptural potential of their forms in relation to the built forms of the orchard, whilst denying them the camouflage needed for their intended function. In parallel, the birdhouses will also employ a modernist aesthetic, relating to the structural order of the orchard and our own urban dwellings. Similar to the traps, they will also be brightly coloured denying them any camouflage from predators, and although they will remain functional as potential homes for birds, they will ultimately also fail. The intersection of the two elements for this project is the tension between the destructive nature of the traps, and the nurturing aspect of the birdhouses - that is to say that the traps themselves become a point of nurture (for human consumption/control) and birdhouses themselves can be considered as some form of trap (for taming/controlling nature).” 

- Bevan Honey, 2011.

PUSHMEPULLYOU IN UTOPIA by Bevan Honey, 2011. Photo by Eva Fernandez. PUSHMEPULLYOU IN UTOPIA by Bevan Honey, 2011. Photo by Eva Fernandez.


Bennett Miller, NRVS SYSTM
WA Museum Old Gaol Residency
Mid June – Mid July 2011

Video Portals – various locations within the Perth Cultural Centre through August 2011

Bennett Miller is in residence at the WA Museum Old Gaol from Mid June – Mid July 2011 and will present selected works through video portals in August 2011.

Curatorial Statement

"Spurned by the outside world, Bennett Miller has recently been sentenced to a one month 'residency' inside the old gaol of the Perth Museum. During this time he will investigate the many relics and beasts that reside within the museum. Miller will study the histories that are represented both by the site in a physical sense, and within the site as a functioning museum. He will look at the manner in which these overlapping histories are reconstructed for an audience. The re-presentation of history and the 'language' of display therein, is a persistent interest for the artist throughout his previous works. He will then construct 'sets' within the old gaol site, to produce photographs and short films with a variety of subject matter."

 - Consuelo Cavaniglia, 2011.

NRVS SYSTM by Bennett Miller, 2011. Photo by the artist.

Artist’s Statement

“The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous system of vertebrates (such as humans) contains the brain, spinal cord, and retina. The peripheral nervous system consists of sensory neurons, clusters of neurons called ganglia, and nerves connecting them to each other and to the central nervous system.

NRVS SYSTM reinterprets this idea for the Perth Cultural Centre. Four black boxes spread throughout the PCC act as the (video) peripheral system, each containing a video of animal or plant. Each individual component responds to the aspect of the (cultural) central ‘system’ that it is located closest to. There are two boxes aligned to the Perth Museum building, and one each for the Art Gallery of WA and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. Connections can also be made through observing the degree of movement in each image. These ‘signs of life’ refer not only to the individual components, but to the (cultural) system as a whole.”

 - Bennett Miller, 2011.

Matthew Hunt Bomb da Site
Perth Cultural Centre 
9 March - 27 May, 2011

Bomb da Site
involves the temporary installation of large scale black and white text in various locations in the Perth Cultural Centre. Regular visitors will experience the project evolving as different words and phrases appear in different locations over the two month project.

Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt. Photo by Eva Fernandez Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt. Photo by Eva Fernandez Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt. Photo by Eva Fernandez

Artist’s Statement

“As the name implies the Cultural Centre is deemed to be the epitome of Western Australian culture. It is within this framework – the notion of Centre, of Excellence, of Knowledge, of Collection, of Expertise – that my work will couch its critique. It is natural to do so – this is the way culture changes and how it informs who we are.

My work introduces texts into the site, these texts are in essence ambiguous due to the open-ended nature of the short phrases or word combinations. I avoid using texts in a didactic manner as I aim to engage people in a way that validates their own life experiences. The texts can seem incongruous but they act to build upon each other, teasing the viewer into thinking about possible contexts to where they are and what we are both in a contemporary sense and a historical sense.”

- Matthew Hunt, 2011.

Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt, 2011. Photo by Consuelo Cavaniglia. Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt, 2011. Photo by Consuelo Cavaniglia. Bomb da Site by Matthew Hunt, 2011. Photo by Consuelo Cavaniglia. 

Carl Scrase Generative Power of Opposites
Perth Cultural Centre
28 January - 7 February, 2011

Developed through the SPLENDID program, Carl Scrase's work is a 14 metre inflatable sculpture based on a 3D scan of the artist's hand doing a 'V' symbol.

Curatorial Statement

"Born out of the gesture made by hundreds of hands held up high above people's heads at concerts, the experience at Splendor in the Grass (a partner in the SPLENDID program) stayed with the artist, who translated this ubiquitous gesture into an oversized art work. Depending on where you stand in relation to the hand, the gesture can seem either peaceful or aggressive; yet never too menacing, as the soft white sculpture remains light and entertaining."

 - Consuelo Cavaniglia, 2011.

Generative Power of Opposites by Carl Scrase, 2011. Photo by Consuelo Cavaniglia.

Artist's Statement

“My generation has seen both the peace and punk movements fail before us. We became disheartened; we started to believe our actions were ineffectual. We gave up! But we are remobilising, we can sense a new way and we have new tools for mass communication. We are forming world-wide networks and counterbalancing those with localised communities of real-world friends. We are the new silent revolution.

The work is about transcending oppositional perspectives and finding a third way, not through argument, but through acknowledgement and communication. It is all about recognising that others have different perspectives than you - and that is great.”

- Carl Scrase, 2011.