Prove your humanity

The latest exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) showcases a collection of interesting and versatile new work from especially young artists. The artwork for this Winter Exhibition caters well to everyones needs: with realism, experimentalism and contemporary art; showcasing the individual talent of each artist.

The most realistic feeling in the exhibition is delivered by Marcus Beilby, whose beautiful paintings show intimate glimpses of Fremantle’s everyday life in an explicitly detailed manner. Sightings is an exhibition of paintings like little windows; one providing a look into a pastry shop, and another into a bar. Beilby’s paintings are almost like photographs, painted with strong, natural colours, and an elaborate technique. Each time you look at them you find a small detail you didn’t notice before.

Claire Robertson’s video installation Far From Here takes you from Beilby’s pastry shop to the remains of a temporary mining camp her family called home in the 1980s. Four walls give the video clips and still scenes a multidimensional feeling; Robertson’s work engages the viewer through visual aesthetics and sound, but emotionally as well. Each scene awakens a different feeling. In Robertson’s own words it’s a love story; to viewers it might seem somewhat harsh and devastated – but something strong lays underneath the quiet, abandoned houses. This young artist’s first individual exhibition is an impressive and thought evoking experience.

Whereas Beilby and Robertson attract with reality, Trevor Bly and Patrick Doherty represent a more modern, contemporary vibe in the hallway of FAC. One Street From Happiness is a collaborative exhibition of the two West Australian artists, portraying locality, identity and spirituality in prints and paintings put together with various techniques. The general mood in these paintings is something melancholy, and the repetition of number 6025 is, at first, confusing, before you link it to the ‘postcode party’.

Next door to the postcode party, Jess Johnson’s work offers a set of fleshy, repetitive pictures and an interesting wallpaper installation. Even for a yoga enthusiast, the twisted positions of bodies on the wall cause momentary confusion due to their excessive quantity. Some of the works are reminiscent of album covers – like a pair of legs sticking out from a head, with a mouth made out of ovaries. Johnson’s work doesn’t lack detail either.

The winter exhibition also reveals Warp, a product of a partnership with Revelation, bringing together eight Victorian and Western Australian artists’ video works. There’s smartphones on the wall behind a curtain, a person wriggling on a beach in a mermaid-suit and a video-game character shooting herself constantly in the head. Warp is undoubtedly the part of this exhibition that raises the most questions and contradicting opinions. Watching a suicide on repeat is somewhat distressing, but it is not the only somehwat unenjoyable video-installation included in the exhibition. For those who enjoy contemporary art and really contemplating the artist’s meaning, these moving pictures are definitely the highlight.


FAC’s Winter Exhibition will be running until July 16.