Those of you who follow O&P on Facebook and Instagram will have noticed an influx over the past week of photos posted that appeared to show Perth undergoing some form of transformation; its blank walls turned to canvases which came to life with the stroke of a brush or roller or steady handed stream of aerosol.
|The artists of Last Chance Studios|
Maybe you even saw for yourself in person the larger than life creations on these walls, in the alleyways and tucked away lanes. In the most unexpected of places.
|From left to right: Last Chance Studios, ROA, Phlegm, Last Chance Studios|
So, what's it all about right?
Form, a not-for-profit Western Australian based organization put together a program by the name of PUBLIC, which included both Perth and the Pilbara. Can't forget those living above the 26th parallel after all. Reminiscent of street art initiatives and festivals seen in other countries, Form pulled together some of the most talented and recognized digital, street and visual artists to descend onto the streets of Perth to create their magic. Over a period of nine days, 45 artists were to turn 30 ordinary spaces into public works of arts. Accessible to all people. Not tucked behind Plexiglas or secured within the walls of museums or galleries but for all to see, appreciate and enjoy.
Local Perth and West Aussie artists were joined by those who came from around Australia and the world. It is impossible for me to provide you with a complete roll call but it included artists such as Phlegm (UK), Stormie Mills (Perthie), Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico), Maya Hayuk (USA), Phibs (Syd-en-ay) and so many, many more. For many it was their first time to Perth and Australia and from those that I spoke to, they were most impressed with our city. The weather also put on its best, showing off that we can still have perfect beach weather in the middle of autumn. Regardless of where they hail from, these are all respected figures in the art world.
It was a chance for people to see art being created live, right in front of them. To witness the undeniable skill and talent that one requires to do what they do.
|Stormie Mills and puppy|
Over the nine days Form put together a number of events, of which I tried to attend as many as I was humanly able to. I spent a day as a volunteer for Form and had the privilege of 'helping' (I use that term very loosely...I sat in the shade, he painted) one of the artists, Jaz, who had come straight off of many hours flying from Argentina and went right into it painting one of the walls at Turner Galleries. A total trooper, especially working the entire day under the sun. Must I say again, I sat in the shade.
Friday night was the Public Salon event held at Form. It was bursting at the seams with a licorice all sorts of people, a testament that this art is appreciated by many and not just a select niche group of people who like 'that sort' of art. The great part about Salon is that they've included work by many more local artists that are available for purchase, in addition to pieces by those who are formally part of the Public program. Don't sleep on the talent we have in Perth. We have a lot of it.
|E.L.K and Anya Brock|
|The Yok & Sheryo|
|The Yok & Sheryo, Phlegm in the background|
Although many of the artists have now finished up and left, some headed to the Pilbara and others wherever else the next departure out of Perth Airport takes them, their work will remain. In my opinion, one of the best aspects of what Form has put together is the extent to which it has been embraced by the public as well as the city councils and corporates. If you like what Form has done, you can support them by becoming a member. It's pretty cheap, it's easy and being a not-for-profit organization, membership is vital to them; trust me, state government funding is stingy.
Perth is now home to works of art created by some of the biggest and best. The artists who've put their stamp on Perth have done the same in cities all around the world - New York, Miami, Sao Paolo, Paris and on and on. You can't stepchild Perth any longer. Word.
|Beastman and Vans the Omega|