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Young Creatives Blog
Sunday 7 February 2016
On the 3rd and 4th of February, I had the opportunity to help with the installation of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s The Secret Garden at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). I was greeted by the Front of House manager, Emma Burswell, who introduced me to PICA’s installation team: Leigh Robb, Curator; Nadia Johnson, Exhibition Manager; and the other volunteers.
The first day started with a swift tour of the building given by Emma and shortly after, we were given our first jobs which consisted of sweeping the floors, lifting boxes and storing televisions from the previous exhibition.
Afterwards, the other volunteers and I were assigned to paint the white walls of the PICA building grey to complement the short films and animations that are going to be projected on the walls. I certainly underestimated this task and doing a paint job could definitely pass off as a strenuous arm workout! My aching arms and neck, however, were soothed by Djurberg’s Waterfall Variation (top left) and We are not two, we are one (top right) which were accompanied by Berg’s appeasing music.
Whilst coming back from my lunch break, I briefly got to introduce myself and meet the artists who were so lovely and approachable.
The Secret Garden brings an array of handmade sculptures (top left and right) by Djurberg from a range of materials (latex, fibreglass, papier-mâché) and theywere carefully placed all around the main floor of the building, allowing a more interactive experience for the visitors.
On the second day, I was greeted with both new and friendly faces who were already working on getting the gallery ready for the exhibition. As I arrived later in the day, most of the major paint jobs were finished and I was asked to help with creating blue transparent sheets for the lights which I found surprisingly meditative. I also had a delightful conversation with the curator, Robb, and she told me more about the artists and their exhibition, as well as future plans.
Throughout the day, I got to watch Berg work on the installation of The Secret Garden (top left and right) and the amount of effort he put into making things look right was really motivating and inspiring.
This is Djurberg and Berg’s first time exhibiting in Western Australia and their work brings a variety of art, ranging from sculptures to claymation. The Secret Garden is the main exhibition which consists of a claymation film about a shaman rabbit and the collection of sculptures photographed above. The artists’ previous projects will also be exhibited, including It’s the Mother (an extremely graphic, albeit very mesmerising, claymation film) and an untitled piece which involves tables and ten popsicle sticks. All of Djurberg’s short films are complemented by the music of Berg, so both visual and auditory senses are stimulated.
I was only there on the first few days of the installation, but I am positive that the exhibition will be wonderful, especially with the amount of work that has been put in by the artists and PICA’s installation team. The opening night is on 11 February and the exhibition runs until 24 April. I hope to see everyone there!
Young Creative: Visual Arts