A light touch

RIVERS of molten light flow down the walls and across the floor of a darkened Fremantle Arts Centre gallery; its very fabric shaken by the roar and crackle of fire and shrieking winds.

Seated on a swag on a floor that seems to pulsate and writhe in orange and red, it was like being in Dante’s inferno.

Ancient art meets modern technology in a between Western Desert artist Ngamaru Bidu and multi-media artist Sohan Ariel Hays, transforming paintings into a light and sound show of epic proportions.

• Ella Barclay’s swimmers seem trapped in another dimension

• Ella Barclay’s swimmers seem trapped in another dimension

The Martu desert people use fire for hunting and keeping the countryside healthy (it promotes biodiversity), and it’s a central theme in Bidu’s paintings.

As the season changes the sensory mix of art and light moves into regeneration with an aqua blue flow of water and the subsequent blossoming of the desert – to the sounds of birds and insects. Overlaid with the soft tones of an Aboriginal women speaking in language it’s less frightening, but equally mesmerising.

Hayes helped create HOME for the opening event of the Perth International Arts Festival and is set to transform King’s Park with Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak in 2017.

Light Geist in the art centre’s main gallery shows three very different multi-media works, all based on light and sound.

• Ella Barclay.

• Ella Barclay.

Ella Barclay’s This Comes to You From the Past is a disturbingly surreal scene from a sci-fi movie, with contorted tubes rising out of two smoking beds of water suspended from the ceiling in the darkened hallway.

Projected on the floor below are obscured figures of swimmers,  filmed at the Fremantle pool.

Given an out-of-body aura by the artist, they appear trapped in another dimension.

It’s an exploration of the intersection of technology and humanity, Barclay says: “Technology that changes the way we understand place and time and our relationships to each other.”

Entry to FAC’s smaller gallery comes with a warning to viewers that it contains flashing lights.

Hive Mind personifies the relationship between human consciousness and the digital world as hexagons shift and change like a brain expanding and contracting.

It’s WA multidisciplinary artist’s Sam Price’s first static exhibition, with 400 hexagonal shapes measuring neurological activity and the relationship between human consciousness and the digital world.

Light Geist is on to January 22.


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