Burrowing in

TWO exhibitions showing alongside each other – one by award-winning children’s author Shaun Tan – at the Fremantle Arts Centre provoke some interesting reflections on the state of modern society.

Tan’s Tales from the Inner City primarily explores the relationship between humans and animals.

The paintings, sculptures and sketches were the raw material from his picture book by the same name, Tan taking an urban landscape and displacing an animal within it.

Among elements of catastrophe, the works raise questions about what happens to the animal kingdom when natural habitats are overtaken by humans. They also delve into territory often covered by Tan, including technology, migration, displacement and loneliness.

Environmental collapse, disruptive technologies and modern society’s epidemic of anxiety are similarly themes explored within the Preppers exhibition showing alongside Tan’s.

Artists Tiyan Baker, Loren Kronemyer, Guy Louden, Dan McCabe and Thomas Yeomans were inspired by the doomsday prepping subculture, where people prepare for the destruction of the world by building bunkers, and storing food and weapons.

It includes sculpture, video, installation and hanging works. Preppers delves into internet and consumer culture and the actual experience within prepping communities.

While both exhibitions are explorations of a very different facet of modern life, they possess some strong similarities and will make for a very thought-provoking day at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Tales From The Inner City: Original Paintings and Preppers is on until January 27 from 10am-5pm at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

by ALEX MURFETT

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