Leaping from the lab to the gallery

BLOOD, silk and heart muscle have gone into Bricolage, a confronting installation by Nathan Thompson, Guy Ben-Ary and Sebastian Diecke.

Part of the Perth Festival, it’s on at the Fremantle Art Centre, but don’t expect buckets of gore.

“Blood cells have been reverse engineered back to stem cells,” Thompson, says.

They have been used to create delicate, pulsating heart muscles.

“A prototype biobot… living entities we have bio-engineered.”

Science fact

It uses “ground breaking” technology created in Japan some years ago.

“Everyone thinks it’s science fiction but it’s science fact,” Thompson says.

The instillation is a space-ship like craft suspended from the ceiling in a dimly lit gallery.

“Portholes” allow visitors to see the delicate biobots inside.

“It’s a vessel of care, able to support life outside the human body,” the artist says.

It’s part of the University of WA’s SymbioticA, bringing scientists and artists together, in order to make science more accessible to the general public.

“We are taking it out of the laboratory and putting it into the gallery,” Thompson says.

“This technology exists so we need to talk about it in the public sphere. At the moment the only ones talking about it are scientists and pharmaceutical corporations.”

Also exhibiting is John Prince Siddon’s All Mixed Up, and Butcher Cherel Janangoo’s work simply titled Janangoo.

Mixed Up is a major solo exhibition with newly commissioned paintings, sculpture and installations.

Siddon, a Walmajarri man based in Fitzroy Crossing, spent his early years working on cattle stations, until losing a leg in a riding accident.

His art combines diverse influences drawn from television, traditional Kimberley boab nut carving, desert iconography and epic dreamtime characters.

Janagoo, who died in 2009, was a key Gooniyandi elder, also in the Kimberley.

Curated by Lynley Nargoodah it’s a glimpse into the artists’ cultural and physical environment.

Exhibitions run till March 22.


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