Interactive fun

THEY say it’s for children, but I had an absolute ball when I took my kids to Fremantle Arts Centre’s latest exhibition Hundreds and Thousands.

The more interactive an exhibition the better, and this didn’t disappoint with everything from a fabric jungle you could explore to a trippy light show that transformed your body into a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The exhibition took full advantage of the cavernous rooms in the Arts Centre, filling them with bright explosions of primary colour and fun activities including adopting a creature called ‘Lump’, made from up-cycled clothes, and giant, odd-shaped cranks and handles you turn on a wall.

Hundreds and Thousands is the first major exhibition new FAC curator Glenn Iseger-Pilkington has really got stuck into since starting in May.

Prior to joining FAC, he held curatorial roles at the Art Gallery of WA, WA Museum Boola Bardip and the South Australian Museum, and had recently created his own arts consultancy.

The 39-year-old has worked in curatorial for 15 years and says a good exhibition can unite people from all different backgrounds and cultures.

“I personally believe that the most successful exhibitions create experiences that unpack the complexity and nuance of human experience, culture and ideology in ways that are courageous, bold and which connect to broad audiences beyond the art space,” Mr Iseger-Pilkington says.

“As a Nhanda and Nyoongar person, I’m passionate about creating opportunity for First Nations people across our organisation, and in supporting emerging curators, writers and artists to cultivate their careers in spaces that support and nurture.”

Mr Iseger-Pilkington says the centre is looking at ways of aligning its music concerts – usually held in the courtyard or lawn – and art exhibitions, so they complement one another.

Earlier this year, the FAC launched the innovative nightime event Leave the Lights On, which combined DJs, art, partying and performance.

“We’re also putting a lot of time to thinking about how we attract new audiences, new collaborators and new partners and have been working with our entire team to come up with new programming approaches, some of which we will announce in the not-too-distant future,” Mr Iseger-Pilkington says.

He says his first major curatorial project will be Undertow, which will open as part of the Perth festival in February next year.

“This exhibition, which will feature a number of newly commissioned works from artists living across Australia, will unpack the complex and multilayered relationships we have the oceans and seas, as places of tradition, turmoil and terror,” he says.

“Exploring themes from neo-colonialism, border politics to cultural custodianship and climate change, the exhibition asks us to consider ocean spaces and the incredible influence they have on our lives, looking back, looking around and looking forward.”

A Palmyra resident, Mr Iseger-Pilkington says he had worked with FAC on and off over the years, but was struck by the sense of community in Freo on going full-time.

“The one thing I have always known but which continues to amaze me is the generosity and sense of community within the arts here in Walyalup,” he says.

“The local community have been incredibly welcoming, reaching out to congratulate me, to say hello or talk a little about their work.”

Hundreds and Thousands is at the Fremantle Arts Centre until January 23.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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