Sunday, February 26, 2017

North by Southeast, an International Art Space Project

Artist in residence - Gustav Hellberg

For the past few weeks lucky Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe townsfolk have been hanging out with artist-in-residence Gustav Hellberg. A project which sees ‘International Art Space’ partner with Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council in a Nordic Artist exchange has well and truly begun to evolve. Much was revealed at an artist talk held at the Hopetoun Community Centre on the evening of Tuesday 21st February. An exhibition of sorts was shown. Gustav shared Things That Get in Our Way, an installation comprised of part video and part experimental device. The audience was invited to interact directly with the gamma ray detection device and follow the artist's self-described "futile quest" to explore invisible and, to most people, unknown power issues.

Amusing and thought provoking, Gustav’s Artist Talk included examples of his past artistic work, and talked through his evolving idea for the ‘Ravensthorpe/ Hopetoun Project’ which is to be titled Dreamtime in West Australia. This art project is to be an updated version of a piece that was made last spring in the Swedish town Varberg, titled Future Scanner

During his February visit, Gustav video interviewed locals about their hopes and dreams for the future, and captured go pro and drone footage out and about the area. All of this is part of the project end-plan, which will include strategically placed flashing light works depicting an open and diverse society, and will ultimately be presented in video format.

We will miss Gustav's suave and intelligent presence, but not for too long. The project will continue with Gustav’s return sometime after August 1st 2017 and he hopes to include youth film workshops, and involve school children in part two of the filming & film collage. Using Gustav’s words, “Children are the Future”.

Gustav very much enjoyed his first visit to Australia and his time spent amongst the Hopey & Ravy locals. He was particularly impressed with the positive and helpful attitudes, noting people were keeping in high spirits despite the devastation that unfolded just after his arrival. Mr Hellberg also enjoyed "Chase the Ace", immersing himself right into our Aussie culture!

Thank you to the volunteers who hosted Gustav for luncheons, dinners, coffee dates, tours and such. For this project to reflect our area appropriately a showcase of the diversity of our townsfolk and society was absolutely imperative. A special mention goes to First Quantum Minerals for suppling Gustav’s accommodation for the duration of his stay. Needless to say, he was delighted waking to the sound of the ocean daily.

“The traces we leave in nature, that we have left here in Hopetoun says a lot about us and our history. Maybe it can tell us about the future? Places, roads, structures, people. Who cares about the future?” Gustav Hellberg.

The Project is presented as a part of spaced 3: north by southeast, International Art Space’s recurring event of context-responsive art.

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest. Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council is also supported by the Department of Regional Development and Royalties for Regions.

Photo credits, Lisa Wilson, Jackie Edwards, Dianne Belli.

International Art Space (IAS) is a leading West Australian arts organisation specializing in commissioning socially engaged and context-responsive art projects. 
IAS was established in 1998 by a team comprising two farmers, Tony York and Donna Dransfield, and two arts professionals from Perth, artist Rodney Glick and writer/curator Marco Marcon. Until 2009 IAS’ operations were carried out in and around the small town of Kellerberrin, in the Western Australian Wheatbelt. There, under the name IASKA (International Art Space Kellerberrin Australia), IAS ran a gallery, studios and residential centre that hosted projects by leading contemporary artists from Australia and overseas. In 2009 IAS relocated to Perth and launch spaced, a recurring program of socially engaged and context-responsive art that reaches communities across Western Australian and beyond.
Since its inception, IAS has run more than 100 residency-based projects by artists from 20 countries and organised four national touring exhibitions.

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