Presenting an insightful and enriching look behind the scenes of these hallowed galleries, Fremantle Arts Centre presents, as part of the 2021 Perth Festival, A Forest of Hooks and Nails from 4 February.
A Forest of Hooks and Nails, sees the organisation’s install team, a crew of talented multidisciplinary artists juggling casual work while establishing their own practices, step into the spotlight and present new works which explore FAC’s galleries, iconic building and colourful history with their unique insider knowledge.
Curated by FAC Install Coordinator Tom Freeman, A Forest of Hooks and Nails features ten WA artists working across a variety of media including screenprinting, largescale installation, video and audio work, interactive displays, small sculpture, photography, painting and animation.
The artists include Dan Bourke, Phoebe Clarke, Angela Ferolla, Rob Kettels, Maxxi Minaxi May, Hugh Thomson, Phoebe Tran, Tyrown Waigana, Zev Weinstein and Hansdieter Zeh.
It is a quirk of all arts institutions that the people who work frenetically to create the polished, sophisticated exhibition experiences unveiled to the public are often unseen and transient, but they’re also the most intimately acquainted with the artworks and spaces.
A Forest of Hooks and Nails, a title which pays tribute to the constellation of hardware, nails and screws hiding behind artworks and peppering gallery ceilings, is unique in bringing these artists to the fore for a major exhibition which investigates Fremantle Arts Centre itself.
Some artists will shine a light on their favourite nooks, crannies and architectural features; others respond to past artworks they’ve had a hand in installing and to the materials and processes commonly used to construct, hang, display and light an exhibition. Others will delve into the economy of work and labour in the arts industry while some investigate the building’s history and relationship with the Fremantle community.
Curator Tom Freeman conceived A Forest of Hooks and Nails during FAC’s 2020 shutdown as a means of supporting the team through a period of significant financial uncertainty. “Each and every one of our install crew has a creative practice they’re deeply passionate about,” he said.
“Conversations during tea breaks always circle back to our latest artistic pursuits and they reveal the depth of consideration the install staff give to each of the artworks and artists they work with here.”
“It’s inspiring and energising to have such close-contact experiences in the gallery and I’m excited to see how the artists channel that energy into their respective creative outputs to explore their relationship to the building itself, its history and FAC’s place in the community,” said Freeman.
“This Festival is an important moment to celebrate and to deepen understanding of all facets of creative work, especially in light of gallery shutdowns during 2020, which had serious impacts for casual arts workers – so many of whom are artists,” said Perth Festival Visual Arts Program Associate Gemma Weston.
“An exhibition is the tip of an iceberg of work that’s often invisible to the general public, and I think this project will be both a fascinating peek ‘behind the scenes’ and a very interesting look at the day to day realities of building a career as an artist.”
A Forest of Hooks and Nails
Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle
Exhibition: 4 February – 14 March 2021
For more information, visit: www.fac.org.au for details.
Image: A Forest of Hooks and Nails FAC Installation Team – photo by Pixel Poetry