May 11, 2012
Two local students are paving the way for younger emerging artists in Perth’s growing art scene through a series of independently curated art exhibitions.
Sophie Fosdick-McGrath, 21, and Rose Kingdom-Barron, 20, first met while studying an arts management course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
The WAAPA students have since hosted three art exhibitions in Perth –YOUTHLESS, Out to Get Ya! and the recent lo-fi photocopy exhibition YOUTHLESS DIY.
Ms Kingdom-Barron said Perth’s geographical isolation was both an advantage and a curse when it came to creating art.
“When you want to start building your career within the industry, the lack of arts jobs in this city result[s] in many artists and arts managers being pulled over to the east coast or internationally,” she said.
Ms Fosdick-McGrath said the Perth art scene was going through a period of change that the WAAPA students hoped to battle with their art projects.
“There seems to be a little bit of rebellion going on towards people leaving the state in order to be successful in their art careers,” she said.
“I think Perth is finally realising that in order for our creatives to stay in town, we need to support them and create the infrastructure for this to be possible.”
While Ms Kingdom-Barron agreed it was an exciting time for Perth art, she said there was always room for improvement.
“I really want to see a change in the council and governing authorities’ mindsets,” she said.
“This is especially the case with venues and licensing, as this can sometimes stand in the way of projects and [Perth art industry’s] overall growth.”
YOUTHLESS DIY exhibited 150 photographs by 38 photographers, gathered through an online submission call for artists of all ages and experiences.
The previous YOUTHLESS art exhibition was a mash-up of the work of three young photographers and an eclectic line-up of local bands.
Out to Get Ya! on the other hand was a collaboration with young local artist Cheeks (Ika Jumali) and 10 different young artists based in Perth and Melbourne.
Sam Thurtle, 19, one of the exhibited artists at YOUTHLESS DIY, said he was grateful for the opportunities that Ms Fosdick-McGrath and Ms Kingdom-Barron had created through these projects.
“It’s really great to be able to freely exhibit my photography regardless of my age or previous experience,” he said.
“It is nice to have that opportunity because it helped break the barrier of getting my work out into the local art scene.
“Perth definitely needs more events like these that are targeted toward young artists like myself.”
And it looks like the girls are onto it.
Ms Fosdick-McGrath and Ms Kingdom-Barron said there were plans to host another photocopy exhibition for young up-and-coming talents.
They also plan to explore the concept and unpredictability of the ‘Do It Yourself’ theme.
“Whatever the future holds, we hope to continue getting more young and emerging artists involved in these projects,” Ms Kingdom-Barron said.
“We just want to give younger, up-and-coming artists a platform to get their work out there, through events that we ourselves want to see up and running.”