One of our favourite discoveries in Hidden Treasures on ABC Perth Saturday Breakfast are the secrets of the suburbs; what’s off the main drag, what’s in the heart of the suburb and what is the heart of a suburb?
Enjoy listening to the audio file below and reading a few notes as well:
While our public art is easy to see, and sculptures and murals continue to be popular and prominent, have you ever wondered where you can do an art class or where you might be able to see art on display from artists who live in your community, or a community just down the road?
Community art centres and art collectives are one of the best reasons to do something as a family or justify a weekend drive and activity.
Let’s get into some our suburbs and regional communities and discover how easy it is to put a bit of art in your heart.
- Let’s start at the Midland Junction Arts Centre! This is an old school site and the corridors and classrooms make excellent spaces for exhibitions, workshops and classes. I took Tom and his mate Nick away from their tower of consoles last year to see an exhibition that was all blue and included a blue slushy machine. You could pour yourself a slushy while you considered the art on display. There is a year-round program of community led classes and some of the ones coming up are dance classes for over 55’s, experimental arts sessions where the audience give feedback and the good old life drawing class!
- From one edge of the city to the other, let’s go out to Scarborough where the beautiful Scarborough Art Space Collective runs every day on the energy of Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin and the whole space honours their character traits of inclusiveness, peace and fun. They have so many classes, particularly for children, like making clay echidnas but they also do some adult stuff like macrame making and evening drawing sessions (if you know what I mean). Macrame and evening drawing is sounding a bit like you leave your keys in a bowl but I’m assured this is just one of the most beautiful spaces in Perth to breathe and try something new.
- This criss crossing is making me dizzy! Let’s head back eastwards but stop in Mount Hawthorn at the Little Arthouse Collective that is as eclectic as it is exciting. There are often local artists exhibiting and even more often they have their famous soap making classes and indoor plant design courses.
- Let’s go regional to a little art space called East End that you’ll find in Beverley. There’s a lot of art and rusty metal to see and they describe themselves as motorcycle friendly with lots of sofas to take a rest from the ride and throw your jacket and helmet onto. They’ll give you tea, coffee and chocolate for taking the effort to ride out there and they will even clean the visor on your helmet!
- Other regional arts centres to get immersed in:
- East Pilbara Arts Centre in Newman is a big space and a beautiful collaboration of the local shire and the even more local Martumili artists, linking the community in events requiring participation and a colourful, striped bar code style design on the building that means, “This is a big thing!”
- Roebourne Art Group welcomes everyone to their exhibition space to learn local culture from more than 70 local artists.
- Gwoonwardu Mia is in Carnarvon and has story telling interactive exhibitions from local Aboriginal groups and all this week they’ve run cultural easter hunts looking for the Bigurda, which is a kangaroo in Yinggarda language.
- Other art collectives to explore:
- Ellenbrook Arts HQ was established 20 years ago by the Ellenbrook Cultural Foundation to create a diverse, healthy community that participates in arts and cultural experiences. It’s a great place to get to know how art is valued by different cultures and brings us all together.
- Atwell House works hard at social connectivity in the Melville area. Great classes coming up like Chinese Brush Painting of a Rooster which if that isn’t the greatest name for a workshop than surely Sip Paint Repeat is!
- Others include Liddelow Homestead in Kenwick (lectures as well as workshops), look for the reopening of the Rockingham Arts Centre after it’s refurbishment, Laverton Art Centre for displays and workshops by the Wongi people and the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre just out of Derby holds workshops, exhibitions and the famous Mowanjum Festival each year in early July.
Big Tip! When you see something you like, buy it. I regret not buying a painting of honey ants in Laverton, I regret not buying Tom a clay model of the face hugger from the movie Alien that was in the Art Garage at Mount Hawthorn but I’m really glad I bought a metal fish skeleton, mounted on corrugated iron and surrounded by driftwood from Esperance.
Community arts centres are hidden treasures because they provide one of the best ripple effects in our community. They connect you to the creativity in your community, inspire you to participate and explore your talent and lack of talent and give you a reason to make a discovery on your weekend.