In Arts + Entertainment

Inside Carriageworks’ Incredible New Public Art Installations

If the excellent farmers markets are reason enough to visit Eveleigh’s Carriageworks this weekend, you can super-set your weekend with four public art installations, all free to the public.

Four leading contemporary Australian artists have harnessed a mix of LED, projected, photographic and natural light forms, washing the multi-arts arts precinct with a kaleidoscope of colour and luminosity.

Each of the major works has been specifically commissioned by Carriageworks to play on a common theme of light, crafted to highlight the site’s unique architecture and history.

“Carriageworks is a site imbued with history, yet each of these projects is firmly anchored in the present day,” says Carriageworks head curator – visual arts Beatrice Gralton.

Each of the works by artists Rebecca Baumann, Daniel Boyd, Kate Mitchel and Reko Rennie represent a unique viewpoint and interpretation of how light interacts with art.

“[The projects] reflect the capacity for artists to navigate a cultural compass that embraces paradox and shapes beauty in a troubled world. While each installation varies across subject and form, all use light and explore time,” says Gralton.

“The artists employ light in different states across Carriageworks – natural, projected, photographic and LED. While both the concept and experience of time is used to examine solar movement, deep space, census data and perceptions of history.”

VIDEO WORKS by Daniel Boyd

VIDEO WORKS casts an infinite loop of over an all-black gallery space, weaving together three previous video works of Kudjala/Gangalu artist Daniel Boyd.

It conjures the impression of taking an artist palette to the darkest night sky, turning the cosmos into a dreamy canvas of colour, while also capturing the dual feeling of insignificance and tranquility that a beautiful night sky can evoke

His looping three works Yamani (2019), History is Made at Night (2013) and A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4 (2012) are an immersive combination of of video, pointillism and installation, accompanied by scores by Ryan Grieve and Leo Thomson. Keep an eye out for the circular lense work, Boyd’s signature motif, designed to disrupt Eurocentric views of art and history.

Daniel Boyd: VIDEO WORKS runs until March 1 2020.

REMEMBER ME by Reko Rennie

REMEMBER ME is a striking LED installation spanning 25 metres wide and five metres tall. The minimalist bright red monument is unmissable.

Melbourne artist and Kamilaroi man Reko Rennie is known for mixing Aboriginal identity with urban culture and deep symbolism. As part of his art, he’s thrown doughnuts in a Rolls Royce through deep red dirt of outback pastoral stations that enslaved his grandmother, and woven references to the Beastie Boys with royal regalia and Kamilaroi-heritage iconography.

REMEMBER ME, by comparison, is a minimalist interpretation of street art, a present day memorial for the 250th year since Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia.

Rennie’s searing piece is in recognition of the country’s Aboriginal people, and the frontier wars and massacres they have faced in the centuries that followed.

Reko Rennie: REMEMBER ME will be on display until January 2021.

Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux

Carriageworks art installations

Radiant Flux soaks more than 100 metres of Carriageworks in a translucent bath of rainbow-hued natural light.

Perth-based Rebecca Baumann is a mixed-medium artist who plays with colour theory and emotion, touching on the psychology of happiness, and incorporating festive elements. Radiant Flux is no exception.

Baumann has covered the glass exterior with dichroic film, a luminous material that casts an ephemeral impression of colour. Depending on your angle, the colour can shift from blue to yellow to magenta, and reflect warm tones of gold or deep greens.

Equal parts joyful and trippy, the end result feels a little like being inside a giant kaleidoscope – a real-life Instagram filter that transposes its viewers into subjects, casting them in an immersive pool of chroma.

Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux runs until 14 June 2020.

Kate Mitchell: All Auras Touch

Carriageworks art installations

Aura portraits exist in a mid-world of photography and spiralism, capturing the subject’s electromagnetic field in a soft-hued cloud of colour. For her exhibition, Kate Mitchell set the ambitious task of capturing an aura for each of the 1,023 occupations recognised by the Australian census.

The exhibition is interactive, with walls of text tiles acting as placeholders for the missing occupations, which include ‘spatial science technician’, ‘hunting guide’ and ‘tennis coach’. As representatives come through the exhibition, Mitchell will take their portraits and enlarge them to A2 size to replace the tiles.

Once all 1,023 portraits are in place, all auras touch – visualising how we are all connected.

Kate Mitchell: All Auras Touch runs until 1 March 2020, and you can sign up to participate here.

(All images: Zan Wimberley for Carriageworks / supplied)

Published 28 January, 2020