CASM: Video brings art gallery to life for fresh-faced Mandurah audiences

Throughout March and April, art lovers will be able to have an ‘out of this world’ experience at Contemporary Arts Spaces Mandurah

A fresh-faced exhibition titled The Projection Project offers attendees a look at contemporary video and sound artworks from local and state-based artists. 

The dedicated video art exhibition is a Mandurah-first and has taken significant effort to put together. 

However, local video artist and exhibition co-curator Lee Kennedy said the results are well worth it. 

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Mr Kennedy pulled together prominent artists for the installation including Rhys Channing, Leon Ewing, Tomas Ford, Eleesha Ford, Nicholas Gardiner and Jake Steele. 

From just a quick look around the gallery it’s hard to spot similarities between the pieces, but one key theme binds them. 

Each artist was tasked with creating a piece based on the theme of ‘otherworlds’. 

From surreal to realistic, the six pieces bring a diverse multimedia experience to local audiences. 

“Carolyn from CASM approached me to curate a video art exhibition because they’d recently purchased some projectors and were looking to get into more video art,” Mr Kennedy said. 

“I have done some video art installations myself here, many years ago. But this is the first time we’ve actually had a full, dedicated video art exhibition happen in the gallery.” 

He said while it was a great opportunity to make use of the new projectors, he was particularly excited about introducing the medium to Mandurah audiences.

Mr Kennedy said he enjoyed gather a collective of artists from around WA together to submit a piece. 

Most of which he knew or had heard of before. 

“The common theme behind all of the artists is that they’re music artists first and foremost,” he said. 

“They just happen to mess with video as well. None of them are specifically video artists.

“That’s why audio has such a strong presence in the exhibition. 

“For a lot of them this might be there first piece in a gallery. They might do live visuals for their music performances or other experimental sort of stuff but I think most of them wouldn’t have had an actual video art piece in a gallery like this before.

“It kind of push some of them out of their comfort-zone or into a new area. 

“I think a lot of them don’t realise straight up that they are a video artist from the work they have done before.”

Visual Arts development officer and co-curator Carolyn Marks said she was pleased to bring a new medium to Mandurah audiences and encouraged people to get down to the gallery to have a look. 

She also thanked the City of Mandurah for their support, John Curtin Gallery for lending projectors and Art On The Move for helping install the exhibition. 

“This is a really important show for CASM,” she said. 

“It’s our first ever dedicated audio-visual exhibition. We show primarily two-dimensional and three-dimensional works.”

Ms Marks said CASM would be looking into turning the exhibition into a biannual occasion. 

The gallery held an opening night for the exhibition on March 16, which professional projection artist Roly Skendar opened. 

Mr Skender will also feature in a special ‘artist talk’ panel discussion on April 2 and host workshops in the coming weeks. 

If you would like to see the exhibition or find out more about the upcoming workshops visit the arts centre at 63 Ormsby Terrace, Mandurah. 

Artist profiles: 

Jake Steele

An electronic music producer, composer and performing artist who has been creating electronic based music for 15 years over a range of genres and styles, as well as composing and orchestrating for classical instruments and exploring many sound design aspects.

With a degree in Music Technology from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Mr Steele has composed music and audio for short films, fashion shows, dance routines, advertising, sound art installations and live improvisational recording performances to name a few.

Mr Steele’s recent project is Tobacco Rat, a dark and intense bass focused live electronic music act which incorporates reactive visuals synced to the music via a program called MaxMSP.

Recently Mr Steele has been experimenting with photography, videography, abstract art painting, 3d printing and sculptures involving discarded technology.

Lee Kennedy

A digital artist in various forms for almost 20 years.

From electronic and hip hop music projects to video art and VJ-ing, to more recently game design.

Mr Kennedy’s work is often political or focusing on minimalist visuals and sounds.

He aims to create an atmosphere that transports the audience to abstract places or to consider contemporary and futurist concepts and themes such as animal rights, environmentalism, corruption, propaganda, false leadership and technology.

Nicholas Gardiner

An artist/composer, music producer and Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts fourth year composition student residing in Perth.

He has spent almost a decade playing in bands and pursuing various personal musical/audio-visual endeavours and collaborations.

During his studies, he has explored various ideas of audio and musical based experimentation such as temporally free-form music creation, experimental and extended technique based orchestration, sound art and noise manipulation and combined audio-visual surround sound works.

Rhys Channing

After a childhood of being immersed in music and learning instruments, Rhys Channing adored sound and was fascinated by what it does to people.

He studied audio engineering at SAE Institute in Perth, in 2008, and earned a diploma of music industry.

Then at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts he earned a bachelor degree of music in composition and music technology.

Since even his senior years of high school, he has worked in the music and entertainment industry as an audio technician.

But Mr Channing’s obsession is with creating art.

Mr Channing composes on laptop with programs such as Max/MSP, Logic, and Sibelius.

He is a proficientbassist and guitarist, a competent keyboardist, and an innovative percussionist on a vast array of instruments.

The acquisition of a pair of steel-tongue drums called Garrahands began his lamellophone collection.

The visual programming nature of Max/MSP appeals to Mr Channing’s logic brain, using numbers and triggers to create music.

Leon Ewing

Sonnenmasse is a new project from musician and media artist, Leon Ewing.

Drawing on doom, drone and shoe gaze, Sonnenmasse uses heavily distorted bass guitar and vocal to activate architecture and quite literally make buildings sing, creating intimate sensory experiences in iconic spaces.

Previous works have shown for the Proximity Festival at AGWA, in the pedestrian mall under the Perth Concert Hall for White Noise Underground, and in the Deus Vault at PSAS for High Tide; the Fremantle Biennale of Site Responsive Art. Most recently Leon has performed Intra Harena at the Perth Arena for the Fringeworld Festival.

Tomás Ford

A multimedia artist who spends most of his time making audio-visual cabaret shows.

His shows mix cabaret, electronic music and his idiosyncratic approach to video art.

These shows have toured around Australia, New Zealand and Europe since 2003.

His work Chase! was developed in 2016 as an artist in residence at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre as part of his creative directorship of the 2017 Hubbub program during Fringe World.

Chase! has been retitled as A View To A Beer and will be released as a web series and album in 2018.

Eleesha Ford

A horror artist. Starting from an interest in creating works for the Fords’ epic annual Halloween haunted house, her work has grown to explore her background in medicine and an often comedic approach to gore.