Perth Festival's arts programme celebrates diversity and innovation

Last Updated: 17 Feb 2020
Anjelica Young

Every year, Perth Festival celebrates the works of leading local and international artists through a carefully curated selection of art exhibitions and events.

Perth Festival’s cutting-edge visual arts programme for 2020 features an exciting mix of media, including a virtual reality installation and moving ‘biobots’ made up of blood and heart muscles.

Working with all the major art institutions in Perth, including PICA, Fremantle Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of WA, Perth Festival’s arts programme explores a variety of perspectives. If you’re a lover of all things art, you’ll want to check out these thought-provoking and striking exhibitions. 


Bricolage totally blurs the lines between science and art. Local artists Nathan Thompson, Guy Ben-Ary and Sebastian Diecke create life within Bricolage in the form of “biobots”. Through bio-engineering cellular units from blood, silk and heart muscles, the trio ambitiously create nearly microscopic, moving sculptures.


In contrast to the bright gaming world of most VR, in Chalkroom, audiences step into a shadowy world of hand drawn lines, images and words. Don a VR headset and you are free to explore the interactive installation created by Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang and artist/musician Laurie Anderson.

Ian Strange

Step into a large scale survey of WA artist Ian Strange’s photographic and film work through his Suburban Interventions series. Ambitious and evocative, he transforms entire houses in seemingly normal suburban streets, expressing feelings of anxiety and displacement. This is the time audiences can experience his work in large scale.


Sydney-based artist Tina Havelock Stevens creates an intimate and immersive experience throughout her video and performance work Thunderhead. Depicting unusual, natural and urban environments,  Havelock Stevens invites the viewer to step into the artwork – which features video and sound - and be transported into the context of the moving image. 

John Prince Siddon: All Mixed Up

Combining elements from traditional Western-Kimberley craft, pop culture and desert iconography, John Prince Siddon exhibits a series of surreal works that are kaleidoscopic at first glance. As a Walmajarri man, Prince Siddon uses his art as a tool for social commentary on Australia’s dark past. All Mixed Up will be displayed at the Fremantle Arts Centre throughout the Perth Festival period.

Cheeky Dogs

If you’re a dog person, this is the exhibition for you! Hailing from Tennant Creek and growing up deaf and non-verbal, Dion Beasley expresses himself through his writing and art. Featured on t-shirts and in children’s books around Australia and the world, this collection is dedicated to Beasley’s fascination with cheeky dogs. It will be a hit with both art and dog lovers of all ages!

Mia Kurrum Maun (Far from home)

Mia Kurrum Maun (Far from home) is a depiction of Sandra Hill’s lived experience as a Noongar woman. Focusing on feelings of disassociation and assimilation, Hill discusses her experience of the Stolen Generation, the annihilation of Aboriginal culture and racial discrimination. This is the first time Hill’s works have been presented together to tell her story. 

The Long Kiss Goodbye

In The Long Kiss Goodbye six artists come together, adding fragments to form one big cinema-screen-sized quilt of everyday objects. Woven into the quilt are feelings of loss, attraction, hope and repulsion experienced by the artists. Amongst other everyday objects, the quilt contains ashes of diaries and fabrics made at a funeral home.
Image Credits: Tina Havelock Stevens, Sandra Hill, Sarah Contos, Nathan Thompson, Guy Ben-Ary, Dion Beasley, John Prince Siddon, Ian Strange, Laurie Anderson & Hsin-Chien Huang

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