Thursday, July 26, 2012

Biennale at Cockatoo Island

If you're looking for something fun AND cultural to do this weekend, Team Boheem highly recommend visiting Cockatoo Island to see the artworks of the Biennale. Here's Ann's report, which beautifully compliments Chantel's pictures:

"With such perfect weather last Friday Cockatoo Island and the 18th Biennale of Sydney beckoned. Add in a free ferry ride with fantastic scenery on the way and what more could you want.

In previous lives Cockatoo Island has been a dockyard, reformatory and an industrial school. It hosts many of the structures still in place which provide amazing spaces for the 50 or so Biennale artworks. Many of the artworks are site specific and on a dramatic scale.

After spending a few hours wandering around my 3 favourites were all housed in the machinery hall:

Peter Robinson's giant polystyrene chains and hewn rocks were transfixing. They presented a contraction…. items normally linked with weight and strength were light and white. It was big! and I loved the way the chains lazily draped and integrated with the metal structure existing in the building. It must have taken a team of people to put together.

Next on the favourite list was 'Domesticated Turf', a shipping container where the  artist, Cal Lane, has cut out one of the sides and ends into a filagree look arrangement. Lit up, the house look like a lantern. It even has a lawn made up of stencilled chalk patterns that form a carpet leading up to it.

Lastly, an interactive kinetic piece by Philip Beesley. As you move through it the sensors triggered by the touch of a hand causing the delicate plastic feathers, which are like flowers, to open or close. There's so much to take in... glass bottles containing liquids which look like oil hanging down and large white forms overhead that look like they are gently breathing. Very organic, like a fairyland - the garden paradise in Avatar. A really beautiful and captivating space.

Established in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney is the third oldest international art biennial. It is running through three main venues:
the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of NSW and Cockatoo Island, as well as at satellite sites in the inner city."

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