Dark Swan is a stunning exhibition of local art

 

Dark Swan | PSAS | Until 5 October | ★ ★ ★ ★  

Upon Entry to Dark Swan in Fremantle’s wonderfully cavernous PS Art Space, we were instantly struck by the sheer trouble the organisers had taken to create a feeling of authenticity and sombre ambience to what would turn out to be a stunning exhibition of local art.

Sheree Dornan’s wonderful installation of hand dyed fabrics and antiquated clothing was a personal favourite, capturing the crust of time on Avery piece she included, along with making comment on the tough, stoic role of women in the colonies.

Creative Director and artist Kelsey Ashe provided some stunning inclusions, rich with detail in her trademark style of illustration fused with Photography, whilst a unique piece by Aurelio Costarella took centre stage in the space, like some layered, ephemeral ghost inviting us to experience its story.

Other inclusions such as the silent, roaming ladies of the prison,  handing out rosemary, and a mad pianist in period costume all added to the experience, not to forget the live installation of a soprano Opera singer, performing as she was painted in real-time on a calico dress.

The one downside was the confusing lack of explanatory cards and credits for each artist which mage it hugely difficult to identify and further understand the works in question. One had to ask several people before an accurate answer came, and the deluxe printed programme was not much help either: The Artist profiles were not in hanging order and showed only details of their work.

On the whole, Dark Swan was a magical experience and a highly original history lesson into our dark antipodean past, with clever performance elements and other inclusions making it a truly experiential exhibition.

We’ll forgive the confusing layout and lack of artists credit… This time.

Matteo Rossi

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