Where did those space invaders mosaics around Perth come from?

Ok, I know what you’re thinking! Invader is actually a French street artist. So what’s he doing in Perth Street Art?

Well, back in 2001 Invader hit down under when he was invited to exhibit as part of Mono Culture, exhibiting alongside The Yok, Mark McPherson and Victim.

The result? A 26 part installation which spread across the entire Perth Metro area and came complete with a map so you could track down and find all his work.

What makes his work so uniquely recognisable is his format: he takes late ’70s computer game iconography, namely from the likes of Space Invaders, and recreates them as mosaics, capturing the pixilation of the genre perfectly. Invader, who started doing street art back in 1996, has since gone on to ‘invade’ over 40 different cities across the world.

When Invader arrived in Perth back in ’01, it was post 9/11 and all of the concrete adhesive he brought with him was confiscated. This didn’t stop him as he took to the city, allegedly adhering one mosaic in Forrest Chase in broad daylight, dressed in official overalls and armed with a ladder.

His works still exist in Northbridge, on the bridge joining the city and Parliament House, UWA and the bridge over Stirling Highway in Claremont. Invaders also still exist on the corner of Queens Street in the city, in Leederville near HeadQuarters and on the South Perth ferry pier, sneaking just above water level.

The map for the Perth invasion can be found online, drawn in collaboration with local artist and DJ, Rok Riley.

If all of Invader’s Perth mosaics still existed, finding them all would score you 400 points. However, in the near 10 years since his invasion, a majority of works have been removed by local councils.

What can you tell us about the mosaics you create?

They are all different but they are all themed along the lines of space invaders. They are sometimes made with small squares to make a mosaic, other times we use big tiles like the ones you find in your bathroom to make our mosaics.

Why space invader icons?

I find that the space invader symbol really represents the technological age that we live in. And then again, in ‘Space Invaders’ there is the word ‘invaders’, which is perfect for our project because we invade!

How did your visit to Perth come about?

I was invited to participate in a group exposition in Perth, so I took this as a chance to prepare for an invasion!

What were some of the more exciting/memorable installations you did here in Perth?

The most memorable is probably the one that was did in the ocean. But I don’t think that it exists any more.

What did you think of the Perth street art scene at the time?

I remember that I had to repair a few stencils while I was there!


Scott-Patrick Mitchell

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