Get up close and personal at this year’s Proximity Festival

Australia’s only festival of one-on-one art comes to Cathedral Square for its fifth year. Ten days of experimental micro-performances, intimate walking tours, caffeine-fuelled discussions, and a late night party as part of Proximity 2017.

This year’s Festival brings together artists from around Australia working across theatre, dance, live-art, hip hop and visual art to create nine personalised experiences for an audience of one at a time.

The full list of artists selected for the 2017 performance program include Cigdem Aydemir (NSW), Hannah Brontë (QLD), Mike Bianco (USA/WA), Liam Colgan (WA), Rachael Dease (WA), Atlanta Eke (VIC), Jen Jamieson (WA), Nat Randall (NSW) and Tyrone Robinson (WA).

Unlike previous years, for the first time Proximity Festival will take over multiple buildings and the outdoor surrounds of Perth’s newest inner city precinct. Audiences will be able to experience three programs of three different 20-minute performances in public and private spaces, and discover unique and intimate encounters along the way.

Kelli McCluskey and Sarah Rowbottam, co-curators for the Festival say, “Aligning with Cathedral Square is a bold step into collaborating with multiple venues. Get ready to search for love in high places, celebrate black matriarchy through power-laden rap, pit yourself against a robotic tennis opponent, and ride back-seat on a motorcycle as you become an extra on a film set.”

From Brisbane-based artist Hannah Bronte whose work is deeply influenced by hip-hop and female protest culture, Sydney’s Nat Randall who brings a cinematic edge to durational performance practice, through to Perth based Mike Bianco who offers a bespoke audio experience with an urgent environmental critique – the 2017 Proximity artists are at the forefront of a national dialogue on live-art that will be fostered in WA over the coming months.

Joining Proximity is the festival’s guest Provocateur Jeff Khan. As a curator, writer and current Artistic Director of Performance Space in Sydney, Jeff has a particular interest in interdisciplinary, site-specific and socially engaged practices, as well as nurturing artworks that present new ideas about gender and sexuality.

Proximity Festival is now in its fifth year after highly successful Festivals at the Art Gallery of WA, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Blue Room Theatre. Led by Director/Curator Sarah Rowbottam and Curator Kelli McCluskey the 2017 Festival presents final outcomes from the highly acclaimed Proximity Lab, which brought curated artists together December 2016 to develop concepts in-situ at Cathedral Square through Proximity’s new biannual model.

“As an independent Festival, the shift from arts institution to a precinct in the heart of Perth’s centre is a first for Proximity, allowing artists freedom to occupy multiple sites and creating intimate experiences inside some of Perth’s most iconic buildings,” Rowbottam said.

“This is the first time Cathedral Square has been used in this way and I think this particular group of artists will provide some curious and immersive experiences for audiences that challenge how we are accustomed to engaging with art.” 

Tickets and program details will be released 22 August 2017. Head to for more info.

Image:- Meg White

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