‘UNHEIMLICH’ is an intriguing new work coming to PICA

Conjuring fantastical imagery from the recesses of the human mind, UNHEIMLICH is a thrilling new performance work by director and The Last Great Hunt alumni Katt Osborne and multidisciplinary artist Tarryn Gill.

Dip into the darkly-comic dream state where a house-cat will be your guide. Join a happy couple on this journey where dreams and memories merge into reality and our shadow selves come out to play. Child-like games take on a deeper significance, jokes are wielded as weapons, and masks slip to reveal things that were intended to remain out of sight.

Meaning un-homely/uncanny, “unheimlich” is a Freudian term to describe a feeling where the familiar can quickly become strange or frightening. An ongoing reference in Gill’s practice.

Gill undertook a residency at the Freud Museum London in 2013. This new live performance is a unique collaboration by two of Western Australia’s celebrated and prominent mid-career artists.

Drawing inspiration from Gill’s acclaimed Guardians series of sound-emitting soft sculptures, UNHEIMLICH features a wondrous set of her life-sized creations, a series of beautiful and intricate hand-made masks, which can cry and shed tears of light. Woven on stage with Osborne’s directorial talents, the masks are worn and animated by an ensemble of actors and dancers.

Gill said a lot of work went into making the masks that feature in the performance.

“I’ve developed the masks using materials I use to make my soft sculptures – foam and handstitched fabrics then building in lighting and sound technologies. It’s incredible seeing them come to life, moving in space with the live performers.”

This ambitious, multi-faceted work has been in development since 2017 and is poised for its world premiere from 22 September 2021. Commissioned by PICA, UNHEIMLICH is the unmissable chance to witness a group of stellar WA artists at the top of their game.

PICA Producer Tim Carter shared his excitement about the upcoming work.

“We are excited to unveil this new West Australian work and the meeting of Tarryn’s and Katt’s practices. With PICA’s role to
support interdisciplinary work, UNHEIMLICH is an opportunity for audiences to experience a mesmerising feast of art forms coming together – sculpture, puppetry, sound and live performance. PICA offers artists career-defining moments and this is undoubtedly an iconic moment in Katt’s and Tarryn’s careers.”

UNHEIMLICH is also a timely response to current conversations on gender equality, charting the rise and fall of a couple to explore the psychology of heterosexual relationships. Within the world of the theatre, audiences enter a dream-like state between the conscious and unconscious and reflect on the lifespan of this relationship.

UNHEIMLICH runs from 22nd September to 2nd October, get tickets from PICA.

Source: Media Release

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