– by Alfindy Agyputri
When you hear the name “Bankwest”, the first thing that comes to mind, or that sticks to your brain, is usually the first four letters: “Bank”, and everything that correlates best with that word. “Art” is definitely the last on the list, or not even in at all. At least, it is like that for me. But apparently, Bankwest has been awarding Western Australian contemporary artists and their brilliant artworks since 2001, it is called “Bankwest Art Prize”.
This year, for the first time ever, they are featuring creative three-dimensional works of selected Western Australian sculptors. When I first arrived, I was expecting a big room or hallway with artworks on the right and left, just like any other art galleries. I didn’t expect a huge business-like office with all the artworks decorating its surroundings. It was different – a good different. So people don’t have to be art lovers or experts to enjoy the artworks. It is for everyone who pass by the building.
There are 17 conceptually refined artworks, each of them offers a unique physical experience, but I will focus more on the winner’s artwork: “Expedition Recollection” by Bruce Slatter. Slatter has achieved some other awards before, including Popular Choice Award in Joondalup Invitation Art Award for two years in a row in 2002 and 2003. His artworks have been in both solo and group exhibition all over Australia, and some has also been stored as collections in art galleries and museums. He has been into arts all his life with several degrees in Art, Fine Arts, Visual Arts, whether in Bachelor or Master.
When I first saw the artwork, it fascinated me how different it was – a cabinet with three shelves displaying miniatures through its glass window. I had to take a closer look to make out what’s going on in each shelf. Quoting from Slatter’s artist statement, “Expedition Recollection is a sculptural visualisation of real and imagined ambitious adventure. This work brings together the language of museum and domestic cabinets with vivid and impossible crafted narrative that reflects a playful frivolity as well as the sometimes anxious and momentous spectacle of human experience.”
In contrast to the heightened spectacle, Slatter considered the pathos and minutiae of daily endeavour using changes in scale, space, landscapes, pace and metaphor within the sculpted scenarios. While focusing on the chaotic, disjointed and singular predicaments, he hoped to celebrate the interconnected and unexpected commonalities possible in contemporary existence. This artwork reminded me of my childhood for some reasons. Probably because it looked colourful and fun. There are many things going on in each shelf –reminded me of carnivals and some toys, only with more meanings to them.
Check out the full array of artworks here.
OPENING TIMES: 19 November 2014 – 6 March 2015
GALLERY HOURS: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
LOCATION: Bankwest Place, Art Gallery, 300 Murray Street, Perth