Yeah Thanks, Mate

– by Stephanie Lyon

Mate is an eclectic and entertaining exhibition currently on display at Paper Mountain as part of the Fringe World Festival. Local artists Carla Adams, Bruce Slatter, David Attwood, Tarryn Gill, Pilar Mata Dupont and Wade Taylow have united for this unique group exhibition curated by Adams. The artists use humour to look into the past and critique ideas of national identity, questioning what it means to be Australian.

Bruce Slatter’s acrylic on plywood paintings are a colourful taste of the best of Australiana, from our native wildlife, the Southern Cross and Ugg boots through to good old Aussie slang. Most notable are ‘Take One for the Team’, which draws on an unfortunate event that still has us rinsing our eyes out more than a year later. You guessed it… Tony Abbott wearing his budgie smugglers. Whilst ‘On the Line’ re-imagines the iconic Australian children’s song ‘Kookaburru’, although this time kookaburra substitutes the gumtree and electric wire for the hills hoist clothesline.

David Attwood creates childhood nostalgia with his ode to the Iced VoVo biscuit in a contemporary art style, including the easy to accidentally miss ‘An Iced VoVo Nibbled into the Shape of Kevin Rudd’s Head’. This work is exactly as the name suggests: a partially eaten biscuit. You’ll be forgiven for wanting to hurry to the store for some VoVos, but please don’t until you’ve taken in all that Mate has to offer.

Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont investigate our relationship with the farm and sea with their Giclee prints. The stand-out piece is ‘Harold Holt 1968’, which challenges the notion of gender by embodying Harold Holt – the Prime Minister famous for disappearing off Cheviot Beach in Victoria in 1967 – as a woman.

Mate_Tarryn_Harold_HotHarold Holt 1968 by Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont

Let’s not forget Wade Taylor’s series of oil on linen paintings of jerry cans and willow water storage containers, with thick brush strokes, shading and texture making them appear three dimensional.

If you’re checking out the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the Fringe Festival, or if you find yourself in Northbridge with some time to spare, go along to Mate and see for yourself the talent of Perth’s art scene. You won’t be disappointed.

Paper Mountain

267 William Street Northbridge (upstairs)

Open now – 15 February

Photo credits: David Attwood, Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont

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