LANEWAY ART

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Inflatable furniture, guerilla knitting, graffiti street art, portable projections transported by rickshaws and alley cats are just a few of the vibrant and unique ways the Laneway Art Program is celebrating the Art and About festival turning double digits. Until the end of January, Sydneysiders will see their city laneways and buildings transformed by both local artists such as Sarah Landon, Emma Pike and Brook Andrew, and international artists including graffiti and street art legend Barry McGee, and queen and founder of the knit graffiti movement, Austin’s Magda Sayeg.

Even our Lord Mayor is keen to see how the program will challenge the way we view buildings. “Over the last five years, birdcages, large-scale video projections and infinity forests have transformed our laneywas,” Clover Moore MP said. “The dramatic contrast between street-level art and the surrounding high-rise buildings really fires the imagination.”

BRAG spoke with Sydney-based artists Heidi Axelsen who created Peri(pheral) Scopes with artists/architects Hugo Moline and Adriano Pupilli. The installation sees rogue yellow ducting grafted onto the air-con shafts and drainpipes of Skittle Lane – all “periscopes” showing video footage from Western Sydney suburbs Liverpool, Bankstown and Parramatta.

“The laneway is such an interesting and rich space with lots of pipes and cobble stones,” Axelsen explains. “Not only were we thrilled by the chance to use the infrastructure but we were also excited by the dynamism and growth happening in Western Sydney.” The three artists/architects have been collaborating with Western Sydney filmmakers (Fadia Aboud, Zahra Alsamawi, Saber Baluch and Vinh Nguyen) and show glimpses of places only locals know about through giant optical devices. “It offers portholes into different parts of the city and we are hoping to bridge the gap in people’s minds between inner city Sydney and Western Sydney.”

Published in The Brag on Sep 19, 2011.

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