INTERNATIONAL artists have come together to create the exhibition Dear William, a dedication to William Street.
Stemming from a Vincent council project to showcase the street’s history and culture, artists visiting Perth for Form’s public art festival put their interpretations of the street on show.
The street is steeped in culture, housing the Perth mosque, the Vietnamese Buddhist temple, the Aboriginal Advancement council, the Socialist Alliance HQ, and the gay and lesbian Freedom Centre.
Artist Abdul-Rahman Abdullah projected a moon onto the side of the mosque: the moon being significant to Islam, but also associated with the virgin Mary in Christianity, and he uses it to show the way many different cultures live side by side on the street.
His brother Abdul Abdullah, who worked at the old Domino’s Pizza on William Street, displayed a self-portrait where he wears a mask from the Planet of the Apes in the Moon Cafe (several other businesses refused to show it). The work parodies the stereotypes Australians hold about Muslim culture.
Casey Ayres tapped into the street’s deep Chinese roots, teaming up with the community centre lion dance troupe, getting it to silently creep around the streets, following pedestrians and vexing people as he shot the video.
Meanwhile, the final stages of Nigel Bennet’s work (“William, yes, you are really something,” Perth Voice, March 15, 2014) are now housed at a pop-up studio at 248 Newcastle Street. He’ll be there each afternoon and wants locals to bring him objects from the area to photograph, adding their memories and images to a giant map of the precinct.
The artworks are up around William Street until April 21, see the locations at http://www.form.net.au
by DAVID BELL