Artist-Run Initiatives (ARIs) and galleries were in their heyday in Perth in the 1980s and ’90s, but then the scene fell quiet. However, in the past year, a crop of fresh, exciting ARIs and independent galleries have emerged, and are fast becoming indispensable in nurturing and promoting local creative talent.
Housed in a former drycleaners, the unlikely location of OK Gallery echoes the unconventional approach this contemporary art space takes in its programming. Since opening last year, it has provided a much-needed platform to showcase the works of emerging artists, a mix of local and interstate talent. The gallery balances a young, independent vibe and a forward-thinking visual identity with consistent professionalism. Post-gallery visit, grab a bowl of crispy roast duck and a beer around the corner and dissect the show.
Neighbouring ARI Paper Mountain is also worth a look in Northbridge. Grab a coffee at Little Willy’s next door then climb the stairs to be greeted by one of the 35 artists who call the “Mountain” home. The adjacent project space features a program that has included a memorable exhibition of 80 works of art in glass jars. Nearby, CIA Studios plays host to a talented roster of local artists working in the live art and interdisciplinary art sectors, currently including pvi collective; Hydra Poesis; and Aimee Smith.
Further afield, Spectrum Project Space places an emphasis on experimentation and invention in art. Relocating to Edith Cowan University Campus last year - upgrading their lights and projectors in the process - the venue has a busy year-long program featuring a mix of emerging and established artists working across visual and performing arts, design and media, text and sound art.
5/1 Forbes Road, Northbridge, Perth.
+61 (8) 6142 1215.
267 William Street, Northbridge, Perth.
480 Newcastle Street, Perth.
+61 (8) 9228 4440.
Spectrum Project Space
Building 3, Room 3.191, Edith Cowan University, 2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley.
+61 (8) 9228 4440.