Arts centre mixes old and new

Books and ipads on display as part of the Speaking Volumes exhibition. Photo: Emily Garbett.

Western Australians can use iPads to tour books created by artists at a free exhibition that opens at Fremantle Arts Centre today.

The Speaking Volumes exhibition is part of the annual Print Award exhibition and combines traditional art displays with digital technology to engage audiences with artists’ books.

The exhibition shows 21 artworks in book form from Australian artists from the last 20 years.

Art Collection curator André Lipscombe said the exhibition aimed to make the artworks more accessible through iPads and animation.

“Books themselves typically demand you to sit down and engage with them in a personal way,” he said.

“Because of those issues the aim of the project was to develop appropriate access to the artworks and we’ve endeavoured to create an iPad tour of each book and a short video that permits audience to scroll through each page.”

The exhibition includes books from local and national artists and shows how artists mix traditional printmaking techniques with new technologies.

Mr Lipscombe said the artworks showcased a range of ideas, documentation of artists’ projects, political and cultural messages and personal stories.

Exhibition technician Janet Carter said the exhibition allowed audiences to view the artworks in new ways.

“The space gives all the works room to be a separate identity and for people to be able to connect with them,” she said.

“The way you engage with them is through those new technologies and it builds on this idea that some of the works are steeped in traditional practices and there are other works that use technology to push what print can be.”

The artworks were acquired by the Fremantle Arts Centre over the last 20 years through donations and auctions.

Public readings will be conducted during the exhibition period with open display cases and curated talks by Mr Lipscombe, starting on Saturday.

“There’s a lot of secrets and things to be uncovered through looking at books,” Mr Lipscombe said.

The exhibition runs until November 12.

Categories: Arts

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