Melville Contemporary is an art prize for experimental art. It awards commissions to six Western Australian artists to produce exploratory new work for group exhibition at Goolugatup. A biennale program, it is produced by City of Melville and Goolugatup Heathcote, and was first held in 2021. The 2023 finalists are Akira Akira, Dan Bourke, Jess Day, Natsumi de Dianous, Tom Mùller, and Mei Saraswati.
OPENING Saturday 23 September, 4pm
Akira Akira (b. 1981 in Kobe, Japan) is an artist who makes things and cooks everyday while listening to audiobooks. Since 2016,he has been singularly working with monochromatic needlepoint tapestries in New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand, Shepparton and Boorloo/Perth where he currently lives. His stewed daikon recipe can be found in the publication ARTISTS’ COOKBOOK under Lockdown (2021) published by Mori Art Museum/ Sayusha.
Dan Bourke is an artist based in Boorloo Perth, WA. Working between studio, curatorial, and publishing practices, he appropriates and subverts existing models to critically explore themes such as the production, presentation, and reception of culture; economies within the contemporary art world; forms of representation; and systems of taste and value. Dan currently runs Benchpress (2010– ), a small Risograph-based printing press, and Adult Contemporary (2014– ), an occasional artist-run initiative and bookshop. He was previously involved in the formation of other ARIs: Poetry Club (2010), Galleria (2011–12), and Pet Projects (2016–17). He graduated with a BA (Art) (Honours) from Curtin University in 2009 and has since exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, curated and organised projects, and undertaken residencies. His most recent projects have appeared sweet pea (WA), Cool Change(WA), Fremantle Arts Centre (WA), Yiri Arts (Taiwan), Pet Projects (WA), and Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW).
Jess Day is an artist and writer based in Boorloo Perth. Jess recently completed her PhD in fine arts at Curtin University, and continues to explore her interests in personal agency, highly individuated preparatory practices, or 'prepping', and survival concepts. Jess has exhibited locally and interstate, and written for various publications, including NAVA(AUS), Art Monthly (AUS), Snake Hair Press (USA), and Semaphore (AUS).
Natsumi de Dianous is an artist working across a range of mediums spanning painting, drawing, ceramics, metalwork and textile processes. Her work embeds layered patterns and shapes to create spaces for imaginative, open ended and often subjective narrative. She is deeply fascinated by the potential for objects to be imbued with their own living essences and the techniques – particularly ones involving an investment of time, repetition and care – that can bring about this circumstance. Natsumi has a desire to capture a slippery fluid space, a liminality where forms and ideas have the potential to appear, through the process of discovery and accumulation by building up layers of paint and adornment to reveal and conceal forms.
Tom Mùller is an established multi-disciplinary artist with an active international practice spanning the realms of site-responsive, temporal and permanent projects. His work has been included in major exhibitions and Institutions including ‘The National’ at Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Adelaide Biennial, Biennale de la Chaux-de-Fonds, and the Northern Alps Triennale in Japan. He has been the recipient of multiple Australia Council grants, the inaugural winner of theQantas Contemporary Art prize, a mid-career fellowship from the Department of Culture and the Arts. In 2009 won the Basel international residency program through the Christoph Merian Stiftung. He was mentored by the Russian-American conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov in New York, and studied Anthroposophy at Emerson College in London. He holds a BFA (first class honours) in Sculpture from Curtin University of Technology. Tom is the co-founder and current Artistic Director of the Fremantle Biennale.
Mei Swan Lim / Mei Saraswati is a 37 year old mum who works at Joondalup library. She stays in Wanneroo and belongs to the Bahá’i community. On-and-off, she's a visual and sound artist and singer/composer. Her work stories otherworldly experiences of the everyday, looking through a spiritual lens at our environment and emotional places we inhabit. She also occupies her time creating portals into her cultural past (and future) through paper cutting, weaving, making video art, field recording, sound collaging and singing. Some of her un-achievements include being kicked out of Curtin University for poor academic standard, receiving music royalties of around$1.34 every quarter and getting divorced before getting her driver’s licence. Her main artistic achievements include making life long friends through the art and music communities and having the opportunity to work with the likes of Proximity Festival, Perth Festival, Yirra Yaakin, Art Gallery of WA, PICA and Eka.
Goolugatup Heathcote is located on the shores of the Derbal Yerrigan, in the suburb of Applecross, just south of the centre of Boorloo Perth, WA. It is 10 minute drive from the CBD, the closest train station is Canning Bridge, and the closest bus route the 148.58 Duncraig Rd, Applecross, Boorloo (Perth), Western AustraliaAccessibility and amenities
The Gallery is open 10-4 daily, and closed public holidays. The grounds are open 24/7.