sign up to our mailing list unsubscribe
PICA
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 

In June 2009, Perth-based artist Sarah Rowbottam and writer Matthew Giles invited fifteen local artists and writers to start the Rounds project - a unique and experimental formula for generating ideas. Split into four six-week cycles over seven months, the Rounds artists - Bennett Miller, Neil Aldum, Shannon Lyons, Elise/ Jürgen, Tim Carter, Rebecca Baumann, Sarah Rowbottam and George Egerton-Warburton, created new artwork simultaneously according to a system of exchange and response.

In the initial cycle each artist created a new work. For each cycle thereafter they presented their work to another artist in the group who in turn made a new piece in response. This process was then repeated three times, resulting in a total of 29 artworks.

Simultaneously, eight writers - Matthew Giles, Andrew Varano, Jessyca Hutchens, Andrew Nicholls, Gemma Weston, Christina Chau, Katie Lenanton and Andrew Purvis, were paired with one of the Rounds artists, and invited to document and contextualise the work each artist produced via in-depth interviews and compelling prose. Their contributions, together with documentation of the Rounds artwork was published in a 192 page book in August 2010.

The sheer effort of making artworks according to the timeframe of Rounds has been demanding, pushing artists to interpret, generate and execute ideas in short bursts. Artists have become more open to experimenting with ideas and less precious about creating resolved outcomes. There is a raw and fluid appeal about these works, which has arguably been achieved as a result of the project's ambiguous hypothesis and favour towards inadvertent outcomes.

The artists were given free rein to choose how they respond to the works they were presented, reacting instinctually, investigating historical or cultural associations, or simply responding to titles and formal qualities. Artists have also been tactful in the presentation of their work to one another, handing over studies or ideas which allude to a projected work, setting up partially made works in their studios or emailing detailed mapping systems.

Whilst some artists have been resistant to the collective process of Rounds, others have seen it as an opportunity to be more flexible with the way they make art. Subsequently all artists have approached the process differently and have generated fresh and engaging works which are in constant dialogue with one another.

In some ways, the Rounds process has demonstrated how one small spark can ignite a catalogue of possibilities. It effectively proposed a series of questions, points of intrigue and exploration for the artists, and encouraged them to take tangential paths and bend the rules. In short, Rounds has been a method for interrogating the artists' own practice as well as each other's.

The results of the Rounds project is a playground of 29 individual yet intrinsically linked artworks, curated within the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Central Gallery space, inviting you, the audience, to navigate and discover where the connections might be.

Sarah Rowbottam, Curator for Rounds


Visit the Exhibition or Publications page to find out more.