Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

GEMMA We­ston al­ways loved art while grow­ing up in Bun­bury but it was not un­til her art teacher en­cour­aged her to think of it as a ca­reer, rather than a hobby, that she de­cided to study Fine Arts at Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

“I liked the way artists pic­tured the world, that way of think­ing through ob­jects and images,” We­ston said.

“I had ev­ery in­ten­tion of be­ing an artist, but I think my skills run more to­wards fa­cil­i­ta­tion and be­hind the scenes things rather than mak­ing.

“Af­ter uni­ver­sity I grav­i­tated more to­wards writ­ing about art and or­gan­is­ing ex­hi­bi­tions, and through that be­came in­ter­ested in cu­rat­ing.”

All this was be­fore We­ston would know any­thing about us­ing aug­mented re­al­ity in art, but the part-time cu­ra­tor at Lawrence Wil­son Art Gallery, UWA is cer­tainly en­trenched in the tech­nol­ogy now as cu­ra­tor for Subiaco pARK.

Pre­sented by The City of Subiaco for Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val, Subiaco pARK is a sculp­ture park with a dif­fer­ence, where all eight Perth artists have re­sponded to the nat­u­ral and built en­vi­ron­ment of Subiaco’s Theatre Gar­dens.

The only way to view th­ese aug­mented re­al­i­ties is by us­ing the Subiaco pARK app at Theatre Gar­dens in ‘real time’ on a smart­phone or tablet.

“The works use the full spec­trum of scales and lo­ca­tions, sky to un­der­ground, in­ti­mate to mon­u­men­tal,” We­ston said.

“We’re bring­ing the moon up close and per­sonal and the in­sects out from the un­der­growth.

“Each artist has a unique ap­proach and has brought the meth­ods and in­ter­ests of their regular prac­tice to bear on this new con­text, so there's works that use stop mo­tion an­i­ma­tion, works that are 3D mod­elled and works that use only sound.”

We­ston hoped the ex­pe­ri­ence was as ex­cit­ing and mean­ing­ful for peo­ple who use the park ev­ery day as those vis­it­ing specif­i­cally for PIAF.

“Theatre Gar­dens it­self is used by such a wide range of de­mo­graph­ics and age groups,” she said. “I think there's some­thing in there for ev­ery­one, kids and adults, artists of all ages, dig­i­tal novices and ex­perts.

“Be­cause aug­mented re­al­ity is in­vis­i­ble to the naked eye and be­cause you have to seek out the works rather than see­ing them im­me­di­ately, there’s a process of dis­cov­ery that I hope of­fers the op­por­tu­nity to en­gage deeply with the park it­self as much as the works.”

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

Subiaco pARk cu­ra­tor Gemma We­ston at the Theatre Gar­dens.

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