‘A Weekend in Art’ is about interacting with six Australian artists and their interdisciplinary art process

A work of art that will remain in the collective consciousness of visitors who flocked to the debut edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale was a sound installation by Australian artist Dylan Marotell. It fascinated the young and the old alike in its dexterous composition made using local sounds emitted from everyday ‘found’ objects and from a few musical instruments. The water pot, the ladle, the kadai, a frying pan and such were used to create sounds at touch. It was an unforgettable, fresh experience that went down well.

Dylan is back with a group of young artists from Australia and they will be presenting their works, some in progress, some complete at ‘A Weekend of Art,’ beginning today at the Pepper House in Fort Kochi. The artists with varied art practices are set to give talks, hold workshops, showcase their works and engage in interactive sessions. The event is a part of a residency programme hosted by Kochi AIR that focuses on artists who work outside the parameters of a rigid gallery practice. “I like the idea that people can touch the art work and demystify the process. In a way it becomes special. I like using music,” says Dylan adding that his works are always about the place. His current work will have viewers use a bow and arrow to target hanging objects emitting an amplified sound. A father of two, Inez, 10, and Xavi, 6, Dylan likes the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) aesthetics as it helps children. He likes the idea that children make their own toys and a lot of his work on show is about this thinking process.

Patrick O’Brien a self-taught artist too works with installation and sound. He is interested in asking questions of a cultural nature, he says. Patrick will be presenting a sonic experience, a performance, with found objects, “a bit of junk, a metal barrel, sticks and concrete.” Hailing from Melbourne, Patrick says that the city has a history of a strong sound practice and has always engaged with experimental sounds. He brings in that strain.

Robert McDougall engages with video art and photography to blend it with sound and installation. A musician, Robert has had a short stint at Banaras where he learnt to play the tabla. He will be delivering a talk on his research about traditional music in South East Asia. “I have worked with less represented traditional, ethnic music like tribal music with gongs and string instruments,” he says. His video installation is sound-based and uses multiple channels.

Textile designer Lichen Kemp will be working with children. Married to Dylan Lichen she works closely with her artist-husband and uses his illustrations as print on textile. Her workshop, for children in the age group 6-12, will take an art approach to chemistry using coloured liquids and household ingredients like oil, effervescent tablets and food colouring. Lichen will talk on art practices that make use of scientific processes.

If Dylan’s work is about the place, it also seems to be the inspiration for the entire group. Kochi excites Meagan Streader from Brisbane. The space at Pepper House is encouraging her to revel in large scale installations, which is her forte. Here she is working on one using coconut fibre and light. People can walk through the installation in progress that will have coir enmeshes and light formations. “The idea is to go local,” she says disclosing about her visit to a local coir fibre factory.

Patrick O’Brien a self-taught artist too works with installation and sound. He is interested in asking questions of a cultural nature, he says. Patrick will be presenting a sonic experience, a performance, with found objects, “a bit of junk, a metal barrel, sticks and concrete.” Hailing from Melbourne, Patrick says that the city has a history of a strong sound practice and has always engaged with experimental sounds. He brings in that strain.

Robert McDougall engages with video art and photography to blend it with sound and installation. A musician, Robert has had a short stint at Banaras where he learnt to play the tabla. He will be delivering a talk on his research about traditional music in South East Asia. “I have worked with less represented traditional, ethnic music like tribal music with gongs and string instruments,” he says. His video installation is sound-based and uses multiple channels.

Textile designer Lichen Kemp will be working with children. Married to Dylan Lichen she works closely with her artist-husband and uses his illustrations as print on textile. Her workshop, for children in the age group 6-12, will take an art approach to chemistry using coloured liquids and household ingredients like oil, effervescent tablets and food colouring. Lichen will talk on art practices that make use of scientific processes.

If Dylan’s work is about the place, it also seems to be the inspiration for the entire group. Kochi excites Meagan Streader from Brisbane. The space at Pepper House is encouraging her to revel in large scale installations, which is her forte. Here she is working on one using coconut fibre and light. People can walk through the installation in progress that will have coir enmeshes and light formations. “The idea is to go local,” she says disclosing about her visit to a local coir fibre factory.

Her colleague from Brisbane Michael Candy is an artist engineer, one who works in mechanical interactive sculptures. “I work on moving light sculptures,” he says. He like Meagan is thrilled about a certain freedom that India affords for an artist. “I think it is about the freedom to experiment; there are so many unused large spaces here,” says Michael about the city. He is working on a two metre mechanical row boat getting ready at a local metal workshop.

The group seems to be charged by the spirit of the city drawing inspiration from the umpteen sensations, sights and sounds. All are united by a common thread in their art practice of drawing something that inherently belongs to the city. ‘A Weekend In Art’ is a collaboration between KMB, Pepper House Residency Programme and a local homestay. For more details contact: 9995620083.