Span brings together five artists based in Perth and Fremantle, to examine movement and distance. Curator Ric Spencer describes the exhibition as “a response to contemporary issues of globalisation”: it deals with boundaries mapped and crossed, and boundaries impossible to cross.

Whilst the exhibition examines the global, it returns repeatedly to the subject of the human body. In Olga Cironis’s Mountain of Words, hair from thousands of participants is woven into a ribbon, growing further while in the gallery. In Tanya Lee’s video work Curtilage, a person in one house brushes the hair and teeth of a person in the one next door, using an ad hoc extended device to traverse the ambiguous space – the ‘curtilage’ – between two homes.

The human body is evident even in the enormous scale of Susanna Castleden’s works: an aeroplane wing and a cruise ship gangway are rendered life-size, their surfaces imprinted into black-gessoed maps through a laborious process of frottage.

In Andrew Sunley Smith’s sculptural works, the forms of machine parts are replicated from burnt wood. Sunley Smith draws on his own experiences living o -grid to examine the use of finite resources.

A global experience is made personal in Clyde McGill’s interactive performance work Dolorosa. In the story of a family, forcibly displaced and searching for a safe home, McGill’s suite of paintings function as back- drops and as stations, stopping points within a narrative. Overhead wires are attached to amplifiers and ‘played’ with sticks by the audience, who become complicit in the displacement.

Moving at once outwards and inwards, Span wrestles with ever-present conflicts and intimacies, measuring the distance between bodies.

Fremantle Arts Centre
4 February – 26 March

Interview with curator Ric Spencer:

Preview Words by Anna Dunnill