For this year’s Perth Festival FAC presents A Forest of Hooks and Nails, an exhibition of new works which sees FAC’s install crew become the artists. Creating new artworks specific to the building’s history, architecture and their experiences working behind the scenes, the exhibition is rich and varied.
We’re catching up with some of the artists to find out more about their practice and the works they’ve created, kicking off with Rob Kettels.
For A Forest of Hooks and Nails Rob has filled Gallery 3 with 2.5 tonnes of rock salt for his work Mineral Rites, painting out the space with a dreamy pink gradient which we know visitors are going to love.
Hi Rob, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your practice?
I am an artist and PhD candidate at Curtin University. My art practice addresses specific slippages and errors – in art and the natural sciences – which continue to define the ways in which the environment is perceived in contemporary Western culture.
Tell us about the work you’ve created for A Forest of Hooks and Nails
The inspiration for my installation was based on a photograph I took in the Central Desert. It was taken on the dry salt-lake Wilkinkarra / Lake Mackay, one of Australia’s remotest places and fourth largest lake. In 2016, I tried and failed to walk across Wilkinkarra / Lake Mackay for a university art project. But the failure led to a new direction in my art practice and I started investigating the classical division between the inorganic and organic in Western ways of knowing the environment. By proposing an alternate point of view, my artwork aims to question the established metaphors used in the imaginary of the geologic.
How long have you been part of FAC’s install crew?
I have been on the install crew since 2018, I started work on Carbon Supremacy by Andrew Sunley Smith (part of the group exhibition SPAN). My install Mineral Rites is loosely in “conversation” with Andrew’s Carbon Supremacy. Andrew filled Galley 3 with shredded tires, it was at that time I had the idea to fill Galley 3 with salt.
What’s your most memorable install experience?
Getting covered head to toe in soot from while working on Carbon Supremacy by Andrew Sunley Smith.
What was it like installing your own work for this exhibition?
The gradient on the walls for Mineral Rites took five days to paint, I was literally dreaming about gradients during that time.
What other projects have you got coming up?
I have an exhibition with Larissa Losch at Heathcote Gallery in May this year. We will be exploring the contemporary human relationship with the geologic.