Two New Zealand visual artists, Victoria Edwards and Ina Johann, undertook a residency based in Perth Museum as part of the Perth 800 cultural celebrations. Their visit was jointly arranged and sponsored by Perth & Kinross Council and Perthshire Visual Arts Forum.

The artists featured as speakers and mentors at Perthshire Visual Arts Forum 2010 at Birnam Institute. As artists in residence at Perth Museum and Art Gallery the artists created a working studio in Gallery 3 where the public was able to visit and talk to them about their work responding to the history of Perth. The final public presentation of their work was shown during the November 2010 Lightnights celebration.

Perth 800 is a year long celebration in 2010/11 which marks the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Burgh Charter to Perth by King William the Lion in 1210.


Images Edwards + Johann

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Edwards + Johann Artists' statement Perth 800 Residency and exhibition November 2010

Edwards+Johann's art works can be seen as encounters of place from the artists' experience and perspective following the Residency at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, May/June 2010. The artists developed a range of works for Perth 800 celebrations. A video diptych exhibited inside the AK Bell Library, a large scale watersceen projection during Lightnights as well as a photographic portrait work; now all hosted in the Perth Museum and Art Gallery's collection.

The video pieces are personal reflections of the duo's journey - fine, fragile connections with place. Personal recollections which, when screened in a public place, become part of the collective fabric. The people of Perth can identify with, respond to and/or form a relationship with the images and the sensitivity of the work. From poetic to quirky, including moments of confusion, viewers will hopefully find room to reflect on personal experiences, social and cultural histories - the treasures in our lives. In part two of the diptych two characters fossick in the Museum. They engage, reveal and connect with unspoken forces between places/spaces filled with stories and histories. Confident and confused - they navigate this historical place and play with the potential of the rich ground they find there.

On their return visit to Perth in November took the opportunity to work with a group of staff and students from St. John's academy to workshop and produce a large scale photographic Tableau Vivant. The work is inspired by the history of Perth dye works and a Henri Coeylas painting The Dye House housed in the Museum's collection.

In 2007 long time islander Dr. Victoria Edwards and German born artist Ina Johann decided to work on a project together which resulted in a collaboration that has proven to be an extraordinary artistic enterprise. Their projects span a variety of engagements. Their collaborative practice ranges from undertaking residencies to developing multi-media installations to new media installations to photographic exhibitions - nationally and internationally. Edwards + Johann role model collaborative art making rare in New Zealand (inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural, inter-generational). Their work frequently provokes questions rather than delivering answers: unease laced with an underlying aesthetic of beauty. Their work investigates and reflects on history and culture, connecting and mapping territory in a chosen environment/site/place.

Significant for their collaboration is the fact that it has enabled and encouraged the duo to venture into new and unchartered territories e.g. performative practice and advanced forms of installation practice. Aspects of their investigation relate to the tradition and questioning of art making (their engagement is not based on 'sole authorship'). Art for Edwards + Johann is a process whereby art making and viewing has the potential to become a social, communal, bodily experience.

Edwards + Johann
© 2008 Perthshire Visual Arts Forum