A Perth artist, inspired by the kaleidoscope of humanity she encountered at the Wandana complex in Subiaco, will display her artworks at a free exhibition at Subiaco Library this month.
Local artist Bee K C Tan seeks out moments ensconced by the everyday, teasing out their colours in her portraits and studies. Seen through the eyes of such an artist, Subiaco’s landmark Wandana complex presents a treasure-trove of inspiration, a collage coloured by the stories of the people who live there.
The Wandana complex was built in 1956, famously the first multi-storey block to be built in WA. It was heavily protested at the time by residents for threatening the suburban area with its skyscraper 10 story profile, but the construction went ahead to address a public housing crisis which followed the end of World War II.
Now a State Heritage listed building, the 245 apartments in the Wandana complex are home to a community of diverse and vibrant characters, a palette of humanity Bee felt compelled to honour through her art practice.
The City of Subiaco awarded Bee a Community Development Grant in late 2019 for her project - collecting the stories and painting portraits for 20 of Wandana’s residents, capturing a spectrum in the kaleidoscope of humanity brought together by a place to call home.
You can experience the resulting exhibition, Wandana Portraits, for free at the Subiaco Library from Monday 11 January 2021 to Sunday 31 January. A launch event for the exhibition will take place on Friday 15 January from 6 – 7.30pm, featuring an artist talk from Bee K C Tan on the project, and a performance of the Wandana Song by the Songfest choir, followed by a light supper.
Bookings for the free launch event are essential, through https://bit.ly/3hMrOWc
Watch an interview with the artist, Bee Tan, about the Wandana Portraits project.