"Our Place" Donga
"The sun sets over the Indian Ocean and its golden rays bounce off, absorb into and shine through diverse materials from steel to wood, string, plastic, tape, wool, granite and bronze, shaped into all manner of forms. The beach is thronged with people taking in this year's artistic offerings; bubbling with an undercurrent of curiosity magnetised toward the works from international, national and local artists all over the beach, groin and surrounding rise. There are pieces that immediately impress with scale and visual impact and others made for a more nuanced eye.
For the first time in over a decade of its running, durational performance is part of the exhibition. WA artist Olga Cironis has found a way to live the Australian dream and spend the summer on the beach. Her sculpture is herself and guests living in a donga as used in mining encampments. Attendant to seaside leisure this work speaks of questions related to immigration and belonging as a Greek Australian within Australian society. Cironis is well known for politically incisive works that challenge stereotypes of identity and tackle big questions with acerbic wit."
(Source: Laetitia Wilson, Artlink review.)
"Guests will be able to sleep overnight in the donga installed on the sand by WA artist Olga Cironis and furnished with items picked up from roadside verges.
“I’ve wanted to do something like this for ages,” Cironis said.
“It is a comment on many things but literally West Australian identity and mining, shacks disappearing along the coast as well as ideas of ownership and what is public and what is private.”
Cottesloe may be a public beach but some sections of the community did not feel welcome there, Cironis said.
“I sometimes work in Kwinana and the majority of kids I work with have never been to Cottesloe, she said. “I find that quite shocking.”
“Some of them don’t ever want to come here but some of them don’t feel that they can.
“It is that silent, hidden agenda of class and social history that I am exploring in my work as well.”
This is the fourth Sculpture by the Sea for Cironis, whose art often has a political edge, incorporates recycled materials and relies on public participation to complete its meaning.
She said much of her work was informed by her experience as a Greek migrant exploring identity and ideas of place.
Her donga - on loan from a company which provides them for mining and construction sites, schools, detention centres and Aboriginal communities - comes with a queen bed, stove, carpets, table, chairs and kitchen utensils.
“Everything is ready for guests except for an extra blanket. People can book in and I get everything ready for them,” she said.
“This is a five-star donga because I have stayed in dongas up north in Aboriginal communities and, believe me, this is five-star.”
(Source: Stephen Bevis Arts Editor, The West Australian)