Commissioned by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Brook Andrew’s The Cell is an immersive installation, featuring a 12.5m x 6m inflatable rectangle that requires the viewer to wear a specially designed costume, before crawling via a tunnel into a striped cell. This is the first time The Cell has been shown in Western Australia.
Working with striking neon installations, powerful photographic studies, prints, sculpture and optical illusions, Andrew challenges cultural and historical perception using text and image to comment on local and global issues regarding race, consumerism and history. Language and traditional designs from Andrew’s Wiradjuri heritage are combined with contemporary elements such as optical art patterns, pop art aesthetics, and the declarative strategies of advertising to create compelling and insightful pieces. The inflatable cell draws on such themes concerning cultural identity, colonial experience and consumerism.
In the artist’s words “The original idea for The Cell is an extension of my wall pattern installations, where one is immersed in the pattern and experience. You are immediately transformed once you don a costume and enter The Cell. It’s like you become an inmate, a cellular astronaut or asylum seeker. Experiences of loss, asylum and genocide, an ‘outsider’, is turned on its head. The Cell is a conundrum, a monument to such stories, a space for quiet contemplation, disorientation and spectacle.”
Please note: during the Little Big Shots Children’s Short Film Festival (20-23 July, 1pm), The Cell will operate from 11am to 6pm with a break from 1pm-2pm.