Space Travel comes to Albany

Imagine you live in a 2 by 3 metre space. Every place you go is different. Does the space stay the same?

That’s the story behind our exhibition at Vancouver Arts Centre from 24 – 27 October.


For those who haven’t read our whole website (we forgive you), this is the story so far:

On 1 April, we left Melbourne in our 1973 Kombi. Over six months, we adapted by twisting and contorting the space, and ourselves, to make the insides of the Old Girl function as a home, studio, office and vehicle.

Now we’re the artists in residence at the Vancouver Arts Centre in Albany working feverishly towards our first exhibition. It’s also the first time we’ve collaborated on anything more than dinner. If that’s not worth a look, what is?

A little about Albany

The centre is housed in a beautiful old limestone and shingle hospital. Our studio is in the infectious ward. We live next door in Mary Thomson House, which used to be the nurses’ quarters. And there’s a morgue in the garden.

Mat finally explodes out of the box and into the studio

If that’s not enough to inspire the imagination, Albany definitely is. Nestled in King George Sound, known affectionately as the “womb”, the town is steeped in history. Albany was settled before both Perth and Fremantle, making it the oldest town in Western Australia. So we’ve supped red wine next the a roaring fire in WA’s oldest pub.

Oddly, for this quietly beautiful town, it was WW1 that put it on the map. A staggering 30,000 ANZACs and 7,800 horses gathered in the sound before the first fleet shipped out on November 1, 1914. It was the only time so many ANZACs were in the same spot. And, for many thousands, it was also the last place they saw of their homeland before heading to destinations unknown.

It’s fitting, then, that Albany priest Padre Ernest White created Australia’s Dawn Service here. There’s an incredible ANZAC monument at the top of Mount Clarence and museum on the adjacent Mount Adelaide. I won’t pretend you’ll have a happy day out, but the National Anzac Centre is easily the most thought-provoking, poignant and wonderfully interactive museum I’ve ever visited.

The walk up to the memorial is lined with stories

That brings us to the landscape – wow, what landscape it is! Squeezed in between the hills of Mount Melville and Mount Clarence, the town centre is small but perfectly formed. At the top of the hill, you look out across the peninsular to the rugged Torndirrup National Park and Bald Head.

Running at Bald Head in Torndirrup National Park – read our trail running guide!

Of course, the Old Girl has prime position, looking over the bay from her temporary home.

The Old Girl enjoys her penthouse view…now if only she could get up the driveway!



Here’s what you need to know:

Opens Monday 26 October

Join us for drinks on Wednesday 28 October at 6pm.

It’s not around for long, so if you’re near Albany come and see us! Actually, even if you’re on the other side of WA, we reckon there’s enough here to make the drive worthwhile.

Download your invitation or visit the Vancouver Arts Centre website for details.

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