West Australian artists the Triffids, the Drones, the Panics, John Butler and the Pigram Brothers will take part in Home, a massive part-concert, part-visual installation that opens Perth International Arts festival (Piaf).
Piaf is the longest-running festival of its kind in Australia and coincides with a number of other late-summer festivals in Perth across literature, film and music. We’ve selected some of our festival favourites, encompassing satellite events in the coastal towns of Albany and Denmark.
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Home – Perth International Arts festival
Directed by Nigel Jamieson and with help from Noongar elder and artist Richard Walley, Home unites the Triffids, the Drones and the Waifs with writers Kim Scott, Tim Winton, Robert Drewe and actor and WA’s international musical comedy star Tim Minchin. The concert event celebrates Western Australia – from the Pilbara to the edges of the Indian Ocean – in song, script and art. Artist Shaun Tan has written a short story exclusively for the event, illustrated by a series of images from his three award-winning books, including Tales from Outer Suburbia.
The Snake Run project, Great Southern festival
Travel 4.5 hours south of Perth and you will reach Western Australia’s Great Southern festival, where music, theatre and film events will take place (and transfer from Perth festival) over three weeks.
Opening the festival is a special event at Albany’s Snake Run – the world’s oldest community funded skate park still in use today – featuring visual artist Shaun Gladwell, who has made a career out of combining skateboarding and visual art in his video work. The event combines skate, dance, parkour and street art.
Also appearing will be US skate legend Russ Howell. More than 40 years ago, Howell opened the Snake Run, a skatepark born from the imaginations of Albany high school boys who raised , 000 towards the project.The Great Southern festival opens with the Snake Run project, featuring Russ Howell and Shaun Gladwell. Photograph: Miranda Brown Publicity
Roman Krznaric: A Mile in my Shoes – Perth International Arts festival and Perth writers’ festival
Author . He is the founder of the Empathy Museum, whose installation at the Perth International Arts festival – which will see the Stirling Gardens transformed into a giant shoebox – is designed to help people see the world from other perspectives.
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Slip your feet into a pair of shoes – they may belong to a refugee, a sex worker or a fly-in-fly-out operator – and walk one mile listening to the story of the owner.
Krznaric will also give an address on the power of empathy at the Perth writers’ festival opening on 18 February. He will be joined by authors and thinkers including Richard Dawkins, Simon Winchester, Patrick deWitt, Masha Gessen and Lauren Groff.
Dheepan and The Wait – Lotterywest film festival
Across two open-air settings – the University of Western Australia, Somerville and Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Pines – Perth’s Lotterywest film festival presents a selection of the best new films to see under the stars, including five that are making their Australian premiere.
Two of the top flicks on show include Jacques Audiard’s 2015 Palme d’Or winning Dheepan about a former Tamil Tiger who pursues a new life in Paris, and Denis Dercourt’s romantic drama The Wait, set in rural France where a mother, played by Juliette Binoche, grieves the loss of her son.
Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods and Give Me A Reason to Live – Perth International Arts festival
Glasgow-based artist Claire Cunningham trained as a classical singer, but the self-identifying disabled artist eventually switched to dance. Having used crutches since age 14, Cunningham takes advantage of her upper body strength and jettisons traditional dance techniques.
In Australia for the first time as Perth International Arts festival’s artist-in-residence, Cunningham presents two works exploring how the world’s major faiths view deafness and disability: Guide Gods and Give Me A Reason To Live. She presents her findings on whether she could – and should – be healed. Cunningham also invites the audience to stay for tea, a chat, and the chance to ponder their beliefs.Dancer Claire Cunningham rehearses for her performance Guide Gods. Photograph: Colin Mearns
Every Brilliant Thing – Perth International Arts festival
Guardian’s theatre critic Lyn Gardner dubbed Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing “the funniest play you’ll ever see about depression”. British comedian Jonny Donahoe, who co-wrote the play with Macmillan, stars as a young boy who constructs a list of ways to help his hospitalised mother find happiness.