At certain times of the week, visitors to a novel exhibition at The University of Western Australia's Cullity Gallery in the School of Architecture and Fine Arts would be excused for thinking they are witnessing art theft in action.
At any time on a Monday afternoon or a Wednesday morning they are likely to see several of 24 first year fine arts students whip big acrylic paintings off the gallery walls and struggle away with them.
However, what the students are doing, according to their lecturer, Paul Trinidad, is simply taking their pieces upstairs to work on them before replacing them. They are part of a work-in-progress show, which is a unique collaboration between UWA, students at the Indonesian Seni (Art) Institute of Denpasar and professional local and international artists from Australia, Europe, the US, India and Indonesia.
With the Indonesian title of ‘Bagus Hati' (Beautiful Heart), the exhibition is a major step in developing an international ‘bridge of culture' for collaborations, exchanges and academic advancement.
While the UWA students' work is constantly changing, the input from the institute students and visiting artists - DVDs, films and smaller pieces of artwork including photos framed in CD cases - forms a steadying ‘heart beat' complete with soundscape.
The exhibition's curators Helen Michaelsen and Paul Trinidad have also taken on a third year Arts Practicum student, Rebekah Ryan, as an apprentice curator.
It is rare for first year fine art students to exhibit and according to Mr Trinidad they enjoy seeing their work hanging in a real gallery alongside top international artists. However, one visitor wasn't so sure she liked the concept - she wanted to buy one of the paintings and was told it wasn't finished yet and might look completely different by the following Monday or Wednesday.
The works in progress will be completed by Friday, June 6 when the exhibition will not have an opening, but a special closing.
Paul Trinidad (+61 8) 9380 7177 / (+61 4) 21 849 752
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716