Peek-a-Boo is the street level window gallery of Gotham Studios Inc, operates 24/7 and celebrates its Silver Anniversary this year
Gotham Studios Inc and the Peek-a-Boo Gallery
Gotham Studios was established in 1987 and is Western Australia’s longest running artist-run initiative (and Australia's third-oldest), Gotham celebrating its 25th anniversary this year since being officially incorporated in 1988. Along with other heritage buildings in the precinct, the building was closed for redevelopment in 2009. The studios were officially re-opened by The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi in September 2011 for Gotham Returns, which included a full-scale exhibition inside and throughout the building, and also the re-launch of the Peek-a-Boo Gallery - Gotham’s own ground floor window-box gallery - presenting a small-scale group show of small works.
During 25 years of artistic production, over 130 visual artists have had access to invaluable inner-city working space. Long time member Andrew Nicholls notes that Gotham has
‘collectively made an assertive contribution to Western Australian culture over the past two decades, with many of the state’s leading visual artists, writers and curators based at the studio throughout its lifespan. Gotham is an icon of independent visual arts practice in the state.’ (Nicholls, 2013, p 3)
Established as 'the smallest gallery in the southern hemisphere' when the studios were first launched in the late 1980s (at an even smaller scale than its current floor-to-ceiling format), Peek-a-Boo today presents exhibitions of contemporary art from a gallery space only three square metres in size. Exhibitions can be viewed free of charge from the pavement at 57 James Street, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Initially intended as a playful dig at Gotham’s neighbour, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Peek-a-Boo was founded to allow experimental and non-institutional art to thrive at street level in Perth’s cultural centre.
Last February and March, Gotham Gone Wild honoured this legacy via a programme of surprising and celebratory artworks and interventions for Perth’s Fringe World 2013. In celebration of the Studio’s twenty-fifth anniversary, the artists of Gotham presented a changing programme of performances, sound works, temporary installations and events at Peek-a-Boo including: public life drawing from the street as models posed in the window; and night drawing - the artists drawing spectators on the glass and vice versa. Gotham Gone Wild complemented Le Salon Scintillant (winner of the Best Visual Art Award for Fringeworld 2013), Gotham’s inaugural Silver Anniversary exhibition at Moana Project Space, Perth.
Gotham has collaborated in the past with non-member artists at Peek-a-Boo, but this year, the gallery programme also features 7 exhibitions from exclusively non-member artists. In November, Gotham Studios will be opening its doors to the public for the city-wide event, Perth Open House 2013, and has invited local artist Ben Crappsley to be the Peek-a-Boo artist for that time.
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