When I first moved to Altona, I soon discovered an externally unimpressive single-storey building, the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, located very near to Pier Street. I was curious what it was but hesitated in stepping inside for I did not know whether it was a public or private property. I found out later that it is a public venue for art exhibitions and one does not need to pay to view these exhibitions. I am rather impressed that such a small suburb like Altona has its own arts gallery that it can be proud of, for I know not every suburb of Melbourne is fortunate enough to have an arts centre.
I believe this centre serves a useful and important role in Altona. It provides a venue for artists, particulary those from the western suburbs and budding artists, to display their works of art. The residents of Altona stand to benefit greatly. The centre is more than a venue to spend one’s leisure time. It brings arts to the home turf of locals, particularly senior citizens, who do not need to commute afar to view art exhibitions. It educates local residents on how to appreciate art and helps to build a more cultured community. Not only is it a favourite spot among locals, it is also appealing to tourists who visit Altona.
The centre now holds a wearable art exhibition, which ends on 26th Sep 2010. I have missed the Fashion Parades on 10th Sep 2010. So I quickly visited the exhibition and took some photos before it ends.
The photo in the centre is a digital print on silk of the work of Greg McQuirk, an architect from Sydney. This artwork is supposed to show dance movements from different cultures, such as the Dervishes of Persia, the Arabic Dance of the Veils, Chinese Fan Dancing and Polynesian Poi. It is filled with four alphabets A, C, G, T which stand for Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine respectively. These are the four nucleobases of DNA and form the genetic code of all living organisms. The artwork is drawing parallel between the process of weaving and that of DNA strands unravelling and then reweaving during replication.
Though I do not know much about art, I would say that all the apparels are remarkably creative. Two ladies who were visiting this exhibition could not help constantly expressing admiration for every single item of the apparels on display. These exhibits are such powerful magnets to them that it is apparent they are glued to the venue.