Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre
In collaboration with Tom Allum and Lincoln Mackinnon
Undermining the foundations of the ‘visual’ arts, Blindness lends itself to a deeply embodied reading of space. Through this lens, echoes, voices, and light have expansive potential beyond simply creating an atmosphere: they generate important microcosms of information which contribute to the energy of a place.
Beckoning for closeness toys with the physicality of sound to create multiple audio circuits within the gallery, each representing a unique facet of blind navigation including, diegetic sound, description, and conversation. Uniting aural, tactile, and visual mediums, the work collapses the distance that is usually assumed between an artwork and its audience, and instead invites participants to attune their senses and engage with attentiveness and consideration.
Beckoning for closeness is Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre’s first exhibition and an expanded iteration of their audio piece, Rethinking the Image which was commissioned by Perth Festival 2021, and later developed through an artistic residency at Art on The Move.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Mayma Awaida is a first-generation Lebanese community-engaged creative producer, artist, and arts manager. Working both independently and collaboratively, Mayma’s current work considers how art and writing are embodied experiences, and aims to generate a discourse for sensorial readings of space. In 2021 she was the producer for The Other Film Festival WA, a commissioned artist in Perth Festival’s program, and undertook a residency at Art On The Move. Mayma creates and contemplates on Whadjuk Noongar Bibbulmun boodjar.
Tony Sarre is a Blind Australian filmmaker, artistic director, writer, and facilitator, whose current body of work centralises accessibility in and within the arts. With collaboration at the heart of his practice, Tony’s work interrogates how to treat audio description as a complex and evolving language, imbued with narrative flair. In the last year, Tony has functioned as the consulting artistic director for The Other Film Festival. has co-directed a Screenwest funded short film Turning to White as well as the behind-the-scenes documentary, chronicling his unique directorial style as a Blind Artist. He recently completed a residency with Art On The Move and is collaborating on a sound art project for DADAA.
Tom Allum is a sound artist and filmmaker from Fremantle WA. Tom’s practice spans environmental field recordings, digital music, storytelling, sound design and documentary. After graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2011 he founded film outfit Barking Wolf. His work has been distributed across National Geographic, Discovery International, Netflix, ABC, SBS, and NITV. While locally, his projects have exhibited at galleries, including the Art Gallery of WA, Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, The Wireless Hill Museum and Midland Junction Arts Centre.
Lincoln MacKinnon is a Fremantle based sound designer, filmmaker, musician and community arts worker. Working predominantly with digital media, Lincoln often collaborates with community groups to create cultural, artistic and social documentaries, music videos, experimental soundscapes and interactive media works.
Image: Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre, Circulation, 2021. Courtesy the artists.