cusp – 26 April to 5 May

The cusp residence by Western Australia artist Perdita Phillips brings together sound and walking in contemporary artworks. Phillips’ work is often concerned with natural environments. She has been sound recording at Lake Clifton, south of Mandurah as part of The Sixth Shore project, investigating the history of the lake and its geomorphology, birds and aquatic life. The lake is famous for its thrombolites (or ‘living rocks’) which are endangered and were listed in 2010 as a threatened ecological community. Perdita has delved into a range of issues at the lake, using art to highlight the competing interests of various groups of people and the nonhuman world.

As part of The Sixth Shore, Perdy is making a gallery-based spatial soundscape called cusp approximately 5 m x 5 m for an exhibition in Mandurah in May. She will be constructing the work at the blend(er) with audio/visual/performance technical expert Simon Wise. It will use the sounds and stories she has recorded at Lake Clifton.

The show is open for public viewing daily, Tuesday through to Friday, from 10am to 2pm.

Join us at 10am for morning tea on 27 April when Dr. Perdita Phillips will give an informal talk related to her practice and what she is working on. Members can “take part in sound art walks if they wish” using small recorders and earphones. This should prove very worthwhile for those interested in contemporary thought and new aspects of creativity, or those just wishing to come in and meet up with other artists in an informal environment.

A beach cusp is a shallow scalloping of sand often seen at beaches from a few metres to up to 10 metres wide. Cusps form when successive waves concentrate their activities eroding sand out of the middle of the cusp and leaving it uneroded in between. In the work being made in the residency, sound will move around the viewer through different speakers in a sequence similar to the way waves come up a beach before washing back out into the sea. The aim is to draw an analogy between the way that each wave reshuffles and ‘resets’ the sand on the beach, with our ability to change our environmental and cultural priorities.

This work will be exhibited in the group show Adaptation 6 May to 10 June at INQB8 in Mandurah

INQB8.mandurah Centre for Contemporary Art
63 Ormsby Terrace
Mandurah, Western Australia

Perdita Phillips is a contemporary artist from Western Australia. Working across the media of drawing, installation, video and sound, she has investigated termites, salinisation and salmon gum trees, cane toads and bowerbirds. Her current spatial sound project, The Sixth Shore, involves exploring the environment at scales from microbes to waders to landscapes, including human histories and environmental problems, developing further her ideas about ecosystemic thinking and connecting ecological theories of complexity and resilience with art as social action. You can hear an interview about her sound and walking projects at

Recent exhibitions include The Conservatorium (Paper Mountain, Perth, 2012) Art/Text/Clearinghouse Project + Western Australian Photographic Book Survey (Perth Centre for Photography, 2012), Animals, People – A Shared Environment (POP Gallery, Brisbane, 2011) and Visceral: The Living Art Experiment (Science Gallery, Dublin, 2011). Perdy’s interest in where human and nonhuman collide sets the scene for artworks that work with taking heed of and conveying all the voices that will play a role in shaping the coming environmental futures.


Title: Yalgorup karst and dodder
Date: 2012
Artist: Perdita Phillips
Medium: digital photograph
Filename: cliftonrocks7029_950.jpg

Title: Beach cusp
Date: 2012
Artist: Perdita Phillips
Medium: digital photograph
Filename: testsshore2_590.jpg