Erin Coates

Erin Coates

Albany, Western Australia, 1977

Residency: July 2013
 Erin Coates is an artist and curator from Perth, Western Australia. She uses video and sculptural installation to create specific viewing environments, often drawing on tropes from b-grade and sci-fi cinema and elements of urban architecture. Recently Erin’s work has combined her interest in architechture with her background in rock climbing, to carry out ‘urban climbs’. These filmed performances are integrated into installations, and use a critical – and at times comical – misappropriation of the built structures to look at how the human body relates to or contests its environments.Â
For her current residency project at Hangar she is researching parkour and urban climbing and bouldering and how these practices challenge the way we are patterned to read and use the built environment, providing a new layer of knowledge about the potential interactions between the body and the city. Her project draws on the lexicon of climbing route maps, utopic architectural projects and dérives.
Erin holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and her artwork has been exhibited in shows in China, Canada and Australia, including exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver. Her curatorial projects include We don’t need a map; a Martu experience of the Western Desert (, Fremantle Arts Centre, 2013; The Cars That Ate Perth, Spectrum Project Space, 2013; Suspension, Perth Cultural Centre Screen Space, 2012 and QUT Screen Space, 2013; along with a number of projects in non-gallery sites. In 2014 Erin will be working towards her first major solo exhibition, supported by a Catalyst commission.
Erin works with video, drawing and sculpture, often combining elements to make immersive installations. She is interested in built environments and, by using ideas drawn from body horror and science fiction, creates works that playfully question the way we are patterned to read and use urban space. In Erin’s films the screen protagonists always find new ways to physically interact with everyday spaces, by using utopic, absurdist and guerrilla strategies. Much of Erin’s recent work has reflected upon the relationship between creativity, endurance and physicality and in the making of her work she has drawn on her background in rock climbing and staged a series of urban climbing interventions. She has also made a short horror film involving scuba diving on the wreck of a sunken whale chaser. Erin’s creative process almost always involves collaboration with specialists from other fields, which has included engineers, architects, musicians, scuba divers and parkour performers. Erin holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, Canada and was the recipient of a Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission, which resulted in her solo exhibition, Kinesphere, at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in late 2014 and the publishing of an artist’s monograph. Erin’s screen-based artworks have been shown in numerous film festivals, including the Paris Short Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival and Revelation Perth International Film Festival.

images: video still from CLIMB ART, installation, 2013


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