matt aitken & mei swan lim | land sale

The Urban Sprawl keeps moving. Biodiverse areas are erased in the blink of an eye – a process so commonplace that it is hard for us to recall what exactly existed before these brickies’ sand moonscapes. Top soil is scraped away, yellow fill sand is trucked in from an unknown place and layered smooth like icing. Whole streets exist in a limbo like state – a developmental pause in the terraforming. This ‘clean slate’ is the blank surface upon which we can project our desires of the dream home & lifestyle package.

Land Sale looks to the altered landscapes, sweeping sub-divisions, freeway extensions and early-phase industrial sites of Perth’s northern suburbs.

Taking their collective experience and memories of these barren, sanitised and changed landscapes, commonplace in the development of Perth, artists Matt Aitken and Mei Swan Lim will investigate these familiar and yet largely invisible spaces. Through a series of conversations, an exhibition and a immersive, sensory walking tour, Matt and Mei will observe, re-mystify and explore below the surface of these barren, brickie-sand mirages that characterise the freeway extensions from Wanneroo to Yanchep and beyond.


Opening Event | Fri 23 Nov, 6pm

24 Nov - 15 Dec, 2018

Cool Change Contemporary, Bon Marche Arcade, Perth.

Through video and folk craft, Land Sale at Cool Change Contemporary looks below the surface of the shiny brochure to try and understand the relationship between development and geology, urban sprawl deserts and dune systems, land and sales.

Join the Facebook event.


Sat 2 Feb, 2019 | 9.30am - 12pm

FREE | Register via the Facebook event.

Follow the trail of land sale sites and brickie sand moonscapes.

Join artists Matt Aitken and Mei Swan Lim alongside a local historian, tradie, musician and a geologist in an immersive, multi-sensory walking and bus tour, to navigate the landscapes, histories and future of the dream home and lifestyle package.

Contributors: Susan Dalgleish (community historian), Ben Plunkett (geologist), Byron Joel (permaculture expert).

Departing from Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre, 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo.
Brunch from 9.30am. Bus departs at 10am.


8 Jul - 31 Aug, 2019

Wanneroo Gallery, City of Wanneroo, 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo

Hearsay shares fireside tales; from the ghostly Alkimos wreck, big cat sightings and UFOs, to daredevil feats of the Birdman Rally and the adventures of Moondyne Joe. Set to the backdrop of the shipwreck coast and the Gnangara pines, and drawn from the rich history of the Wanneroo region, this exhibition blurs the line between fact and fiction.

Featuring new works from Land Sale by Matt Aitken and Mei Swan Lim.


Mei Swan Lim is a practicing sound and visual artist whose work centres on the environmental, emotional and spiritual importance of place, interdisciplinary investigation and cultural storytelling. Her works have appeared at Proximity Festival, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth Festival and Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Lim completed her Bachelor in Visual Art at Edith Cowan University in 2017.

Matt Aitken is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Drawing from his background in Cultural Anthropology and DIY music, Matt’s practice centres around collaboration and empowerment. In past creative works he has partnered with PICA, Perth Festival, Museum of Water & City Arts Space. Matt is currently investigating youth radio and experimental film with Indigenous and CaLD young people in the community.

Both based in Western Australia, Lim & Aitken have collaborated on social practice projects such as Swamp Clubb (TRANSART), Walyalup Water Walk with Sharyn Egan (Perth Festival) and Freeway Meditation with Katie West (Revelation Film Festival).


Images: Matt Aitken & Mei Swan Lim, Land Sale, 2017-18.