West Australian artists Simone Johnston and Tanya Lee (the ST team) came together for an eight-week collaboration in November 2015 and March 2016. Their project, Community News, drew on their shared interests in urban politics, public and private space, and emotional responses to space. Over this time, the ST team collaborated directly with The Perth Voice newspaper, using the paper as a platform to record a series of small public interventions and short, playful performance works. Each weekly work took the form of an advertisement, public notice or short article, responding to recent local issues addressed in the newspaper. These playful escapades engaged the local community in conversations about place and memory, solved neighbourhood problems and explored the potential of selected sites in Perth’s neighbouring communities.

About the artists

Simone Johnston is a West Australian artist whose practice focuses on the relationships between place, ownership and memory within urban and domestic settings. Shifting across two and three dimensions, Johnston’s work combines elements of drawing, photographic documentation, textiles, sculpture and video. Johnston recently undertook a studio residency at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. In 2014/15 she was commissioned by the City of Subiaco, to make a new work for Subiaco pARk, an augmented reality sculpture park, as part of the Visual Arts Program for the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival. Other recent projects include a solo exhibition, It feels as though we’ve always been here, Paper Mountain, Perth, 2014. In 2013, Johnston was awarded the Artsource Artspace Sydney Residency, supported by The Department of Culture and the Arts in association with Lotterywest. Johnston’s work has also featured in group exhibitions, including the Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Perth, 2011, and the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, Perth, 2010.

Tanya Lee is a Western Australian based artist working across sculpture, performance and drawing. Her practice draws on everyday tasks to create humorous and often futile narratives that subvert the rules, protocols and politics of suburbia. Lee recently exhibited her first solo show Personal Space at Fremantle Arts Centre. She has also exhibited nationally as part of various artist run initiatives including, Art Proper Collective in Sydney. Tanya completed a BA and Masters (Fine Art) at Curtin University, which included a year at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Dijon. 

Images courtesy Simone Johnston & Tanya Lee; Yvonne Doherty.