The west Brunswick Sculpture Triennial (wBST) is a multifaceted event focusing on sculpture and related practices. Co-ordinated by the OSW collective – currently comprised of Terri Bird, Bianca Hester and Scott Mitchell – the wBST presents projects by 27 local and interstate artists. Together with film and sound contributions from many more, the wBST brings together a diverse range of practices including sculpture, installations, video, film, performances, and hosted events.
The wBST developed from a desire to explore the interrelated potential that connects the generation and presentation of art practices brought into focus through localized conditions. These conditions include: the proximity of the wBST sites (all west of Sydney Road in Brunswick); the interrelatedness of the participants, drawn from an intergenerational group of peers and associates interested in self-generating possibilities for making their practice public; and the necessary scale these bring to the project. As such the wBST gathers together projects and practices that operate at a particular scale of economy celebrating local and/or site responsive approaches to production or presentation. No less ambitious, the local focus of the wBST self-consciously, and with some irony, stands in contrast to its larger scaled namesakes: the Australian Sculpture Triennial and the Melbourne International Biennial.
Initially conceived as an exhibition in a lounge room, the wBST expanded to become a platform for experimenting with the conditions of art production and presentation exploring the potential of an interrelated sequence of ‘home-scaled’ or domestic sites. This sequence of sites comprises backyards, living rooms, kitchens, sheds, an artists’ project space, and the network of streets connecting each site of presentation across the neighbourhoods of west Brunswick. These locations provide a chaotic everyday platform for art practice, and invites artists and audiences alike to approach the process of production and reception from within a lived context. This context both connects and contrasts the communal space of public life and the private space of domesticity.
Alongside the question of locality, the wBST explores the relations of public and private realms through acts of hospitality, festivity and DIY approaches to making. Central to the wBST is this economy of the everyday and the connections it enables between individuals. This project emerges from the OSW collective’s ongoing interest in art practice that open up terrains alongside the familiar means by which art is generated and distributed. Art made from within, and in response to, questions of the local both emerges from and accommodates the rhythms of life that exist alongside it. It is from within this background rhythm that the wBST is generated and presented.