Artwork > What’s Your Cape?

As part of the Atrium Project, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne

What’s Your Cape? ran over seven weeks in the Incinerator Gallery, a heritage building design by renown architect Walter Burley Griffin located in a prosperous suburb in Melbourne’s inner North West, Moonee Ponds. Like many municipal galleries, the Incinerator offers a white cube museum-approach to exhibiting art, and the subscriber audience reflects a somewhat homogenous, older demographic actively seeking cultural endeavours. However in 2014 the newly appointed gallery’s curator, Richard Ennis, introduced a new curatorial project in the gallery’s atrium, where invited guest artists could generate spatial and sculptural responses to the site’s architectural void.

What’s Your Cape? transformed the Atrium into a maker space for visitors to design and create costumes and character accessories. Throughout the exhibition cosplay and LARP enthusiasts were engaged to lead a series of activites and workshops for gallery visitors.

At the heart the project was an investigation into restorative gestures that can take place as a result of social engagement. Through immersive research in the lead up to the exhibition, which saw me participating in and engaging with LARP and cosplay communities, I became interested with the social conventions that prohibit us from participating in character and costume play in everyday settings.

The exhibition drew on immersive strategies to facilitate unlikely creative exchanges and collaborations, engaged a range of subcultural communities to share their creative practice in a gallery context and promote the use costume as a transformative experience.