Mysterious Al's SPOOKHOUSE - Review

Mysterious Al's SPOOKHOUSE - Review


Posted 2021-03-19 by Fiona Andersonfollow

Fri 19 Mar 2021 - Sun 28 Mar 2021

A vast warehouse space in Collingwood that has somehow escaped urban developers has become the location for Mysterious Al's latest - and most ambitious - art project, SPOOKHOUSE .

Mysterious Al is a contemporary artist from London UK, who relocated to Melbourne in 2011. He rose to fame in the early 2000s through the explosion of street art. He developed notoriety for his wall paintings, paste-ups and street installations alongside his contemporaries D*face, Banksy and PMH, and has since had his works shown in galleries and art fairs worldwide, as well as collaborating with major brands including Levis, Vans, Carhartt, Adidas and Eastpak.

Entry to the warehouse is through a nondescript side door and into a low light setting, perfect to create a somewhat spooky atmosphere. In this cleverly conceived art space, the lighting also allows the exhibition's main feature to shine. On entry into the warehouse, you are greeted with a large, illuminated, pop art comic-style sign - SPOOKHOUSE - and as your eyes adjust to the gloom, you notice carriages lined up on tracks under the sign, waiting to start the Ghost Train ride.

Naturally one has to start with a ride on the Ghost Train! Two years in the making, the immersive ghost train ride provides a novel way of displaying some of Al's creations. Technologies self-taught by the artist such as robotics, projections and sound effects help to bring Al's mask sculptures to life on this Ghost Train ride with a difference.

Preparing the Ghost Train wasn't without its challenges. As Al explains: "I've completely redesigned the ride inside and out. The show features paintings, projections and my first foray into sculpture - crudely-animated monsters made using traditional methods during lockdown. I wanted to stay true to the original materials and methods of traditional ghost trains, so I made my props from papier-mache and chicken wire. Just as I'd finished everything, rats infested my workshop and ate the lot. Turns out the traditional flour and water papier-mache makes great rat poison. I had to start again which is why I ended up doing more mechanical pieces… And I used wood glue the second time."

Moving deeper into the warehouse, you will find a gallery space housing 70 of Al's pieces in his distinctive style, all of which are for sale. The current series is based on ancient tribal masks, reimagined in wild contemporary colours. The artworks are open to individual interpretation; look beyond the striking facade and you may find underlying emotion and vulnerability. And, as Al, puts it: "my artworks have different subtexts for adults and children".

There is also a gift shop offering limited-edition merchandise, available only on-site.

Whether Al's art personally appeals, it is undoubtedly collectible, and that, coupled with the fun and unique approach to exhibiting his collection, give two good reasons to add a visit to SPOOKHOUSE to your schedule. We were told that the first weekend has already sold out, and with numbers limited due to COVID restrictions, you won't want to delay booking in! Click here to buy tickets.

SPOOKHOUSE is running every day until 28th March 2021 at HoMie Emma Street Warehouse, 35-53 Emma Street, Collingwood. There are sessions from 10am to 6pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 10am to 9pm on Thursday to Saturday. Sessions last one hour.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages, however, guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets prices are: Adults $12, Concession $10, Children under 14 $8 (booking fees apply), Children 3 and under FREE.

!date 19/03/2021 -- 28/03/2021
216182 - 2023-06-16 07:23:59


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