PIAF 2016: HOME, Preview
Our Place. Our Songs. Our Stories.
With all the hype that has surrounded Perth Fringe, it has astounded me how under the radar the major event of the Perth Festival has been. It wasn’t until last week that I heard that over 500 musicians and dancers will be taking on a 60-metre long stage to be set up at Langley Park on the Perth Foreshore. Akin to “The Giants” spectacle last year, PIAF’s 2016 theatrical spectacular Home is something developed for Western Australians by Western Australians.
Home could be described as a celebration of 40,000 years of culture, shining a light on the fragile beauty of WA’s landscape and charts and epic journey of arrival, foundation, boom time, and resilience. The show’s director, Nigel Jamieson brought together WA’s most reknowned artists to dramatise our relationship with the place that we call home. To name a few:
John Butler trio
Western Australian Youth Orchestra
Western Australian Symphony Orchestra
Jamieson worked closely with Noongar elder and artist, Dr Richard Walley, and the 14 clans of the Noongar nation, to create and prepare a powerful Welcome to Country. Through dance, music and song, the Welcome to Country celebrates the connection we all share with the land and sets the stage for PIAF’s most ambitious home-grown event.
Isolated Nation was invited to a media preview for the event, where Dr Walley and his fellow community members performed a powerful Welcome to Country song, and Tim Minchin gave us a taste of what was to come tomorrow night, performing one of the original songs from Home.
When Minchin was asked how he felt about Home’s theme of national pride and belonging, he said that he wanted to participate in a production that gave the audience a connection and sense of belonging with the land, regardless of their background, while removing the exclusivity that is often associated with nationalism or patriotism. He said that supporting Australian soccer teams abroad has very little do with being proud of being Australian or feeling at home in Australia, rather it has more to do with the feeling of comfort when breathing the air and looking at the local flora and fauna after being away for a long time.
Dr Walley said that he felt that Home is a good marriage between two cultures, bringing Indigenous and Non-Indigenous art forms to the stage in a way that doesn’t brush away the past but is also hopeful for the future. He said that people can’t jump back on boats and take the buildings with them but we can all work together to live harmoniously with each other while acknowledging what happened.
Home is set to be a spectacular celebration of landscape, culture and community, taking patrons on a journey of our land, our country and our home from pre-settlement to the impact of early settlement and to our diverse and colourful way of life today. So bring a picnic blanket and maybe insect repellent and enjoy the show!
When: Saturday 13th February, 7.45PM
Where: Langley Park, Perth