LARGE-scale event and theatre director Nigel Jamieson has been bewitched by the Australian landscape since his first visit from London 35 year ago.
Love of an Aussie girl led him to call this country home in 1994 and he has since kept busy creating grand public performances including the Tin Symphony for the Sydney Olympic Opening Ceremony and the Manchester Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.
All this made him the logical choice when Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF) artistic director Wendy Martin was assembling her creative team for this year’s PIAF one-off outdoor live performance launch event, Home.
“(Martin) asked me to come over here and the first thing she arranged for me to do was to meet Richard Walley at 6am in Kings Park,” Sydney-based Jamieson said.
“He did a personal Welcome to Country and spoke to me about the landscape and how people lived in the landscape for tens of thousands of years.
“It was a really powerful experience and I’ve absolutely loved working with Richard and getting to know the Nyungar community better.”
Walley, an artist who performed the first Welcome to Country in Perth 40 years ago, is associate director on Home, a 90-minute free event at Langley Park this Saturday.
As the name of the concert suggests, it will feature an array of WA artists, including Tim Minchin, John Butler, The Waifs, Tim Winton and Shaun Tan, sharing their sense of ‘home’ through their artistry.
“It’s quite incredible the amount of amazing artists Perth has produced and what a strong place the landscape takes in their work,” Jamieson said.
“There are few occasions where you have such a richness of artists all from one place.
“To have the honour of working with all the amazing bands and writers and filmmakers and animators; it’s very much a celebration and exploration from the Nyungar artists and community through to the contemporary artists of what it means to be on this country and people’s responses to that.”
Jamieson said the evening would have a great sense of spectacle with imagery on screens stretching more than 60m, an orchestra, mass choir, thousands of children and Nyungar performers with all 13 Nyungar clans represented.
Five thousand house-shaped lanterns have been made by WA schoolchildren who have painted each side with what is important to them inside their home, their home of WA and their home on Earth.
“It’s a celebration of the incredible diversity of WA today but also about our beautiful, fragile landscape and the need to look after our home,” Jamieson said.
Where: Langley Park
When: 7.30pm, Saturday, February 13