Perth: Moana Project Space forced to vacate Hay St premises

A view of Tom Blake's downstream dreams exhibition. Picture: Jess Boyce
A view of Tom Blake's downstream dreams exhibition. Picture: Jess Boyce

AN artist-run contemporary gallery in the heart of Perth is being forced to vacate its Hay Street premises by the end of next week.

The announcement comes just over a month after Moana Coffee closed, a popular cafe housed in the same Hay Street building.

Moana Project Space’s final show is still going ahead in a shortened format, with Tom Blake’s downstream dreams set to open this evening.

Co-director Jess Boyce said the lease was not renewed after a late decision and what they believe was extensive negotiations by Spacemarket, the organisation Moana sublets from.

“We only found out on November 1, while the team was in Hobart installing an exhibition for the inaugural HOBIENNALE,” she said.

“The fact that the space may lay empty after our beautiful purpose-built gallery structure is deconstructed is particularly saddening to us.

“We tried to negotiate to be allowed to stay in the building until Tom Blake’s show was originally meant to end on December 9, but to no luck.”

Ms Boyce said the Moana team was determined not to let this be the end of the group.

“We’ll use this opportunity to reassess the role the gallery plays in the Perth arts scene, how it’s run, and how we can make it a sustainable artist-run space for the future,” she said.

“We’ve had so much support already coming from many individuals and organisations.

“We’ve also had people reach out with leads for potential new spaces.”

Ms Boyce said people can support Moana by visiting its current exhibition and supporting the group’s events next year when it finds a new space.

Tom Blake’s downstream dreams opens tonight at 6pm, on the first floor at 618 Hay Street.

The artist has exhibited across the world and works across forms, utilising fragmented moments and symbols as potential sites for contemplating the psychological frameworks and technological networks that surround us.

The exhibition runs from 10am to 4pm on November 18 and 19.

To find out more about the exhibition and follow Moana’s announcements, visit moana-ari.com.

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