Lara Thoms : Ultimate Vision - Monuments to Us
Ultimate Vision – Monuments to Us was a C3West project by Australian artist Lara Thoms, in collaboration with Hurstville City Council and Westfield Hurstville. Thoms specifically devised a project for the retail spaces of Westfield Hurstville that questioned youth visibility within the shopping centre, and offered an alternative image of how teenagers engage with these spaces. Like many shopping centres, Westfield is a focal point of Hurstville. Its spaces, although privately owned appear, and are treated, as public. Ultimate Vision embodied the vocabulary of retail marketing, within the shopping centre, as a means of offering an alternative perspective – one with a strong focus on the local community. For three weeks in January 2013, Thoms was artist-in-residence in Westfield Hurstville at the Hub of Democracy, a space reserved for those between 12 – 19 to spend time and vote in various categories including the 'ultimate’ time, music, smell and best person. Following this residency, Thoms worked with local teenagers to create a series of ephemeral monuments designed to alter the spaces of the shopping centre. From 4 – 10 April, these monuments were installed across the screens, window displays and advertising spaces of Westfield Hurstville. A number of retailers in Westfield Hurstville participated in the project by changing their window display to incorporate the ultimate colour and time. They were: Events Clothing, Dollar Store 123, Jacobson’s Jewellery, Prouds Jewellery, Target, Wanted Shoes, Watchworks, Watch World, Williams Shoes and Vibe Clothing. The Screen Monument, a short film made by Thoms in collaboration with local youth, could also be seen on the display televisions of Dick Smith and Myer. It also screened at Greater Union cinema, followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. Produced to coincide with the project, this full colour publication features Director's Foreword by Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, essays by Toby Chapman and Anne Loxley and an interview with the artist.