Context

High Tide is a time of heightened activity. The moon tugs at the sea causing water and land to redraw their map. The peripheral pull is present in rivers and lakes, ponds and puddles; it can be measured in teacups and bottles. It affects all fluids of the human body, reaches into lymph and blood; it vivifies feeling and thought. Emotions are more likely to flood the field of social interaction as boundaries are broken and redefined. In this liminal space things come into dialogue and new perceptions are possible.

A
s a port town Fremantle is naturally attuned to these tides. The traditional owners of the land, the Whadjuk Nyoongar people, called the area Walyalup, Place of Weeping. The name refers to the rising sea levels(the geothermal high tide) that over thousands of years inundated the land between Fremantle and Rottnest Island, separating local tribes from important sites.

As the port of Perth and the portal to Western Australia, Fremantle is a place of fluid history and continuous flux. The ebb and flow of immigration, the high and low tide of trade and commerce have shaped the cityscape. The influx of Italian, Portuguese, and other ethnic communities has contributed to its celebrated diversity. The place is constantly awash with social, political and environmental activity.
Famed for its cultural current, and recognised by Nyoongar people as a place of ceremony and trading, Fremantle attracts artists and generously supports their activity. Creativity here is in a continuous flow. High Tide will harness this flow in three weeks of heightened activity, adding the import and export of new ideas to ongoing port activity.

During this time the city will become a confluence of site-specific responses. International and local artists will create events that intensify the meaning of Fremantle for Western Australia and the world. The focus of these activities will occur in the area around the roundhouse and the port, where sweet waters of the Derbal Yerrigan mix with the salty onslaught of the sea.

High Tide is an invitation to
interact with Fremantle through artistic dialogues and place sensitive practice.It encourages the excavation of local myths and the creation of new, visual narratives that articulate the spirit of place. Artworks should be capable of augmenting, enhancing and revealing Fremantle to itselfin a renewed reading of place.

The emphasis on site sensitive artwork resonates with the Australian tradition of geoliteracy. In a contemporary approach to place,customs, traditions and rituals can be metamorphosed by the artist.
Artistic responses may reveal hidden layers in the built environment and the natural landscape and may draw from historical, fictional, anecdotal or atmospheric readings.

High Tide encourages artists to enter a dialogue with site in a process of subtle research, which involves listening, observing and adapting one's process to what may arise in response to the enquiry. In this open ended approach, artists may adjust their working methodology to embrace unexpected occurrences, and connections that hitherto have remained unnoticed.