Lives in Perth, Western Australia
Erin Coates is a visual artist and creative producer working across film, sculptural installation and drawing. Coates’ practice examines our relationship with and within the spaces we build and inhabit, focusing on the limits of our bodies and physical interaction within given environments. She often sets up extreme human physical action in relation to specific spaces, filming inside of sets she builds and using herself and her friends as the performers. Her use of props, lighting and action draws on the visual language of body horror, science fiction and the abject. The female protagonists are cast as the lone-survivor, re-occupying the role of the ‘last man alive’ or the ‘monstrous creation’. Her work draws on her background as a rock climber and free-diver, and her particular interests in female physicality and athleticism. Coates uses this perspective to probe our understandings of fear, horror, strength and survival and to disrupt conventional gendered roles and assumptions in these spaces.
Coates' work was included in the significant survey exhibition The National: New Australian Art, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2017. She most recently held a solo exhibition Dark Water with Anna Nazzari at Linden New Art in Melbourne in 2019. In 2018 Coates' work was shown at the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. She is the only Australian artist selected for inclusion in Videobrasil - 21st Contemporary Art Biennial | Imagined Communities, São Paulo, Brasil, 2019.
Coates' first key solo exhibition, Kinesphere, was at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2014 and was the result of the Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission. Her work has also been included in many national and international exhibitions and film festivals such as Open Water: the Offering with Anna Nazzari at Firstdraft, Sydney (2017), Revelation Perth International Film Festival (2018), Paris Short Film Festival (2015), The Jester’s Whisper – John Fries Award, UNSW Galleries, Sydney (2015), Spaced 2: Future Recall, Perth International Arts Festival, The Western Australian Museum (2015), Aesthetica Short Film Festival, UK (2014), Subject to Ruin, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney (2014), New York Independent Film Festival (2014), Energetics & Informatics, Aotearoa Digital Arts Network, Whanganui, New Zealand (2010); and My Favourite Australian, National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2008).
Erin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University, Perth and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.