media & text

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Exhibition catalogue - Dark Water
Linden New Art, Melbourne, 2019

Our relationship to water, as an island nation, is a complex one, we are lovers of the ocean edge, delighted by our ability to catch a wave and glide back into the safety of the shore. Yet we’re always a little unsure about what lurks below, unseen and unknown. For the collaborating artists in this exhibition, Anna Nazzarri and Erin Coates, the ocean has been a place of both fascination and awe. … [Melinda Martin]

Exhibition publication - Unhallowed Arts
UWA Publishing, 2018

Unhallowed Arts contributes to the legacy of Frankenstein and considers developments in the sciences of the twenty-first century through an eclectic array of visual, performative and written responses. Editors: Laetitia Wilson, Oron Catts and Eugenio Viola. Published on the occasion of the exhibition HyperPrometheus: the Legacy of Frankenstein, at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Exhibition website - The National
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2017

Visit the artist's page on the dedicated website for The National: New Australian Art - a major survey exhibition of contemporary art in Australia and held across the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA).

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Interview for online journal -, 2017

Earlier this year, we randomly stumbled upon the existence of Erin Coates whose passion for climbing overlaps extensively into her artwork, as seen in her remarkable film, Thigmotaxis — a term used in biology and behavioural studies to describe a response to the touch of the external surface of an object. ... [Andy Day]

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Catalogue for commissioned artwork
Sounding Art by Decibel at PS Art Space, Fremantle, 2017

Coates' video work for Sounding Art, a video work with sound entitled ‘The Pact’ features two bodies, sometimes behind or even obscured by pouring blood. The bodies are climbing in a black space of unknown dimensions, the high production quality of the video provides shimmer and shadow, detailed definition of the climber’s muscular frames with the bottomless depths around them, imbued with rhythmic and structural gesture... [Cat Hope]

Exhibition catalogue - Open Water: The Offering
Firstdraft, Sydney, 2017
Moana Project Space, Perth, 2017

Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari's collaborative solo exhibition incorporates underwater video, drawing and scrimshaw to offer a darkly magic realist version of maritime history in regional Australia. It takes as a starting point an incident that occurred in 1965 in the coastal town of Albany when a well-known whaler and gunner on The Cheynes III (a whale chaser) lost his leg after it became entangled in a rope attached to a harpoon fired at a whale.

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Online interview
Fremantle Arts Centre, 2017

Read an interview with the artist about her art practice and her role as Special Projects Coordinator for Fremantle Arts Centre.

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Art journal article - Artlink, Dec 2016

In her recent video Driving to the Ends of the Earth (2016) the artist Erin Coates does not take the apocalypse so seriously, casually steering through blizzards, fires and storms while feeding herself and her dog from an onboard garden and pantry. For footage of avalanches and aircraft crashes are all too familiar in an era of mass media and YouTube, and for Coates they are not so much a portent of the end times as they are incidents to be navigated one by one. [Darren Jorgensen]

Exhibition review - RealTime Arts, Aug-Sept 2016

Inanition: A Speculation On The End of Times, curated by Laetitia Wilson at Success Gallery in Fremantle, is an exhibition caught between the now conventional moralism of eco-crisis and a desire for the speculative possibilities afforded by jettisoning our all too human perspective by reaching for something beyond terrestrial morality... [Francis Russel]

Exhibition publication - Rumblestrip, 2016

Rumblestrip was a one-night exhibition in a disused urban lot near the centre of Perth, featuring 8 Australian artists.

Exhibition review - Artlink, Sept 2016

Success, Fremantle's artist-run contemporary art platform and multi-gallery exhibition venue, has a great vibe. This is due in part to the pragmatics of hosting a gallery in the basement of a defunct department store, where prohibitive electricity costs favour maximal darkness, and where ceiling tiles removed to expose the infrastructural innards allow you to feel, as a friend put it, the weight of the building above you... [Gemma Weston]

Exhibition review - RealTime Arts, Feb-Mar 2016

... the artists of Rumblestrip, a post-apocalyptic amalgamation of brutalist vehicles, ethereal projections and strange objects, created a total outdoor environment, a crowded happening that was also something of a poke in the eye for Perth's flashy new city developments... [Darren Jorgensen]

Interview - ABC Radio National, March 2016

The dark future of Rumblestrip: A lookout tower stands guard over a lone patch of water. An inflatable, car shaped structure appears to breathe as it rises and collapses. Inside a 'car-cinema', visitors see strange beings appear on the road ahead. This is the world of Rumblestrip, a one-night only-art event that transforms a disused Perth lot in to a Mad-Max-style future habitat. ...

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Online journal article - Runway Experimental Australian Art, 2016

Taking place for one loud, epic night, Rumblestrip occupied a large disused urban lot near the centre of Perth city. Operating equally as an artwork and a party, Rumblestrip was imbued with a riotous end-of-times aesthetic and celebrated the world’s most demographically isolated city. Artwork by eight Australian artists included mobile gardens, a walk-in car cinema, moving micro-architecture, a reclaimed swamp and a girl gang on bikes....[Neil Aldum & Erin Coates]


Catalyst: the Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission, 2015

This book was published on the occasion of this one-off national visual arts commission, awarded to four Australian visual artists.

The connection between buildings, sci-fi and horror fiction may seem like an incongruous one. But for artist Erin Coates, also a rock climber, it’s the ideas that influence the sci-fi and body horror genres that are used to explore her interest in architecture and the built environment. Through a fusion of video, installation, drawing and sculpture, Coates’ work centres on exploring the way a viewer’s body relates to her art. [Lisa Starkey]

Artist monograph - Kinesphere : Erin Coates
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2014

As a part of her major solo show Kinesphere and the national Catalyst Commission, PICA Press and Atomic Activity Books have published a monograph on artist Erin Coates. This 128 page book contains commissioned essays by Jack Sargeant, Dr Shevaun Cooley and Leigh Robb. Limited edition copies include an artwork bolted through the book, a custom cast resin climbing hold. Books for sale at PICA

Exhibition review - Daily Review, Sept 2014

Downstairs at PICA, WA artist Erin Coates has been commissioned to create Kinesphere (a term derived from movement theorist Rudolf Laban, who used it to refer to the personal space accessible by one’s extended limbs). In this case, the show itself is a kind of integrated extension of the artist’s own creative, recreational and conceptual ‘limbs’, including drawing, video, installation, architecture and urban climbing... [Humphrey Bower]

Exhibition review, Artlink, Dec 2014

Kinesphere represented a significant opus by Perth-based Erin Coates, bringing together her study of public space, drawing and cinematography skills, with her ‘other’ career as an intrepid rock climber. A series of wall drawings gave diagrammatic form to Coates’ practice of clambering over well-known public artworks in the lonely pre-dawn hours... [Sheridan Coleman]

Exhibition review - RealTime Arts, Dec-Jan 2014

Over the last few years, Erin Coates and her team have been climbing the public art around Perth as well as apartment blocks, highway retaining walls and supermarket buildings. her exhibition Kinesphere is the culmination of all this effort, showing off bodies as they lunge and tense from one hold to another. A video of their climbs, and some parkour too, is placed inside a seven-metre black monolith that rises in the centre of the gallery. It is a monument to those monuments around the city that Coates has repurposed. ...[Darren Jorgensen]

Exhibition catalogue - The Cars that Ate Perth
Spectrum Project Space, 2013

Against the backdrop of sustainability planning and in the knowledge that car culture must be radically reconceived, the works in this exhibition extend an inquiry into the fabric and phenomenology of
cars, their fascination, their erotics and their psychic hold over us. The show encompasses both devouring and inviting machines, overtones
of road-rage and the “death drive” compulsion, as well as the warm body space of an interior...
[Jill Bennett]

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Exhibition catalogue - Inside Running
Fremantle Arts Centre, 2013

Coates’ work reflects the technicalities of climbing and the precision and planning required for a successful climb, but also the challenge and the fun of interacting with the landscape (whether it has been formed over millennia or built in the last twenty years) … Incorporating elements of climbing and bouldering, “buildering” or urban climbing brings to the fore knowing the limits of the body and where it is situated and what it can achieve – in essence the phenomenology of being conscious of the self as it moves through its environment… [Ric Spencer]

Screen exhibition catalogue - LOOPS
Felt Space, 2012

Midnight film screenings have almost always been reserved for exploitation, counterculture and B-movies. Perverts, punks and junkies frequenting inner-city dive cinemas to indulge in the crude pleasures of drug induced sex and violence...[James L Marshall, 2012]

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Exhibition review - Daily Serving, 2012

Other videos in the collection .. explicitly reference the psychological tension and physical abjection stimulated by the horror genre. Coates’ video ‘Thirst’ features a single panning shot of a mob of zombies staggering through an abandoned gas station at twilight. […] Combined with the setting of the fuel station, a soundtrack featuring gurgling drains and idling motors makes a comment on our societal dependence on oil, while the monotonous gait of the undead seems to suggest the existential horror of a world in stasis… [Thea Costantino]

Screen exhibition catalogue - Suspension
Perth Cultural Centre Screen, 2012

Augmenting human vision and extending normal temporal
perception, the nine short video works in Suspension utilise a range
of screen manipulation techniques to suspend disbelief, holding us
in moments that are wondrous, horrifying, hypnotic and magical.
.. [Erin Coates]

Exhibition review - Art monthly, Sept 2013

Driving to the Centre of the Earth is Erin Coates’ silent, cinema-style video placed at the bottom of a shaft penetrating a wall […] Coates conflates reality with a Jules Vernie style of sci-fi underground travel that straddles boundaries between practical everyday needs, car culture, and the call to live sustainably. [Nien Schwarz]

Exhibition catalogue - Polygraphics
Gallery Centre, 2017

In Polygraphics: Walking the Line, artists express the fallibility of line as a meaningful disseminator of truth. Taking their cue from the polygraph and the phrase “walk the line”, they conceptually and visuallyarticulate line as a human construct that reiterates unfettered, progressive, inhibited or indeterminate readings... [Anna Nazzari]