Utako Shindo

It is actually often off-premises, what comes to my mind when I remember West Space: the relocation meetings in North Melbourne, looking at the faded wall in the office building; the annual general meeting in Heide Museum, looking at the notes of ideas on large sheets of paper on the wall. I was very impressed to know that West Space is shaped by the people with a will to make any changes, from a small gesture to moving the entire institution to a new site.

In Melbourne, I was perhaps a little frustrated with the situation where non-local projects were often introductory, while the local discourse was rich but closed. As someone who comes from elsewhere, I attempted a project called Immanent Landscape for further interaction with people outside, highlighting the commonality as much as the differences in ways and interests which each of us carries.

From some perspectives, we may say that West Space is now no longer located in the west, but the centre. From others, it is in the south, always. And West Space has the backdrop of my thinking in Melbourne, from the time when I first heard the lecture about West Space in TAFE early 2000s, to when I advised a creative venue in Yokohama as their possible partner organisation.

Across that period, the backdrop each time appears differently. West Space’s colour and size seemed never to be fixed, like Gallery 3 at the back of its Anthony St premises. Every artist customised the space according to her or his vision. I enjoyed both seeing and making works there, entering through a little entrance along the tiny hallway. West Space changes while it keeps its door opened modestly. Everyone, including the audience, can make their own way to get there and to renew the history.