THE Perth International Arts Festival will attract big crowds to various art shows and performances this year.

While there are a couple of exhibitions to look out for at the Holmes a Court Gallery and the Greenhill Galleries, PIAF will bring some amazing overseas talent to WA this year.

Included among this talent is Angela de la Cruz, who will be The Church Gallery’s first resident artist of 2002.

Angela de la Cruz’s visual artwork comes to The Church Gallery on January 30 as part of PIAF. Angela’s art uses everyday human experiences. She positions her paintings so they collide or break, as representations of human mishaps and misadventure. The result is emotionally charged pieces of art derived from the world we inhabit, coupled with a touch of black humour.

Stuck is the name of the exhibition and also one of Angela’s most popular pieces. The artwork is one oversized painting that struggles to free itself from a stairway. Angela is currently constructing a new version of Stuck on the stairwell at The Church Gallery.

Another interesting work is of a broken painting that sits in a chair and faces a pristine copy of itself on the wall.

The impression is of an elderly person looking at photos of themself when they were young, healthy and fit. It’s this kind of poignancy that has The Church Gallery excited to host the lifelike artistic representations until March 3 2002.

“Pleasure, the visceral, the body, eroticism … these are important ideas in my work,” Ms de la Cruz said.

“Things sagging and dripping. They are all about pushing, pulling, putting in and out, opening the body. These paintings are figurative objects, but not paintings of the figure.”

Ms de la Cruz lives and works in London, where she exhibits extensively. She also has exhibited in New York, Vienna, Belgium, and Brussels.

The gallery has also launched its Art Angels Incorporated project, an exclusive consortium of art lovers, which aims to bring more renowned artists and artwork to WA.

What began essentially as a problem-solving exercise for the gallery (an artist had to cancel their residency because of a funding cut), Art Angel Incorporated is an exclusive art network aiming to benefit true lovers of art.

Club membership is available to 100 people only, who pay a membership fee of $1000 including GST for a 12-month duration.

Sixty per cent of that money goes to the residency program, which pays for an artist’s expenses including airfare, living allowance, freight of artwork and materials, photography and catalogue.

The remaining 40 per cent of Art Angels Incorporated funds are put into an art acquisition trust account to purchase artworks from Perth artists.

These works are distributed to Art Angel members in a lottery draw to be held annually. This way, the Art Angels Incorporated is supporting and fostering local talent, as well as learning about and appreciating international artists.

But there also are tangible benefits for being an Art Angel. The gallery offers members a 10 per cent discount on artist in residency works and on a range of artworks in the stock room and on current exhibition work. You can also use the Church Gallery for private or business purposes, subject to conditions, and will receive two limited edition prints by the resident artist.

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