Meet Heavy Duty: The Guerilla Art Collective Behind Cottesloe’s Beach Footy Goals
One of this year’s many standout pieces at Sculpture By The Sea has been ‘Beach Goals’ from Perth collective and guerilla artists, Heavy Duty. You may have seen some of their previous work, including commentary on Perth’s homeless situation on the shelter seat in the CBD and the team up with WA Forest Alliance with a large “Deforestation Tour” road sign near Jarradale forest.
Their latest effort has one issue firmly on its mind, and we managed to chat to the trio about it, along with their future plans:
Being as vague as you need to be, can you give us a bit of background into how Heavy Duty came about, and what it’s about?
We just love ideas. It can be anything from packaged napkins made out of old t-shirts to a crooked cubed that just so happens to be a modular chair. I once got a crappy Whatsapp drawing that had four lines drawn in the ocean. One year later and I’m here talking to you.
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The ‘Beach Goals’ installation is a comment on climate change, which seems even more relevant than ever with our summer and what’s going on in Queensland and NSW at the moment… Without making it too easy for people, what are you hoping some of the takeaways will be from it?
It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening on the east coast as they’re living a true reality of our imagined concept. But what is encouraging to see is the support Australians have for each other, always looking out despite the circumstances we find ourselves in. For us, let’s not kid that this is just a hypothetical, footy goal on the shore. We just hope that people can kick a few goals, have some fun and maybe leave with the hopes of learning something positive from feeling the urgency of this.
Highlighting social and environmental issues through public art has been your game for a few years now, what’s the process when it comes to where you’re directing your attention with each piece, and outcomes you hope to achieve?
One of our favourite things to do is listen to those around us. Most of our ideas start with an insight that we may have heard from our peers, who then turn into collaborators. We always make sure we try to consult with multiple people from specific subgroups if the work touches upon them. They’re valuable sources of knowledge and we work hard to be sensitive, whilst staying as close as we can to those pinpoints of truths.
In terms of outcome, we believe that progression is a collective effort. Sometimes that means surfacing stories in order to get a few extra helping hands to grow support. Social media is crazy, you can make something, have it trashed by the council in a matter of minutes but the lasting impact and engagement can outlive it’s life on the street.
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Once everyone’s finished kicking goals down at Cott (while pondering on climate change in 2022 and beyond), what’s next on the Heavy Duty agenda?
Hopefully more collaborations and projects, whilst maintaining high expectations from ourselves. We always strive to do the hardest thing in the simplest way, so maybe it would be nice to do something really easy next, ha. One of our moonshot goals is to work on something more permanent that benefits the community. To be honest, we don’t even know what we’re going to make next so we’ll be as surprised as you when we finish. It’s been a curly recent few years but we’re excited for the future. Life can be pretty fun, man.
Sculpture By The Sea runs until March 21, and you can follow Heavy Duty on Instagram.
Image: David Dare Parker