AGWA: The West Australian Pulse
The West Australian Pulse (formerly Year 12 Perspectives) is a highly anticipated annual exhibition featuring the works of recent high school graduates from around the State. The showcase allows a glimpse into the minds of young people who will influence, empower, and shape the world we live in.
Since 2011, there has been an almost 40% drop in the number of students completing ATAR visual arts. Students and parents were turning away from the arts due to a lack of resources and fear of not finding a job in the sector.. The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) and exhibition partner The West Australian found this troubling. In a fast-changing and increasingly unpredictable world, the critical thinking skills, adaptability, creativity and emotional intelligence learned in artrooms are critically important capacities for young people to access in schools.
In response to the decline in interest, AGWA and The West Australian aspired to elevate The West Australian Pulse from a traditional canvas-on-the-wall exhibition to a multi-channel platform advocating for a life in the arts. The program – encompassing visual art, performance, forums, and workshops – would contest the underestimation of the arts, amplify the voices of young people, and support emerging creatives in the pursuit of artistic ventures, both personally and professionally.
As part of this repositioning, Block were approached to reimagine the visual identity of the event to add legitimacy and prestige without losing the welcoming nature and youthful energy of the experience. There were several unique considerations guiding design. The system needed to complement not overpower the art; allow flexibility, expansion and exploration to give each graduating year a distinctive identity; and work across different art forms and channels.
The West Australian Pulse captures the powerful reverberation of an emerging generation of creatives. Bold, confident, and contemporary, the system utilises a mix of fixed and flexible elements to evolve the brand for the future while retaining a clear sense of structure and hierarchy. It presents a solid scaffolding for creativity of all shapes and sizes.
The physical feeling of reverberation and revolution was applied typographically, photographically, graphically (shapes), and through motion. The overarching feeling is one of energy and assured impact; inspiring emerging artists and reminding them that the future is theirs to create.