Exhibition review: Walking with Colour, Michael Haluwana

Immersive projection art featuring a breath-taking selection of aerial, landscape, astro and wildlife multimedia.

Michael Haluwana is an award-winning videographer, photographer, and cinematographer, whose innovative work emphasises elements of the sublime pertaining to nature. Haluwana has spent 15 years traversing the globe in order to capture wildlife, night skies, and landscapes and exploring colour, light, and scale. His current exhibition, Walking with Colour, connects audiences with a selection of multimedia naturescapes. 

Immediately upon entering the darkened exhibition space, one’s eyes are drawn to an illuminated waterfall projected onto a plinth-stacked-wall; one of five thematically linked installations within this innovative work of immersive projection art. Standout installations include an array of photographic scenes linked by seasonal hue, and an inspirational documentary about the life behind the lens. 

Wild Seas is a virtual projection-box installation of marine scenes from around Western Australia, featuring whales, orcas, crocodiles, rays, turtles, and cobalt coastal scenery. Accompanied by an audial ambiance, this is the closest most of us will get to the improbable grace of a southern right whale, or an orca swimming skyward from the depths of her ocean home.

Filming the footage for this multi-dimensional loop must have been a humbling experience for Haluwana, echoes of which are encapsulated in the evocative illusion of the audience existing within the projection. Cushioned bench seats and plenty of standing room provide both time and space for audiences to take in the scenery, and fully immerse themselves in Wild Seas

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The adjacent installation, Inverted Space, boasts a large scale forward-tilting screen, angled to be viewed from the row of seats beneath it. Reclining against the headrest of a well-positioned bean bag, it is easy to imagine oneself in the cockpit of a plane (staring down, rather than up) at a variety of breath-taking aerial scenes.

The audience is treated to several unique perspectives as intentional de-contextualisation enhances the famously surreal qualities of Western Australian landscapes. Haluwana employs helicopters and drone-photography to play with colour and scale, providing fresh perspectives on ancient land, aesthetically immortalised at dizzying heights.

The contrasting blues and oranges of desert/coast combinations complement stunning astro-photography; night skies effectively framed against the twisted silhouettes of naked trees. Dazzling auroras and glacial peaks are interwoven with red dirt, pink lakes, and billions of years of rocky erosion. Some scenes look like abstract microbes and others like alien worlds, but every image artfully elevates the audience into a high-flying multi-sensory trance. Inverted Space transcends traditional photography due to its unique delivery, making this Walking with Colour installation a mesmeric viewing experience. 

Engaging, immersive, and accessible, Walking with Colour: Cinematic nature by Michael Haluwana will be on display at WA’s state-of-the-art Museum Boola Bardip until the end of January, 2022. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy this rare conceptual treat. 

Walking with Colour: Cinematic Nature by Michael Haluwana 
WA Museum Boola Bardip
Free admission

Walking with Colour will be on display until 30 January 2022 

Nanci Nott is a nerdy creative with particular passions for philosophy and the arts. She has completed a BA in Philosophy, and postgraduate studies in digital and social media. Nanci is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing, and is working on a variety of projects ranging from novels to video games. Nanci loves reviewing books, exhibitions, and performances for ArtsHub, and is creative director at Defy Reality Entertainment.