What is Gotham?
Gotham Studios is Western Australia’s longest-running artist-run initiative.
Established in 1987 on the first and second floors of the old NSW Bank Chambers, Gotham has evolved into an icon of independent Western Australian artistic endeavour, placing working artists in the heart of Perth’s CBD for over two decades. Hundreds of visual artists have held studios in Gotham over the collective’s life span, including many of the state’s most celebrated arts practitioners.
Gotham was established through the combined efforts of a small group of artists consulting with the Department for Culture and the Arts and the building management authority, during a period of urban renewal in the late 1980s that left many inner-city artists collectives homeless. From the outset, Gotham’s primary role has simply been to provide centrally-located working space for artists within the inner-city, though the membership occasionally band together for group projects and exhibitions, including the groundbreaking exhibition Gotham Goes Shopping at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1990, the 10-year retrospective Gotham Times Ten (also at PCIA) in 1998, the G-O-T-H-A-M window installation for the Artrage and Northbridge festivals in 2006, Le Salon Scintillant (the Studios' twenrty-fifth anniversary show at Moana Project Space in 2011, the one-night-only Gotham Gone Wild open studio night in 2014, and the thirty-fifth anniversary Gotham Gets Pickled at Holmes a Court Gallery in the Pickle District, in 2021.
Ideally located at the edge of Perth’s cultural centre, Gotham is within walking distance of many of Perth’s most significant cultural institutions including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Artrage, the Alexander Library, Central TAFE and the Museum of Western Australia, in addition to art supplies shops and the Northbridge entertainment precinct. As such it is an enviable location for Western Australian visual artists.