What can the future hold for a society that lives in fear of climate change, protestors, and blatant lies in the media? Preppers imagines this world by using the framework of art to explore the metaphors within a “dystopic doomsday den.”

Preppers is the result of several years’ worth of work, which co-curator Loren Kronemyer reveals has allowed them to take note of the increasing urgency. “Preppers brings together a group of diverse artists reckoning with what the themes of prepping, survivalism, and doomsday mean relative to each of our unique perspectives,” Kronemyer says.

Loren Kronemyer, Feather Spear Trap, 2019, tubing, saw blades, cord, rope, tape, diamond ring, nails, brackets

Fremantle Arts Centre curator Dr Ric Spencer reflects on the move from subculture, into mainstream media, “the sentiment and uncertainty which has led some to embrace the preppers lifestyle has moved from the fringes and is now more and more pervasive in mainstream consciousness.”

Fremantle is the last stop for the exhibition, which opened on 16 November continuing until 27 January. At the Fremantle Arts Centre, the artists have interpreted the vision for experimental presentation; for an immersive, dark, and yet hopeful series of artworks.

“With global protests, diplomatic unrest and natural disasters reported daily,” Preppers share, “it seems now more than ever that the plight of humanity is at the forefront of many people’s minds.” So how can art interpret the model of thinking that pushes people to hoard food and weapons, build extreme survival skills, and fester violent tactical responses?

The exhibition includes five artists from across Australia and the UK. Perth-based Dan McCabe uses large scale installation with steel cages, motion sensors, and LED floodlights to feed into the paranoia mirrored in Preppers habits, as does Guy Louden’s Wikipedia backup installations, presented in a black lockable box.

Remotely based in lutruwita (Tasmania) Loren Kronemyer hacks into the violence and self-defence mentality, using weapons reduced to sculptural objects in the gallery. UK-based Thomas Yeomans invites the digital aesthetic with prints on lightbox. While Sydney-based Tiyan Baker engages a screeninstallation surrounded the luxury bamboo structures in the jungle as seen in survivalist videos from within the Cambodian jungle.

While this may seem like a doom and gloom exhibition, Preppers can offer glimpses into the future, and the less scary steps people have taken to becoming ‘self-sufficient.’ Like pickling and fermenting, bushtucker/ foraging for food, solar and water tanks. But the dark comedic value rings through the paranoia of the exhibition, separating the murky perceptions of the sane from insane in speculative societies.

Wander a few blocks down from Fremantle Arts Centre to ‘The Mantle’. Set in a beautiful historic warehouse here you’ll find several restaurants, a cocktail bar, an incubation kitchen, collaborative working space and arts.