Peri(pheral)scopes: looking-over to the over-looked

Related to City Art
Installed from 23 September 2011 to 31 January 2012
2 people look into yellow periscope type instruments in a graffiti covered laneway
Person looks into yellow periscope type instruments in a graffiti covered laneway
2 people look into yellow periscope type instruments in a graffiti covered laneway

Bright yellow sections of ducting formed periscopes looking west, offering glimpses of places as only locals know them.

Artist: Adriano Pupilli, Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline
This artwork was temporary and is no longer at this location.

Artwork description

With peri(pheral)scopes: looking-over to the over-looked, Sydney based artist Heidi Axelsen, artist/architect Hugo Moline, and architect Adriano Pupilli transformed the existing pipes and air conditioning ducts of Skittle Lane into video displays, playfully disguised as periscopes.

Adding new, brightly painted, yellow sections of ducting, and attaching custom-built toppers and eye pieces, the artists created the illusion that viewers could peer into the periscopes’ windows at street level, and see out over the buildings to distant corners of Sydney’s western suburbs.

Within each of the eye pieces was a concealed screen that played a continuous loop of video works. The films on display were created by western Sydney video artists Fadia Abood, Vinh Nguyen, Saber Baluch and Zahra Alsamawi to showcase the diversity and beauty of their home suburbs.

The peri(pheral)scopes, peering out from the safety of the city centre, play on the way that city dwellers, when not completely ignoring the periphery, tend to view the western suburbs as an object of curiosity, exotic, an oddity, variously because of its cultural diversity, nefarious goings-on, urban sprawl and suburban unsustainability. But is there more to these places than the mostly bleak, sometimes bizarre picture painted by the headlines? What is it like to live your life there, on the edge?

To find out, audiences were invited to take a peek through the peri(pheral)scopes. Rather than presenting the typically exoticised views from the centre, the views seen through the peri(pheral) scopes have been hijacked by artists from the city’s west, giving audiences ‘glimpses of places as only locals know them’.


Hugo Moline trained as an architect and has worked on housing and public space projects for communities in Australia and Asia.

Heidi Axelsen studied as a sculptor and has worked across a range of mediums in Sydney and abroad. Together, Axelsen and Moline collaborate on projects in both galleries and public spaces. They were invited to participate in the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale in 2015.

Adriano Pupilli is lead architect and director of a Sydney-based architectural practice committed to innovative and sustainable architectural solutions.

Fadia Abood, Vinh Nguyen, Saber Baluch and Zahra Alsamawi are filmmakers and video artists from western Sydney.

“Skittle Lane, a forgotten space of the inner city, becomes the site for audiences to come closer to some of the most misunderstood and overlooked parts of our city – the suburbs on the western periphery.”

– Heidi Axelsen, Adriano Pupilli and Hugo Moline

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