Orange: Sannyas in Fremantle revisits a highly controversial period in Fremantle’s social history, presenting a range of contemporary responses to the emergence of a new religious movement popularly know as the ‘Orange People’ in the 1980s.
Dedicated to an Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – now known as Osho – they dressed in orange-coloured clothes and called themselves Sannyasins, a term traditionally related to Indian religious discipleship. The spectacular nature of the Sannyas movement attracted the attention of the media and generated intense public interest, particularly in their sexual practices.
By the mid-1980s Osho had 250,000 Sannyasins worldwide and Fremantle became one of the major centres, with many devotees moving in and many locals converting. With a seductive message, money and the capacity to organise the Sannyasins had a profound personal effect on many families and individuals and impacted on the life of Fremantle.
Orange presents a selection of newly commissioned art works that explore the legacy of Sannyas in Fremantle, including the experiences of some Sannyasin kids, now in their 40s. Osho’s principle of surrender as a state of no-mind, no ego and letting go is a key theme throughout Orange.
Featuring light works, sculpture, interviews with Sannyasins, a Rolls Royce with spirit radio, video, multimedia works and a virtual reality dynamic meditation room, the exhibition includes contributions from WA artists Dave Brophy, Bevan Honey, Dave Franzke (VIC), Naren Farquharson, Sohan Ariel Hayes, Loren Holmes, Joseph London, Poppy van Oorde-Grainger and Joshua Webb, with contributions from members of the WA Sannyas community. Orange is co-curated by Sannyasin kid Sohan Ariel Hayes and FAC Curator Dr Ric Spencer.
Exhibition runs Saturday 1 April to Sunday 21 May. Entry is free.
There will be a talk on Saturday 1 April at 2pm, where you’re invited to join Orange co-curators Sohan Ariel Hayes and Dr Ric Spencer as they lead a tour of the exhibition alongside a number of the contributing artists. FAC Artist Talks are a great way to learn more about an exhibition in a relaxed, informal environment. Ask questions, hear about the artists’ processes and meet the people who bring the FAC exhibition program together.