Cast your votes for your favourite SA musicians

Nominees have been revealed today for the 12 “people’s choice” categories in the 2021 South Australian Music Awards, with a mix of new and familiar artists from a range of genres scoring nods.

Organisers also announced that this year’s awards event will be hosted by Triple J’s Bridget Hustwaite (“Good Nights”) in the grounds of Adelaide Gaol on Thursday, November 18.

The nominees across people’s choice categories ranging from roots, jazz and country to pop, punk and hip-hop include first-time entrants such as Triple J Unearthed High winners George Alice and Teenage Joans, as well as established musicians including Cal Williams Jnr, Emma Knights, Kaurna Cronin, Oisima and ER@SER DESCRIPTION (you can see the full list here, with voting open until October 10).

Music SA general manager Kim Roberts urged members of the public to vote for their favourite artists, saying they need the support now more than ever: “Despite yet another challenging year for our industry, there’s been some incredible new music and achievements from the SA music community over the past 12 months.”

Nominees for the major/industry awards ­– including best song, best group and best venue ­– will be announced at a later date, with those winners to be decided by a panel of 15 national and local judges.

Land Meets Sea

Jay Milera, winner of the Don Dunstan Foundation OUR MOB Emerging Artist Prize, with her painting Land Meets Sea. Photo: Ben Searcy

Artist Jay Milera has won the $5000 Don Dunstan Foundation OUR MOB Emerging Artist Prize with a painting inspired by her Narungga heritage and culture that represents the coming together of land, sea and sky.

“Narungga are water people,” says Milera. “We are connected to the sea, the land and the sky through various Dreaming stories such as the Seven Sisters, Gynburra (Butterfish) and Bruthera’s Rock Dreaming stories. This painting represents an intersection of these Dreaming stories and my Narungga cultural connections.”

Land Meets Sea was announced as the prize winner at the 2021 OUR MOB awards ceremony at Adelaide Festival Centre.

Awarded for the first time were the Trevor Nickolls Art Prizes for OUR MOB and OUR YOUNG MOB artists, which were won by Maude Parker and Mia Makuch respectively. Other winners were Kat Bell (Country Arts SA Professional Development Initiative Award) and Ulani Williams-Psorakis (Ku Arts OUR YOUNG MOB award).

The OUR MOB exhibition is an annual showcase of work by First Nations artists from throughout South Australia, with works in the 2021 exhibition on display at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Artspace Gallery until the end of September. Works for sale can also be viewed in an online store.

On the road

Bryan Burroughs in the Adelaide Festival season of Slingsby’s The Boy Who Talked to Dogs. Photo: Andy Rasheed

Two South Australian arts projects have received a slice of the almost $3 million awarded this month through the Federal Government’s Playing Australia program, which supports national performing arts tours to regional and remote communities.

Slingsby Theatre was awarded a grant to take its 2021 Adelaide Festival play The Boy Who Talked to Dogs to locations across South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory, while Adelaide-based Lewis Major Projects has been supported to tour its double-bill dance work Unfolding and Satori to regional areas including Whyalla, Renmark, Mount Gambier and Frankston. Unfolding was also part of this year’s AF, while excerpts of Satori were presented in a double-bill performance livestreamed at the Edinburgh and Hollywood Fringes during Hartstone-Kitney Productions’ recent Black Box Live series.

A total of 13 projects nationwide (several others of which will tour to SA) received support in the latest round of grants through Playing Australia, which is administered by the Australia Council and received an extra $5 million boost earlier this year to help offset the impact of the pandemic. The closing date for the next round of applications is October 12 (details here).

Scouting for talent

Unsigned and emerging South Australian musical talent will take to the stage at Lion Arts Factory on October 8 when Music SA’s Scouted mini-festival returns after a hiatus caused by COVID-19.

The 2021 line-up ­­– which will perform in front of both music fans and industry representatives ­­– features acts traversing styles ranging from indie pop to hip-hop, including Bermuda Bay, Don’t Bring Stacey, The Empty Threats, LBG, Mum Friends and Oscar The Wild (tickets here). A live song from each of this year’s sets will also be filmed for distribution to national industry representatives.

Mum Friends are part of the 2021 Scouted line-up.

Music SA general manager Kim Roberts says Scouted gives artists an opportunity to promote their music to “some of the biggest names in the music industry”, with previous participants including Elsy Wameyo, Jess Day, Pinkish Blu and Town.

“Each year, our Scouted event delivers genuine business outcomes for South Australian musicians,” Roberts says. “In the past this has included signings by publishers, artist managers and bookers, as well as programming at major festivals, being added to radio rotation and being.”

Before Scouted, local musicians Colourblind, EAST AV3 and Teenage Joans will perform at an invite-only event for music industry guests which will be recorded live and then featured on music promoter Live Nation’s Ones to Watch in the coming months.


Melbourne-based Aboriginal curator Hannah Presley – most recently curator of Indigenous art at the National Gallery of Victoria – will present the next, and final, talk in the 2021 program for Perspectives: shaping the world through visual culture.

Curator Hannah Presley. Photo: Hayley Millar Baker

Perspectives is a collaboration between ACE Open, Guildhouse and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre which invites “artists, makers and cultural thinkers to reflect on some of the most compelling and current topics in contemporary culture”.

Presley’s October 16 lecture at the Allan Scott Auditorium in the Hawke Building at UniSA’s City West Campus is titled CURATOR/CONFIDENT and will see her talk about her “inter/national curatorial approach”. “She will share her belief in the central role of transparency, vulnerability and humour in forming valuable relationships with artists, and will examine the deeper values that inform her practice,” says the lecture description.

Presley’s practice focuses on the development of creative projects with Aboriginal artists. She is a director of the Indigenous not-for-profit organisation Agency, and in addition to her National Gallery role she was previously Yalingwa curator at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and First Nations assistant curator for Tracey Moffatt at the 57th Venice Biennale.

The free lecture is scheduled to take place in person but may be moved online if pandemic restrictions remain in place (registration here is essential). It is being presented as part of the Tarnanthi Festival.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

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