SA artist wins national award

Pitjantjatjara woman Sally Scales has been awarded the People’s Choice Award as part of the 2021 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

The South Australian artist’s award-winning piece is a painting titled Wati Tjakura, an edible skink lizard creation story, which is three metres wide and more than a metre high. It was created using synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen.

Wati Tjakura has been on display in the 2021 Telstra NATSIAA exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, with gallery visitors able to cast their vote for the Telstra People’s Choice Award, one of six NATSIAA categories.

Wati Tjakura, by Sally Scales, winner of the NATSIAA People’s Choice Award.

Scales ­– who is from Pipalyatjara in the far west of the APY Lands – only took up painting a year and a half ago, but grew up surrounded by artists. She is also a spokesperson and regional project coordinator for the APY Art Centre Collective. Scales held her first exhibition last year at Adelaide’s APY Gallery, with the show presented in collaboration with her artist mother, Josephine Mick.

“What an honour to join all the amazing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists,” Scales said of her award win. “I am lucky to paint with my mother and continue the incredible legacy of my family and arts leaders.”

Entries for the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA are open until March 18 (details here).

Yes, you can dance at WOMAD

Festival-goers will be able to dance at this year’s WOMADelaide, with organisers confirming yesterday that it is permitted under the event’s SA Health-approved COVID Management Plan.

However, the WOMAD website says capacity for the March 11-14 event in Botanic Park has been reduced by 28 per cent, and proof of vaccination will be required for entry (except for those who can show proof of exemption).

After the pandemic forced the world music festival to pivot to a series of seated sunset concerts in 2021, it was announced late last year that it would return to Botanic Park in the traditional seven-stage format for the 30th anniversary event this year.

The site has been re-designed to provide more open space for audiences, who are encouraged to wear a mask if they are unable to maintain physical distance. QR code check-in will also be required for several indoor performances and events.

Free/State Vernissage Weekend

Biennial artist Loren Kronemyer will present a live performance at the AGSA on Friday. Photo: Julian Frichot

A series of free talks and live performances will be hosted at the Art Gallery of SA this weekend to celebrate the opening of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State.

The exhibition – featuring major works by 25 leading Australian contemporary artists – officially opens from 10am on Friday, with many artists presenting talks on Friday and Saturday that will offer an insight into their work and what the Biennial theme means to them.

The monthly First Fridays after-hours program will include exhibition tours, guest DJs and a performance by Biennial artist Loren Kronemyer of a section of live art duo Pony Express’s work Abolish the Olympics in which she will attempt to perform 33 Olympic sports in one hour accompanied by a musical score and commentary.

The full program for the vernissage weekend can be found here.

Goolwa public art commission

An artist’s render of Amber Cronin and Anika Gardner’s winning design.

Emerging artists Amber Cronin and Anika Gardner have been announced as the recipients of the Helpmann Academy Major Public Art Commission for the Goolwa Wharf Precinct.

Cronin and Gardner’s submission was described as one that “thoughtfully connects the past to the present”, with the theme for submissions being “family and connectedness”.  The duo were mentored by Tony Rosella at George Street Studios to refine their concept. The artwork will also feature designs by contemporary Ngarrindjeri and Narangga artist Cedric Varcoe.

“The winning artists spent extensive time connecting with a wide cross section of the Goolwa community – from local residents to business owners and Ngarrindjeri community representatives – to gain a deep and genuine understanding of the area,” the judges said.

The commission – valued at $150,000 and presented through a partnership between Helpmann Academy and Alexandrina Council, with support from the K & S Langley Fund – will see the artists receive funds to bring their artwork to life as part of the redevelopment of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct.

Winning words

Love & Virtue by Diana Reid has been awarded the fifth annual MUD Literary Prize for the best debut literary novel by an Australian writer.

The judges of the $5000 award – presented by Adelaide philanthropic group MUD Literary Club as part of Adelaide Writers’ Week – describe Love & Virtue as a text that “directly tackles important contemporary issues”.

“[Love & Virtue is] a brave and daring examination of sexual assault, misogyny, power struggles and the rights of individuals, told through a bright young woman’s turbulent first year on university campus,” say the judges.

The 2022 Adelaide Writers’ Week opens in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden this Saturday. Reid will be presented with the prize at an award ceremony and interview session at 5pm on March 7.

ABC dishes up another season of Aftertaste

Aftertaste stars Erik Thomson and Natalie Abbott are filming a new series in the Adelaide Hills.

ABC has announced that its food-filled comedy Aftertaste is returning for a second season, with filming currently underway in Adelaide.

The series follows the life of celebrity chef Easton West (Erik Thomson) and his niece and pastry chef extraordinaire Diana (Natalie Abbott).

Aftertaste is being filmed in the Adelaide Hills region and will premiere later in 2022 on ABC TV and ABC iView. It is produced by Adelaide-based Closer Productions, the award-winning production company behind The Hunting, F*! #cking Adelaide and Animals.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture. Get in touch by emailing us at

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