Take your pick

An ensemble of musicians and dancers have flown into Adelaide direct from Spain this week for one of the highlights of the 2023 Adelaide Guitar Festival ­– a two-part “fiesta” of passionate song and dance.

Colours of Spain, on this Saturday at Her Majesty’s Theatre, will feature a solo performance by US-based Spanish classical guitarist Andrea González Caballero, before flamenco artist Antonio Andrades and five dancers and four musicians from his Seville-based Compañia Flamenca entertain the audience with Flamenco Suite, which is said to embody the essence of flamenco’s cultural heritage, “while embracing the influences of jazz, Arabic, and Latin American music”.

Other Guitar Festival highlights will include American indie folk duo The Milk Carton Kids (July 13, Her Majesty’s Theatre); tribute show The Music of Jeff Beck, featuring musicians including James Muller, Carla Lippis and Antoine Boyer (Friday, Her Majesty’s Theatre), and oud maestro Joseph Tawadros (Friday, Dunstan Playhouse).

A free Guitar Expo is being held in the Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse foyer from Thursday to Sunday, with the opportunity to meet guitar makers and try their instruments, plus there will be a series of free artist talks in the Artspace across the weekend – and with titles ranging from “The Musical Legacy of Jeff Beck” to “Can AI Play Guitar”, there is plenty to pique the interest of every guitar aficionado. The full festival program is online.

Get set for SALA

The drawing marathon will return the the SALA Hub this year. Photo: Sam Roberts

The 2023 program for the South Australian Living Artists Festival is released today, with a total of 10,915 artists set to participate in 697 exhibitions across the state during August.

Artists of all levels will be showing a range of works including painting, prints, sculpture, ceramics, glass and photography, with some of the more well-known participants this year including Angela Valamanesh, James Tylor, Laura Wills, Vans the Omega and Gail Hocking.

The SALA Hub will return to the Queen’s Theatre, with events including workshops and a drawing marathon led by Christopher Orchard, while the annual slide night will be held on August 3. In addition to SALA walking tours in the CBD, the festival is also introducing artist studio bus tours: sculpture and installation artist Oakey will lead a tour of some of the city’s east-side studios, while 2023 Ramsay Art Prize winner Ida Sophia will host a west-side bus tour.

SALA’s featured artist this year is Helen Fuller, whose work graces the cover of the 2023 festival program and poster. You can find physical copies of the program from today in Foodland stores, SALA venues and civic centres, or view online here.

Bookbinder in demand

In a triumph for Australian fiction, and one local author in particular, Pip Williams’ new historical novel The Bookbinder of Jericho has become the most-requested book across the South Australian public libraries network ­– with Libraries SA noting that it has even surpassed Prince Harry’s much-hyped memoir Spare.

Published at the end of March, Bookbinder is a companion novel to the Adelaide Hills’ writer’s hugely successful debut novel The Dictionary of Lost Words. It follows twin sisters working in the Oxford University Press bindery at the outset of World War I.

“With around 1000 requests for copies of the book currently across our print and digital collections, The Bookbinder of Jericho is on track to be one of the most popular books across the libraries network in 2023,” says Hanlie Erasmus, associate director public library services at Libraries SA. “Our public libraries are working hard to keep up with demand, with additional copies of the book purchased already reducing customer waiting times.”

For those who are curious, the current second most-requested book is the novel Lessons in Chemistry, by US author Bonnie Garmus, followed by – yes, you guessed it – Spare.

Read InReview’s interview with Williams about The Bookbinder of Jericho here.

The Art of Work…

The Art of Work is a Work of Art. Photo courtesy the artists

Work-in-progress showings are being presented this weekend of a documentary theatre project exploring the history of Vitalstatistix and the activist theatre work and legacy of co-founders Margie Fischer, Ollie Black and Roxxy Bent.

The Art of Work is a Work of Art is currently in development and set to premiere in 2024 during the Yerta Bulti / Port Adelaide-based multi-arts organisation’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

A creative team lead by documentary maker Kim Munro and including Fischer, Black and Bent has been working with collaborators to weave together archival footage, interviews, and reinterpretations of plays from Vitals’ early years in a project that is described as both an experimental film and a live art event. “The Art of Work is a Work of Art has its roots in feminist practices of collaboration, consciousness-raising and social justice activism,” says the team.

The work-in-progress showings are being presented this Friday and Saturday at Waterside in Port Adelaide (details here).

POP goes the festival

Kween Kong.

The crew from Adelaide LGBTIQ+ club Mary’s Poppin are promising “drama, death drops and pop music like you’ve never experienced it before” in a new event that will take over Rundle Park at the start of this year’s Feast Festival.

Marys in the Park, announced this week, will feature performances by pop stars including Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Ricki-Lee and American singer Crystal Waters, as well as stars from the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise such as Hanna Conda, Art Simone, Karen From Finance, and local talent Kween Kong.

It will take place on November 4, the day before Feast’s annual Picnic in the Park. It was recently announced that the picnic has been moved to the beginning of the month-long queer celebration, which is set for revitalisation under the leadership of new CEO Tish Naughton.

Fringe poster opportunity

Alana Naylor stands on a mural of her prize-winning 2023 Fringe artwork. Photo: supplied

“Arts Unlimited” is the theme for the 2024 Adelaide Fringe poster design competition, with creatives encouraged to capture the spirit of the festival and take inspiration from the notion that the arts is for everyone.

Submissions opened this week for the competition, which will mark its 50th anniversary next year and is open to designers of every type and level of experience, including hobbyists.

“At Fringe we want to make the arts accessible to all,” says Adelaide Fringe CEO and director Heather Croall. “We would love to see a poster that captures the spirit of Arts Unlimited.”

The deadline for submissions (here) is August 13. The winner will receive $6000 in prize money and free registration for an event at the 2024 Fringe, with their design to be featured not just on the poster but also on signage and merchandise.

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 editorial@solsticemedia.com.au

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