Making the most of SALA

SALA is in full swing this weekend, with many artists hosting open studios to give visitors a behind-the-scenes experience and a series of workshops being offered at the festival hub at the Queen’s Theatre.

More than 600 registered SALA exhibitions are being presented across the state throughout this month, and while the program (here) is an easy way to see what’s happening near you, here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:

Between Us: A solo exhibition at Praxis Artspace by Gail Hocking, winner of Country Arts SA’s Breaking Ground award, which uses sculpture, installation, ceramics and sound to blur the lines between human and non-human forms in a personal exploration of global climate concerns.

The Art of Rail: Three artists – Mali Isabel, Roscoe Shelton and Luke Rabl ­– present works inspired by their journeys on The Ghan, the Indian Pacific and the Great Southern train in this group exhibition at the Adelaide Parklands Terminal in Keswick.

Haza: An immersive exhibition at the Migration Museum in which Kate Kurucz (profiled as part of InReview’s In the Studio series earlier this year) unpacks her family’s experience of migration, dislocation and adaptation through paint on glass animation.

Touch Starved: Thirteen young emerging artists showcase their work in this exhibition at Carclew, with interactive sculpture and narrative, video projections and installations used to encourage visitors to consider the power of touch, especially in our post-pandemic world.

Alchemical: Multimedia artist Yasemin Sabuncu has used a diverse range of mediums to create works that “explore how to find safety, rest, home and love in a body that is often labelled wrong or causes pain and disability” in this solo show at The Mill.

Don’t forget you can also book here for SALA  guided walking tours and bus tours.

New GM for The Mercury

The Mercury’s new GM, Sarah Lancaster.

Sarah Lancaster has been appointed general manager of The Mercury, with the new board saying her experience and understanding of the screen landscape makes her well positioned to lead the cinema into its “exciting new chapter”.

Lancanster, who will take over the reins from interim GM Lisa Bishop, has held a range of roles in the sector including production and development executive at the South Australian Film Corporation and operations manager of the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival.

Her appointment comes after a tumultuous period for The Mercury, which was in danger of closing last year due to financial struggles. Its fortunes turned after a new board stepped in and developed a fresh business plan, including a subscription model, as well as securing additional funding support.

Co-chair Peter Hanlon says The Mercury is now on “solid ground”, and Lancaster is “perfectly positioned to carry us forward and drive the implementation of changes that have taken place over the past months”.

Catapult your career

Guildhouse has opened the callout for the latest round of its Catapult Mentorship program, which offers multiple mentorships at $5000 for South Australian artists, craftspeople and designers.

The program has a focus on “applications that will provide a long-lasting impact on the career of the recipient”, with previous mentees including Kate Kurucz, Eleanor Alice, Oakey, Michael Carney, Dan Withey and Carly Snoswell.

Kurucz says her mentorship, with Netherlands-based multidisciplinary artist Tess Martin, left her “completely revitalised” and far more ambitious about her arts practice and career.

Applications for the next Catapult mentorships close at 9am on September 11 (details here), with two of them earmarked to support regional artists.

Meet the artists

ACE’s current Studio Program artists. Photo: Thomas McCammon

The five artists in residence in the upstairs studios at Adelaide Contemporary Experimental in the Lion Arts Centre will open their workspaces to visitors from midday until 5pm on August 12.

Teresa Busuttil, Georgia Button, Brad Darkson, Jennifer Matthews and Truc Troung are the current participants in ACE’s Studio Program, which gives artists space to experiment with their practice and develop their careers, as well as offering professional development support.

During the open day, which includes refreshments and music by artist/DJ Eleanor Amor, visitors can get to know the artists while also wandering around the studios. Visit the ACE website to reserve your spot.

Expand your (virtual) reality

Tatic No.24 (Wan Chai Sinusoid), by Daniel Crooks, 2017.

Adelaide Film Festival has announced the return of an initiative that brings together 30 Australian visual artists, filmmakers, video artists, writers and other creatives working with virtual-reality and augmented-reality to create bold new moving image works.

AFF EXPAND Lab will be held from October 21-27, with expressions of interest currently being sought from people interested in participating (applications, here, close on August 27). Following the Lab, shortlisted teams will present concepts for a $100,000 EXPAND moving image commission, with the successful creatives invited to present their work at Samstag Museum of Art during the 2025 Adelaide Film Festival.

One of the participants in last year’s EXPAND Lab, Kat Bell, describes it as a “fantastic opportunity… The chance to conjure up a great idea and pitch it to industry groups was brilliant – it’s not every day you get to test your creative thinking skills in a pressure-cooker environment.”

Mentors for this year’s Lab are digital artist Daniel Crooks, theatre-maker and media artist Robert Walton, moving image and film producer Bridget Ikin, and  video artist and filmmaker Amos Gebhardt.

Climate change art

Young South Australians are being invited to create artworks in response to three climate change priorities for a project that will see the top-voted works presented in an exhibition at the 2024 Adelaide Festival.

Create4Adelaide was initiated by the Festival last year, with 2000 young people voting to select the priority themes: extinction of plants and animals, extreme weather events (such as bushfires, droughts and floods), and pollution of our air and waterways.

Responses can be created using any art form, including visual arts, poetry and video, but must be able to be submitted digitally. They will be displayed on the Create4Adelaide website (where you can also find all the details about the project), before being voted on by young people across the state.

“Climate change activism needs new voices to lead the way,” says Adelaide Festival artistic director Ruth Mackenzie. “I invite every young person who hears this message to get creative and get involved.”

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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