All set for SALA

News of a new SALA hub to be based at ILA in Light Square accompanied the launch of the festival’s program online this week.

Taking over from the Queen’s Theatre, which has served as SALA’s hub in recent years, ILA will host several workshops and events including the SALA slide night and an artists and galleries networking evening. A group exhibition, Proximity, will be presented in ILA’s Light Room Gallery, and bus and walking tours ­will leave from the hub.

The 2024 SALA will encompass more than 706 exhibitions and events across Adelaide and regional South Australia throughout the month of August. And while participating artists of all levels will be showcasing their work, there are some well-known established names in this year’s program – including the likes of photographers Narelle Autio and Alex Frayne, painter Tom Phillips, glass artists Nick Mount and Clare Belfrage, and sculptor Greg Johns.

The 2024 featured artist, Julia Robinson, will present the latest works in her series of odes to the folk-horror genre in a solo exhibition at Adelaide Central Gallery titled Split by the Spade.

“This August the SALA Festival once again throws open the studio doors, lights up the galleries and brings art to the most unexpected places,” says acting CEO Bridget Alfred. “Be delighted, amused, challenged and consoled by our homegrown, internationally renowned artists.”

The printed program will be available from Saturday.

All that glitters…

Filmmaker Derik Lynch at the 2023 Ruby Awards. Photo: supplied

Nominations opened on Monday for the 2024 Ruby Awards, with entries invited across 11 categories celebrating outstanding contributions and achievements in South Australia’s arts and culture sector.

Six of the categories are for artistic works or events presented over the past 12 months, including community events or projects; regional events or projects; works, events or projects for young people; works or events within a festival; works or events outside a festival, and collaboration.

Broader contributions by individuals and organisations are recognised by the Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award, the Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith Memorial Award (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and individuals), the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award, the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, and an award that acknowledges the outstanding impact of a small-to-medium organisation or group.

Nominations (here) close at 2pm on August 19, with a shortlist to be announced in early November and the winners revealed on November 29.

Calling all writers

New South Australian literary journal Splinter is seeking submissions for its first edition, due out in November.

The journal is a collaboration between Writers SA and the state’s three universities, with writer and documentary filmmaker Farrin Foster (founding editor of CityMag and regular InReview contributor) appointed its inaugural editor.

Writing about Splinter for InReview (here), Foster says that while submissions and pitches for fiction, poetry and non-fiction works are invited from writers everywhere, the journal plans to publish at least 25 per cent South Australian writers. The deadline for submissions is July 22.

“We want writing that picks apart all the ways reality has been shattered, illuminates the shining threads of it that remain unbroken, and hints at the ways we’ll start putting it all back together,” says the callout.

Meanwhile, Writers SA has just launched its winter line-up of literary events. One of the most popular is likely to be an online lunchtime session on July 18 promising a peek behind the scenes into all things publishing with panellists from Ultimo Press, Affirm Press and Text Publishing. The full program is on the website.

Celebrating Adnyamathanha culture

Mulka Yata / The Knowledge of Place installation view, 2024, Samstag Museum of Art. Photo: Sia Duff, courtesy Samstag Museum

An event being presented as part of NAIDOC celebrations will discuss the development of the new Mulka Yata / The Knowledge of Place exhibition at Samstag Museum of Art and an accompanying display at the SA Museum, while also examining the landscape and ecology of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges region.

The exhibition itself brings together historical material with new work by South Australian artists that explores their connections to the Flinders Ranges, its people, culture, and Country, which is home to the Adnyamathanha people.

The SA Museum Sprigg Salon talk, on July 17, will feature a panel comprising Adnyamathanha artist Kristian Coulthard, Nukunu curator Dr Jared Thomas and writer Dr Darren Jorgensen. Details and bookings available here.

Blak, Loud and Proud

Visitors to Adelaide Airport this past week may have noticed that the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists is being showcased throughout the terminal in the pop-up exhibition Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud: A visual celebration of NAIDOC 2024.

The presentation, the result of a partnership between Guildhouse and the airport, features work by 13 South Australian artists and will continue until October 8. It includes a moving poem by Narungga, Ngarrindjeri, Ngadjuri, and Wirangu woman Sonya Rankine that can also be read on the Guildhouse website.

Set in concrete

Mark Valenzuela works between Australia and the Philippines. Photo: Rosina Possingham

Adelaide-based artist Mark Valenzuela will receive $20,000 to create an ambitious new work after being awarded the 2025 Porter Street Commission.

Valenzuela, who was the 2022 SALA feature artist and presented a large installation at AGSA as part of the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, grew up in army base camps throughout the southern Philippines and his artwork often explores themes such as conflict, dominance, occupation and resistance.

He says the Porter Street Commission ­– presented annually by Adelaide Contemporary Experimental – will enable him to expand his practice and create a large-scale immersive installation for a solo exhibition at ACE next year. The installation will feature “a substantive concrete structure”.

Members of the selection panel said in a statement that they were captivated by Valenzuela’s vision: “Mark’s work was distinguished by its conceptual rigour, proposing a highly considered investigation of the relationship between resistance and oppression held in the concept of ‘defensiveness’.”

2024 Porter Street Commission recipient Lee Salomone’s exhibition, Fragments; a widening vision, is currently on show at ACE and was recently reviewed (here) by Jane Llewellyn.

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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