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Adelaide Fringe

Frederique on a penny-farthing the face of Fringe 2021

Adelaide Fringe

A jauntily moustachioed chap astride a penny-farthing is the winner of the 2021 Adelaide Fringe poster competition.

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Adelaide-based freelance digital illustrator Polina Tsymbal, announced as the winner today, said her poster – titled Frederique Fringe – encapsulates the joyfully bold spirit of the Adelaide Fringe.

“Adelaide Fringe is really the essence of having the freedom of who you want to be and how you want to do it and they encapsulate just that,” she said.

“I wanted to create an image that tells people where society encourages us to blend in, the Fringe urges you to let down your hair and be your remarkable, extraordinary self,” she said.


Tsymbal, 30, moved to Australia from Russia in 2015 and has won the competition at her first attempt.

“I’m really excited because for me it’s a big deal (winning the competition),” she said.

“For me, I came to Australia in 2015 as an international student, it was the start of February, the Fringe season was on and I was excited about the atmosphere, the shows, the people enjoying themselves.”

Tysmbal said working from home during COVID-19 helped her design process.

“I had time to make my research and to read through the brief. You had to look at it (the brief) from two perspectives – the creative contribution (the artistic side) but also the functional side (because it was going to be used in different sizes). They were asking to make your design functional as well.”

Use of simple shapes and colour meant she was able to show the atmosphere of Fringe and what the Fringe meant to her.

“The city comes alive. It’s the celebration of arts and expressing yourself in any way possible – performing arts, visual arts, food stalls, local businesses doing their best – it’s the whole atmosphere,” she said.

As part of her prize, Tsymbal won $3,000 and free event registration to present her own exhibition as part of the Adelaide Fringe 2021.

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said the judging panel was overwhelmed by the incredible designs submitted by over 350 Australian and international artists.

“Polina’s design stood out to us because it reflects the bold, playfulness of the Fringe and encapsulates the celebration of creative expression, the Fringe offers artists, venues and the people of South Australia,” she said.

“Fringe is going to look a little different next year but we are excited to see the creativity and innovation from all of our artists and venues bringing an incredible 31 days for South Australians to enjoy.

“I can’t wait to see Frederique Fringe roll out across the city and thanks to Polina for such a colourful and striking poster.”

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