Marijana Tadic: Bioluminescence
BMG Gallery

Bioluminescence is a retrospective exhibition showcasing Marijana Tadic’s 20-year journey in the world of sculpture. Tadic is known for creating numerous significant large public sculptures including her iconic piece Gateway to Adelaide, located at the end of the South Eastern Freeway. Tadic’s practice also includes smaller gallery sculptures, as seen in this current exhibition at BMG Gallery.

Tadic was born in Brčko (part of former Yugoslavia) and spent her early years living with her family on the banks of the River Sava. When she was 14, her family migrated to Australia.

Tadic’s experience growing up near the water has had a profound impact on her artistic practice. Many of her public sculptures are near water – for example, Contemplation marks the northern gateway to the Marion Coast Park. She is interested in the concepts around movement and flow, and as a migrant to Australia, she became fascinated with the idea that water is not bound by borders or boundaries.

The artist’s practice seeks to make sense of the world in which we live, and is influenced by the similarities and differences between European and Australian appreciation of light and the natural environment. It is also interesting to note that Tadic was the first South Australian woman to be granted a commercial builder’s licence, which has allowed her to be involved in multidisciplinary projects and has provided opportunities to work with urban planning teams.

Marijana Tadic, Reversing Magnetic Flip, 2010, ceramics, cast glass, stainless steel, marble base, 30cm diameter.

Bioluminescence showcases Tadic’s early works through to her latest creations in plexiglass and LED lights. The exhibition allows visitors to explore the evolution of her style, which has been shaped by her travels, cultural heritage, and love for the natural world. The artist continues to delve into ideas around the dislocation and relocation of cultures, and to explore issues associated with identity.

All the works have been meticulously made and well thought through, from concept to completion.

“Marijana Tadic is one of South Australia’s most respected sculptors and this body of work reinforces her reputation as having a strong work ethic and dedication to her art practice,” says director of BMG Gallery Trudyanne Brown. “Marijana’s approach to any work has always involved intensive research, not only of her project theme but of the materials involved.”

Marijana Tadic, Enchanted world, 2001-2024, sickle, found object sea grass ball, steel, paint, wood, granite base, 60 x 30 x 20cm.

Tadic’s gallery works often use layering and weaving techniques. She combines different materials such as ceramics, stone, glass or steel to create a layered effect to depict the process of sedimentation and how things are formed in nature.

Bioluminescence demonstrates the evolution and exploration of various materials. Tadic’s most recent creations are made from plexiglass. They are mounted on a plinth and illuminated with an LED globe that forms part of the work.

Marijana Tadic, Sea Urchin, 2024, plexiglass, LED light, 35cm diameter.

Tadic is drawing our attention to the natural environment and how we relate to it. By selecting details and structures from nature and amplifying them she is highlighting the beauty around us. In these recent works, she is particularly fascinated with the natural wonder of bioluminescence. Through her use of colour and light, the artist encourages us to pause and reflect on nature and how precious it is.

Accompanying the exhibition is Art Made Public, a publication chronicling Tadic’s journey as a sculptor. The book provides an insight into her creative process, inspiration, and the challenges she has faced along the way. The book is available for purchase from leading bookstores as well as directly from Wakefield Press.

Bioluminescence presents a unique opportunity for audiences to explore the evolution of Tadic’s sculpture practice. It’s an outstanding exhibition that should not be missed.

Marijana Tadic: Bioluminescence is showing at BMG Gallery until May 11.

Marijana Tadic, Embryonic Coral I and II, plexiglass (aqua and green), 40 x 30 x 10cm.


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