Category Archives: Adelaide

Bill Viola

Although the Adelaide Festival of Arts is coming to a close, the highlight of the visual art programme was definitely the works of Bill Viola.  Never before has a collection of Viola’s work been experienced on such a scale in Australia.  A master of the video art medium, his work is dramatic and thought-provoking.  The Artistic Director of the Festival David Sefton sums up Viola’s work;

“Viola’s work ranges from the intimate to the epic while always retaining elements of deep spirituality and thoughtfulness; poignant, often moving and always evocative.  Viola is without doubt one of the artists responsible for video art being considered an art form worthy of proper attention…”

7 large-scale works were installed over 3 venues – The Art Gallery of South Australia, St Peter’s Cathedral and Queen’s Theatre.  Many of these works have never been seen before in Australia and were drawn from his extensive collection of works from 1996 – 2012.  I had the privilege of attending a forum with Bill Viola and Kira Perov in which he discussed his art practice and the concepts behind many of his works.

Fire Woman 2005, Colour High-Definition video projection

Fire Woman 2005 (still sequence), Colour High-Definition video projection, 4 channel sound (4.1), 11:12 mins

The above images were taken from Fire Woman which depicts the silhouette of a female figure standing before a wall of flames. After a few moments, she steps forward, opens her arms and falls into her own reflection…

When the flames of passion and fever finally engulf the inner eye, and the realisation that desire’s body will never again be met blinds the seer, the reflecting surface is shattered and collapses into its essential form – undulating wave patterns of pure light…

– as printed in the exhibition catalogue

The above work in addition to Tristan’s Ascension were exhibited in the old Queen’s Theatre, a fantastic venue that provided an encapsulating audience experience.

Tristan's Ascension 2005, Colour High-Definition video projection, 4 channel sound (4.1), 10:16 mins

Tristan’s Ascension 2005, Colour High-Definition video projection, 4 channel sound (4.1), 10:16 mins

Tristan’s Ascension describes the ascent of the soul in the space after death as it is awakened and drawn up in a backwards flowing waterfall.  Both of these works are only on display until 10pm tomorrow 15th March.  There are another 4 works being exhibited at the Art Gallery of South Australia until Sun 29th March.  More information on the works of Bill Viola can be found at his official website www.billviola.com

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Filed under Adelaide, art, festival/exhibition info, gallery exhibition, installations, video

British Art Now – Saatchi Gallery

Apologies for the lack of posts lately…life has been hectic. I have however, been lucky enough to squeeze in visits to a few fantastic exhibitions.  Currently the Art Gallery of South Australia is exhibiting a selection of work from the famous Saatchi Gallery in London.  I must say, Mr Charles Saatchi has very eclectic taste.  I can appreciate most conceptual art but some of the work selected even gets me scratching my head.

However, instead of going on about the work I didn’t enjoy…let me show you the work I was drawn towards and surprisingly, it wasn’t all photography either.

Barry Reigate

Reigate’s series of fluorescent light sculptures were conceived as one-of-a-kind art and design originals, functional furniture catering to connoisseurs of unmitigated indulgence. The lamps are ostentatious pastiches of bad taste, pierced through (literally) with the pretentiousness of minimalist design.

The figures in this series are made from Jesmonite which is used in film sets and models.  Reigate uses this material as an association between classical plaster sculpture and popular culture.  He applies the material thickly and then just lets gravity take its course, so that there is this historical reference to Modernist painting.

I was drawn to these figures for their supposed slap-together kitschiness and their anti-pop culture stance.  It’s almost like a ‘middle finger’ to Disney Corp.

Anne Hardy

Anne Hardy’s photographs picture depopulated rooms that suggest surreal fictions. Working in her studio, Hardy builds each of her sets entirely from scratch; a labour-intensive process of constructing an empty room, then developing its interior down to the most minute detail.  Her process is an organic one – often starting with the objects first, then constructing the rooms in which to place them.

Hardy’s image Cell (above) reminds me Jeff Wall’s The Invisible Man…perhaps she is influenced by his work or it could just be a coincidence.

Standing in front of her large photographic works, you find yourself being drawn into her images – to decifer all their details and come up with a narrative.  Hardy’s images withhold the actual experience of her environments, allowing our relationship with them to be in our imagination.

Toby Ziegler

Ziegler’s creative process begins by removing the ‘hand of the artist’ and developing his image and sculptural models on the computer.  He then painstakingly re-applies traces of artistic intervention by rendering these digitised models entirely by hand.

In Designated for Leisure, the image is composed on reflective industrial fabric – the painting’s surface shifts and transforms when viewed from different angles, revealing the landscape within as a chimera of light and perspective.  I was first drawn to this painting for its sheer size but as you get closer, its reflectiveness gives the impression of a landscape from a different dimension – one that is broken down into its basic shapes and forms.

Inspired by a set Victorian Staffordshire figurines, The Liberals is made from intersecting cardboard panels.  The scale of monumentality is at odds with the use of its humble material and the roughly painted panels.  Perhaps this contradiction reflects how the figurines, originally associated with value and prestige are now symbolic of kitsch within popular culture.

The exhibition concludes on the 23rd October so if you haven’t had the chance to visit and you are in Australia, it’s definitely worth the admission fee.

Images and artist info via Saatchi Gallery.  Info about the exhibition can be found via The Art Gallery of South Australia site here.

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Filed under Adelaide, collections, gallery exhibition

The Fringe and other things…

I know it’s been a little while since my last posting…Although I was hoping to keep everyone updated on my final year at Arts College, I’ve had to put everything on hold as I was offered a full-time job that was too great to pass up.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish my degree at a later stage.  So what’s been happening? Well…

  • I start my new job on Monday
  • I’m also volunteering during the Adelaide Fringe Festival…working all day and volunteering at night, Whew!!
  • The Adelaide Film Festival is also running concurrently, so I’ve got tix to quite a few films as well!

For those of you who live in Adelaide, you are all probably familiar with the Rundle Street Lantern and during the Fringe it is being utilised as an enormous digital canvas for local artists.


The Rundle Lantern is a unique canvas that uses computer controlled LEDs to illuminate 748 square panels to deliver a platform for digital art. It operates each night from dusk until midnight, with extra hours for special events.  At 1066 square metres, it can be programmed to display numbers, letters and geometric shapes as well as an infinite array of lights, colour, morphing designs and patterns.

If you don’t live in Adelaide, you can view the Lantern by webcam from here. Just wait till after dark though! If you can get to Adelaide, the Fringe is on for another 2 weeks.

Photos by Kylie Macey using phone camera. Info courtesy of the City of Adelaide site here.

 

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Filed under Adelaide, mobile, moving image, photography