ART IN OUR CITY

Our Arts and Culture team have been working with a number of artists to develop a range of temporary and not so temporary outdoor artworks for Modbury. Look out for woven fences, urban jewellery, turf drawings and a number of murals. Over the next few weeks, we’ll publish project updates.

Here’s a few examples

Urban jewellery by Jessamy Pollock and Tea Tree Gully Youth.

Outside the  Library, City of Tea Tree Gully Civic Centre, 571 Montague Road Modbury.

Jessamy is a contemporary jewellery and object designer/maker with a broad practice that includes community art and small public art projects. For this skills development and public art project she taught local youth to create and install a range of jewellery pieces for the outdoor environment.

Here’s some images from the workshops at Gallery 1855 Studio

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Here’s the install and the artwork

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Artist Profile: Niki Sperou

Gallery 1855 is celebrating the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival this year with bioartist Niki Sperou, who is exhibiting her work in the show Matrix: the body as scaffold for the methodologies and metaphors of science.

It’s the first time Niki has displayed her work at Gallery 1855 and the first time we have featured a bioartist. By definition, Bioart  incorporates living organisms or their parts.

Since 2006 Niki has been the resident artist at the department of Medical Biotechnology, Flinders University in South Australia. She draws upon observations from her academic environment, her Greek heritage and art training to conceptualise and complete her artworks.

Her work in Matrix is colourful, unpredictable and most of all thought-provoking… there is a skeleton constructed entirely from Borax crystals, lab-grown bacteria placed in a Petri dish and a neon-coloured quilt depicting works by Australian and international bio artists, a well-known bioscience experiment and more.

All of Niki’s works look at the three-way juncture of art, science and culture, and the common threads. It’s a show that Gallery 1855 habitues will love and one that is bound to entice newcomers.

We caught up with Niki just prior to the exhibition launch on Sunday February 7, to discover more.

Tell us about Matrix – what is your exhibition about? Can you expand on bioart and what it entails?

The term Matrix comes from the Latin and translates to womb or mould; it suggests the facilitation of becoming. I chose Matrix as the title of my exhibition as it speaks to the intersection of art, science and culture. My interest is in the body transformed via recent technological innovations and as such transverses some cultural boundary or norm. Allusion is toward an augmented body, one that achieves some new potential. This is reflected in artworks which have undergone some form of transformation in their production.

Bioart incorporates living organisms or their parts. The biological realm is subject to change.

Including several sub genres Bioart encompasses; genetic art concerned with the coding of life; interventionist art which creates disturbance toward multinational corporations and their products; ecological art and the impact of the anthropocene; art which examines the future potential of biological innovations and the resulting physical, ethical and cultural impacts; the do-it-yourselfers or hackers who enjoy the freedom to utilise materials for applications other than they were designed for.

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Image: Niki Sperou, Matrix (detail), 2015, pipe cleaners, crystallised salts, dimensions variable.

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Image: Niki Sperou, Matrix (detail), 2015, pipe cleaners, crystallised salts, dimensions variable.

 

Why the interest in the field of science? Do you have a background in the field?

I have been the artist in residence at the Department of Medical Biotechnology, Flinders University since 2006. My work satisfies a curiosity toward the nature of living things as well as the language, ethics and culture of science. Art and science have much in common, they are mutually dependent on experimentation and research.

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Image: Niki Sperou, Trust, 2016, glass Petri dish, agar media, E coli bacteria, antibiotic, paper, dimensions variable. Photo: Sam Sperou


What type of artworks do you create and what about this visual medium appeals to you?

The nature of biology is mutable; this provides inspiration. Further to this, much art is to do with mimesis, working with living things creates a new form of realism. For many years I have worked with living organisms or their parts; blood, bacteria, plants, plant tissue culture. These are usually augmented with scientific media; gel growth media, hormones, antibiotics etc. However traditional art media; drawing, sculpture, textile, photography and items from the domestic are also materials with which I communicate.

I will reference some works in this exhibition; The Ode to Bioart (memory quilt) is a tongue in cheek nod to the seminal works of Bioartists I have met or written about. These images include rabbits, flowers, frogs, pigs and other forms you might see on a domestic quilt, however a second look reveals things more intriguing. It is an attempt to bring the complexities science into the domestic realm.

Trust is a work I created for Toxicity, the first major Bioart exhibition in Canada. By recreating a common experiment for the testing of antibacterials, referred to as ‘Zones of Inhibition’, outside of the laboratory and within a cultural context, the long term effects of imprudent antibiotic use becomes a subject for debate. Highlighted is a need for mindfulness as well as consideration toward the common good with regard to capitalist goods. Within both science and culture power struggles occur as bodies are subjugated and territories are colonised.

Included are photographs of white carnations infused with human blood from my Chimera series. This series is one of my seminal works and speaks to the interconnectedness of living things. At the time of its production there was much hype associated with the mapping of the gene code. We now know that the genetic difference between all living things is quite small. To some this extends to the notion of a collective consciousness.

Matrix, is a skeleton composed of a scaffold of pipe cleaners upon which Borax (a common cleaning product) crystals have been grown. The work is inspired by a lecture series I attended at an AusBiotech convention. The focus of the lectures was a desire to move away from the modernist industrial model of high heat and metal for the production of structures. Instead the soft power of low heat and organic growth was preferred. The structure of bones, a combination of flexible protein and rigid minerals was a suggested model. Since then I have witnessed a trend toward various models of biopolymer matrices to mediate the body.

What do you hope people take away from seeing your works?

I want to bring science into the everyday, to make it accessible and to subject it to critique or contemplation.

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Image: Niki Sperou, Ode to Bioart, 2016, cotton on wool, 150 x 150cm.

I hold a Bachelor of Visual Art and applied Design (Drawing), AC Arts Adelaide and Honours First Class (Sculpture), University of South Australia. In addition to this I have an Advanced Diploma in Dress Design and Garment construction. I have tutored in Art theory at UniSA and have conducted BioArt workshops since 2006 in Australia, Europe and Canada. Art and science has been the focus of articles I have written for publication. I have exhibited with and attended conferences and workshops with renown bio artists.

Can you tell us a bit about your art background, your education, previous exhibitions?What inspires you and your work?

Inspiration often comes from my cultural background; emergent are chimerical works which link Greek culture and biotechnology; fixed classical ideals clash against the fluidity of future potentials.

Dream project?  Dream exhibition?  Dream venue?

To work in collaboration with talented and inspirational artists and scientists toward a touring international bioart exposition.

Matrix officially opens at 2pm on Sunday 7 February at Gallery 1855, 2 Haines Road Tea Tree Gully. All are welcome.

Niki will also deliver a talk at the Gallery explaining Bioart and her exhibition from 1:30pm, Friday 4 March (allow approximately 1.5 hours). If you are interested, please register here

Matrix exhibition will be held at Gallery 1855 from 10 February until 19 March 2016. Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday, noon – 5pm.

Fringe Festival Exhibition opening soon at Gallery 1855

Matrix – the body as scaffold for the methodologies and metaphors of science

Bioartist: Niki Sperou

Exhibition launch: 2pm Sunday 7 February 2016

Opening speaker: Brian Oldman, Director South Australian Museum

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Matrix, (installation detail), 2016, crystalised salts, pipe cleaner, dimensions variable. Photo: Sam Sperou.

Bioart 101

Introduction to Bioart and exhibition floor talk by Niki Sperou Gallery 1855 Studio, 1:30pm, Friday 4 March

(allow approximately 1.5 hours)

REGISTRATIONS ESSENTIAL

To register visit: http://www.teatreegully.sa.gov.au/gallery1855

 

 

 

Artist Profile: Angela Walford

Artist Angela Walford is well-known throughout the South Australian art world for her beautiful homemade ceramic pieces. Many will know her from the monthly Stirling Markets, where her gorgeous stall and big smile greet hundreds of customers coming to pore over her ceramic and pottery wares.

Angela is a regular exhibitor with Adelaide art galleries, including The Urban Cow Studio, ‘The Terrace’ in Eastwood, Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, our very own Gallery 1855, and until recently she was based at the Tea Tree Studio in Golden Grove.

This year Angela was appointed a tenant at Adelaide’s JamFactory, which supports the careers of talented South Australian artists, craftspeople and designers. Angela is currently working from the JamFactory’s Seppeltsfield base in the Barossa Valley.

We caught up with her to congratulate her and ask her a bit more about the new gig.

Congratulations on your selection as the Jam Factory’s ceramics resident at the Seppetsfield Barossa site! Can you tell us how this came about?

Cheers. I was invited by The City’s Jam Factory Ceramics Creative director Damon Moon to consider the studio and a possible move to the Barossa and after seeing the studio, it was a fairly quick but considered yes!

Now that you’re based in the Barossa Valley, what opportunities and advantages do you have and the work you do?

I think the Seppeltsfield setting presents a very unique opportunity. The space is rather large and I look forward to establishing my workspace and running many workshops here, including Raku, handmade and surface decoration.

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Shino bowls – by Angela Walford

What are your Seppetsfield digs like? Describe the views you have!

My space is part of the original barn, it is a heritage space and I even have an old horse tying bracket on the wall outside (whatever that thing is called!!). The space has very high ceilings and exposed beam work, complete with rustic cracks and stained walls!

What kind of ceramic works do you like to create?

My work is varied and is quite often led by the seasons. One of my faves is an oriental glaze called Shino, which I use to make stoneware fired tableware, teapots and all kinds of food presentation wares. I make decorative wall tiles and mid-fired slip decorated wares from our local terracotta clay. In the summer I make a series of white wares – ‘lil birdie’ is a favourite – and more coloured,  brightly glazed and underglazed functional wares.

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Shino bowl – by Angela Walford

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Teaset – Shino – by Angela Walford

 

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Shino bowl glaze overlay by Angela Walford

How long have you been a practising ceramic artist? What initially drew you into this type of artwork and what keeps you going?

I was drawn to ceramics in my very first year of uni and spent all of my free time in the ceramics studio – so much so that my lecturer invited me to switch streams (I was studying Fine Art at the time).

I did switch to Design but went to the Graphics studio with a future business in mind. I returned to ceramic studies at the North Adelaide School of Art, which moved to Light Square and finished my studies there. I don’t think I will ever tire of clay, its plastic nature provides a huge array of possibilities, along with the alchemy fascination.

I think there will never be enough time to make what I want to make!

You say that you are inspired by the seasons. How does this affect your works in winter vs. your works in summer? Autumn vs spring?

Yes certainly. Because a lot of my work is food driven, in winter I’m drawn to make all kinds of baking and serving wares according to what you might want to cook – say curries and soup in rustic shino bowls or tagines for slow cooking.

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Tagine nouveau by Angela Walford

What are you currently working on?

I just completed a round of stoneware Shino noodle bowls and dip bowls and this week I am starting on the White series and getting back into the summer range.. And as always I’m working on a few things at once!

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Dip bowl celedun and chun by Angela Walford

Can you tell us something people don’t know about working with ceramics or something a bit surprising about it?

I think that clay has the imposed character of the maker, I look at the handmade wares on my kitchen shelves and I can tell you something about the personality of the maker. The handmade object brings so much more than functionality to the daily experience. It brings warmth and humanity to breakfast or dinner, it bring stories of friendships and connection. I think that is the thing with handmade, with the slow food movement too, we are realising the importance of place and ecology and how we all connect.

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The new breed Shino – by Angela Walford

What’s the best thing about doing what you do and what would be your dream project/creation?

Well of course I think I have the best job in the world and am so happy that I can do it and that I love what I do. I can get my day’s work done and have chats and a cuppa with my studio pals! Nothing better than watching other people make either!

Ooh dream project – more collaborations around the very things I love, handmade in clay, food and celebrating with friends and family… even something on a larger scale… I’ve just sent off work to The Cup Collaboration in Melbourne and am very much looking forward to seeing the show. Such a great idea by my friend Adriana Christianson to bring people together across the globe to make the cup in partnership – the vessel that we all enjoy.

Related Links – Check out Angela’s work at the Cup Collaboration this October:

adrianachristianson.com.au/page/the-cup-collaboration

www.facebook.com/The-Cup-Collaboration-968685596526166/timeline/

Links to Angela’s websites and Facebook page:

angdesign.com.au

angelawalfordceramics.com.au

facebook.com/angwalfordceramics

Jam Factory at Seppeltsfield

SALA exhibition opening 9th August 2015

Gallery 1855’s SALA 2015 exhibition opened on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and welcomed many participating artists and members of our local community and further afield.

A variety of works based on the theme ‘Looking but Seeing….something familiar for the first time‘ will be on display until Saturday 19 September.

Looking but Seeing: SALA 2015

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Local Artist Profile: Susan Long

One of Gallery 1855’s featured artists in this year’s SALA 2015 exhibition, Susan Long, says her featured work, Evening Glow’, was initially a work she had cast to the side in her studio, without a second thought.

But seeing an artist scraping through layers of paint during a visit Gallery 1855 created a desire to return to her work.

‘It was a complete surprise because it was a work I had finished and thought I was done with, but not long afterwards I saw an artist scraping through layers on a painting at Gallery 1855 and I knew I had to go home straight away and start working on it again,’ Susan says.

‘I had to get going and working on it very quickly, as the hands and mind must work together when inspiration strikes.

‘I tend to work in layers and bright colours and when I started to scrape through the painting, it started to reveal itself to me.

‘But I’ve also learned to stop, wait and step back from a painting and read it and see what it’s saying. Paintings do have their own mind!’

Susan’s work, titled ‘Evening Glow’, depicts a sole tree in the middle of an undefined landscape, allowing the viewer to imagine where it could be.

‘To me it is a Tree of Life…and it could be anywhere, it could be on a farm, by water, it doesn’t matter. This tree is very grounding and by painting it, it has helped me to ground myself in the landscape and identify with landscapes I have been in.’

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Image: Susan Long, Evening Glow, Acrylic, 2015.

‘Often when I start a painting I have no idea where it is going to go.  I have to get into the rhythm of painting and then allow the creative process to take over.

Describing herself as a ‘colourist’, Susan approaches her work with a bold and colourful brush technique.

‘Vibrant tones always feature in my work, especially orange, which is my favourite colour and you will always see it somewhere in my works.’

Susan is a regular exhibitor at Gallery 1855 and local resident of the area. She has held careers in cooking, teaching and now focuses full-time on her work as an artist and freelance food writer.

Her work is included in Gallery 1855’s SALA exhibition, titled ‘Looking but seeing…something familiar for the first time’, which opens Sunday 9 August. Other featured Adelaide artists include Jane Greet, Amy Herrmann, Judith Rolevink, Greg Geraghty and Talia Dawson.

‘I think it’s a great time to be an artist in Adelaide, with the support of councils and their involvement in the SALA Festival.’

During the 2015 SALA Festival, Susan’s work will also be on display at the Pepper Street Arts Centre, The Red House Member’s Group Exhibition and  is part of a pop-up artist open day on Walkerville Terrace on Friday 28 August.

Looking but Seeing’…something familiar for the first time’  runs from Wednesday 12 August until Saturday 19 September.

Gallery 1855 is located at 2 Haines Road, Tea Tree Gully, and is open Wednesday – Saturday from 12-5pm.

For more information visit the Gallery 1855 website or phone 8397 7333.

See the full list of venues and exhibitions in this year’s SALA Festival.

‘Looking but Seeing’ ~ SALA 2015 exhibition at Gallery 1855

Looking but seeing features 25 South Australian artists using various media to respond to the experience of seeing something familiar for the first time.

There is no other festival like the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) in Australia or the rest of the world. SALA embraces professional and aspiring artists at all levels and interests, while helping to grow the broader public’s awareness and curiosity in visual art.

During the month of August this state-wide festival encourages South Australians to go and visit (in addition to galleries) a whole lot of different venues (hospitals, restaurants cafes) to see visual art.

At Gallery 1855 we provide a platform from which our community can engage with the visual arts and we think this approach connects well with SALA’s ethos of inclusivity.

We’ve all experienced a difference or momentary strangeness in a familiar environment, object or person. These experiences can be unsettling but they can arouse one’s curiosity and call for deeper interpretations.

Looking but seeing proposes the importance of looking deeply, visually excavating and actually seeing or attempting to understand through the process of making art.

Opens: Sunday 9 August, 2pm
Where: Gallery 1855, 2 Haines Road, Tea Tree Gully

Exhibition dates: 12 August – 19 September

Artists:
Bente Andermahr, Gary Campbell, Annette Dawson, Talia Dawson, Ed Douglas, Greg Geraghty, Robert Habel, Amy Herrman, Margie Kenny, Cat Lennard, Susan Long, Sally March, Bridgette Minuzzo, Megan O’Hara, Ken Orchard, Christine Pyman, Amalia Ranisau, Judith Rolevink, Betty Smart, Chris Thiel, Di Vanstone

Amy Herrmann

Image: Amy Herrmann, untitled, 2015, Giclee print on photo rag, 100 x 75cm

Greg Geraghty

Image: Greg Geraghty, Hide & Seek 2014, Hiding. Oil on plywood 84 x 100.

Ed Douglas, Gateway of the manifold secrets: for David Nash, Archival pigment print, 76 x 100

Ed Douglas, Gateway of the manifold secrets: for David Nash, Archival pigment print, 76 x 100

Read more about the history of the SALA Festival in this article from The Conversation, where Gallery 1855 and Tea Tree Gully have been featured.

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