Artist profile: Margie Kenny

Adelaide designer Margie Kenny’s illustrations at Gallery 1855 are vibrant, charming and yet thought provoking.

Her latest exhibition Connected explores the idea that all creatures and nature are connected and that life is an incredible force.

A childhood spent in the Adelaide Hills impressed on Margie a love for nature and a passion for conserving native habitats and species. Her illustrations aim to capture nature in a way that brings joy to viewers and an awareness of the role we all play in preserving the environment.


Tell us about your artistic background.

I always loved art and design in school, and went on to university to study a Bachelor of Education specialising in Design. I then worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in the areas of health and education, and began teaching design at UniSA. I have exhibited in several group exhibitions, and this is my first solo exhibition.

What is your current exhibition at Gallery 1855, Connected about?

Connected is about how nothing happens in isolation on our planet – all creatures and habitat have an effect on one another. Creatures are so closely connected to their habitat. It’s a celebration of the beauty of nature – from wildlife across the world to a ladybird in the backyard garden. The exhibition also highlights a connection we may not be so proud of – the rapid loss of habitat and wildlife through deforestation to feed our consumption of palm oil in processed food and household products.

In the organic garden (ladybird) by Margie Kenny

Image: Margie Kenny, In the organic garden (ladybird), 2016, hand drawn mixed media digital composite print on cotton rag paper, 52 x 52cm.

Why is the natural world so important to you?

My love of nature goes back to my early childhood growing up surrounded by scrub and native wildlife in the Adelaide Hills. The natural world supports the life of all creatures including humans, and without it we could not survive.

What concerns you about the world we live in?

There is an alarming rate of change in the natural world primarily at the hands of the human race, and I believe as individuals we can have a more positive influence on change. For example, there are critically endangered species losing their habitat and lives through rapid deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations – while we continue to consume palm oil which is hidden in a high percentage of supermarket products and processed food. It can go completely unnoticed to many of us, even to those who are nature lovers.

Gardener's companion, by Margie Kenny

Image: Margie Kenny, Gardener’s companion, 2016, hand drawn, digital composite print on cotton rag paper, 52 x 52cm.

Where and how do you make your works?

Several of my pieces are detailed and realistic in tone and form and are produced in my studio by hand, using graphite pencil or biro with my own photographs as reference when drawing (e.g. Turning tide, Nature’s fine line and Microclimate).

Some of my most recent pieces (e.g. Habitat and Uncertain future) begin with an idea that is drawn roughly on layout paper then progressed to a final accurate line drawing. These drawings are then scanned onto the computer, and hand drawn/painted colour textures are also scanned and cut to shape and combined with the line work in Photoshop software. The final illustrations are then printed at a high resolution onto cotton rag paper for a high quality finish.

Rhythm of life by Margie Kenny

Image: Margie Kenny, Rhythm of life, 2014, hand drawn, digital composite print on cotton rag paper, 51 x 51cm.

What you hope people take away from seeing these works?

I hope the work brings joy and inspiration to the audience, and perhaps a renewed awareness of the role we all play as consumers. Informative bookmarks are available to take home to enjoy and to help identify palm oil in products we buy.

Microclimate by Margie Kenny

Image: Margie Kenny, Microclimate, 2009, ball point pen on paper, 53 x 53cm.

What are you working on next?

I’d like to further explore the idea of habitat and endangered species, focusing on the concerns but also on the positive work being done in Australia and overseas on rescuing and reintroducing wildlife into habitats. In the process I will also be exploring illustrative styles for my own development as an illustrator.

Connected is a Gallery 1855 exhibition at 2 Haines Road in Tea Tree Gully, from 12 October until 12 November 2016. 

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Artist Profile: Mona Khizam

This month local community artist, writer and filmmaker Mona Khizam is co-hosting (along with artist Catherine Buddle) the workshop, Identity, Memory and Place at Gallery 1855. We spoke to Mona about her pursuits and the experiences behind them.

Can you start by providing an introduction about yourself and your artistic background?

Well, my academic background is in social work, teaching and human rights. My family is from Lebanon so that means like other ‘ first generation Australians’, I was privy to both Australian culture and another culture growing up. You’re born here but you see things differently. You’re Australian but you also have another understanding of how family, business and community can work. This is cultural diversity in a nutshell and it is what makes pluralistic societies like Australia, Canada, Venezuela etc. the vibrant societies that they are.

Since coming back to Australia in 2014, I have had the opportunity to work with Indigenous filmmakers and I have learnt a lot about Indigenous knowledge, politics and cultures. What I think is that these Indigenous cultures, combined with Anglo-Australian and Australian immigrant cultures, make Australia an extraordinary country, which isn’t to say we don’t have fundamental problems in the areas of racism, equality and social inclusion but we are getting there…

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What or who has made a great impression on you?

My dad, Ramez Khizam ( Ronny ) was a self-made man, an immigrant success story if ever there was one, but he was also very humble and modest. He died in 1998 but I still think about him most days. I think his legacy was in his natural curiosity about things, in teaching us the importance of education and the importance of conducting yourself with integrity. He was a very decent man, quiet, self-educated and kind.

My mother Inaam Khizam ( Anna ) also taught me a lot of things, including that you have to take a chance in business and then work very hard to realise your dream. She is the greatest networker I know and she still influences me in her exceptional organisational skills and her tireless work with various community groups.

My son too, has taught me a lot about life and the importance of family.

Living abroad for 30 years also had a huge impact on me. Perhaps the most important things I learnt are:

  • There are more ways to do things than the way you happened to be brought up doing them
  • You should take the opportunity to learn what you can from cultures that have mastered certain things i.e. the Swedish way of planning and organising and the Lebanese way of seizing the day and enjoying life, since you don’t know what tomorrow might bring…
  • At the end of the day, life is all about building community

Each of the places I lived in – Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Beijing, Hong Kong, Beirut, Dresden and Stockholm – gave me the opportunity to learn new things. Even before I went abroad though, I was a devotee of life-long learning. Living overseas provided me with a great education. Although there were a ton of challenges, I felt it was a privilege to be able to dip into other languages and experience so many different ways of life. I have thought and also written a lot about this, these cross-cultural issues that both bind and divide us as humans.

As for my artistic background, well, I have always written and been interested in images and cinematography. I trained to be a literacy teacher while first abroad and later, in Sweden, I re-trained as a documentary filmmaker. Filmmaking, whether my own documentary films or those made by community groups I teach, is a wonderful thing because it allows people to say what they want – and need – to say. Film is the great equaliser and one of the most effective ways to contribute to public debates. For example, I am just at the tail-end of a project called North Eastern Girrrls Film Bootcamp in which young women chose to make two films: one about domestic violence in Australia and the other about the importance of language and culture for Uyghur people in China. As with my other community film work, I do not set the theme. The participants choose the topics that are important to them, topics close to their hearts, you might say. And this is exactly what democracy is – being able to express your opinion without retribution. It’s something you are grateful for when you have lived in places where democracy isn’t that highly valued.

So, in a nutshell, my artistic work includes things like:

  • My own documentaries,
    • ADHD, anarchy, music, fatherhood, refugees, ‘the immigrant experience’ and stories of identity and belonging, or not
  • My own community art installations,
    • like Gardens don’t lie…
  • Collaborative arts and cultural projects,
    • the 2BEACHES, OneIslandNation democracy project with Open Space Contemporary Arts
  • Community film teaching,
    • North Eastern Girrrls Film Bootcamp
  • Community film events,
    • Tea Tree Gully Stories
    • Gallery Yampu Open Mic Film Cafe which I ran earlier this year at Port Adelaide
    • SAGA : Stockholm International Women’s Film Festival that I founded in Sweden in 2013
    • Writing ‘Sahara Libre !  Freedom, Human  Rights and Colonialism in The Western Sahara’
  •  Photographic exhibitions including moving images.
    • There but for the grace of God, go I…

In terms of artists that inspire me, there are many but I would name Shirin Neshat (Iranian), Lara Baladi (Lebanese) and Nan Golding (American) and Pipilotti Rist (Swiss).

Your current work at Gallery 1855, There but for the grace of God, go I  is a series of revealing photographs you shot while on a research trip to Algeria, to explore human rights in a Sahrawi refugee camp. Can you tell us more about why you went there and details regarding your trip?

I went to Algeria and The Western Sahara to do research for my human rights/ journalism/ filmmaking studies at Jakobsbergs Folkhögskola in Stockholm. I was there for 6 weeks in 2009. I was interested in finding out what it’s like to be a refugee, sitting forgotten in desert camps for decades. To my surprise, I learnt that the Sahrawis’ situation is actually quite well-known and their struggle for freedom is strongly supported in many European and South American countries. What I found was a thriving community actively building an effective, sophisticated government-in-waiting (Polisario), working with the UN to end the illegal occupation of their country, shoring up their language, culture and identity and educating their kids for the day they regain their independence.

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The Western Sahara, known as Africa’s last colony, was doled out to Spain in 1885 when unimaginably greedy European colonial powers carved up Africa between themselves at the Berlin Conference. Ninety years later when the Spanish were on their way out, the Moroccans decided to invade, so the Sahrawis know a lot about occupation.

Since that 1975 Moroccan invasion, some 200,000 Sahrawis have been stranded in refugee camps in the middle of the Hamada ( the desert called ‘The Devil’s Garden’ in English) where it can get up to 50 degrees in the middle of the day and down to zero at night.

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There but for the grace of God, go I…  is a photographic narrative of this fight for freedom. Each picture offers an insight into the lives of ordinary people struck in the middle of the politics of colonialism. The 19 images are supported by a film of the same name, shot in Semaphore and in The Western Sahara, which highlights the impact of colonialism on our lives.

Through images, text and video footage, the exhibition examines the randomness of dislocation, be it through politics, war, climate change or in the case of the Sahrawis, occupation by an expansionist neighbour. I wanted to investigate if this was important and if so, why? After all, what has it got to do with us? Why should it matter? What I found was that it does matter, not just morally but also because refugees remain refugees because their resources are being plundered. Their country being occupied means that they do not have control over their own assets. In The Western Sahara, these assets are considerable and valuable. They include huge quantities of high quality sand (taken for the beaches of the Canary Islands, for instance), solar and wind power diverted to power Moroccan cities, the best fishing stock off the coast of Africa being exported all over the world (while the Sahrawis eat cheap, imported tinned sardines), phosphate (critical in agriculture as fertiliser) and finally, oil and gold being dug up and spirited away without a cent going to the economy of The Western Sahara.

Many companies, including Australian ones, are involved in this (needless to say, illegal) plundering of resources. In short, what we do over here, matters. The standard we walk past is the standard we accept. The politics of war, occupation and colonialism are random and harsh. Anybody could, through circumstances beyond their control, become a refugee and it’s a soul destroying situation to find yourself in. It could happen to anyone, it could happen to you and it could happen to me but for the grace of God…

In fact, if the Dutch had thought their reception more along the lines of what they were expecting when they landed in Shark Bay in 1616, they might have stayed and colonised Australia. Then we would be having this conversation in Dutch ! That’s how random colonialism is. We should know this, being a colony, but we forget. There but for the grace of God, go I… is a reminder that had things gone differently for us as a nation, we too might have been fighting for our language, culture, identity and freedom as many refugees do, not to mention our own Indigenous communities…

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

I hope people see that refugees are just people like you or me, people just trying to raise their kids and live their lives in peace. They do not choose to be refugees and all they want is what everyone wants: freedom.

 Your work reflects extreme conditions of humanity and existence… Is it hard for you to keep the momentum up in your work, as you bear witness to terrible emotional suffering, as well as environmental suffering?

In a word, no. Looking away is harder. Mind you, there were times in the camp when I wondered what the hell I was doing there… The work is important, I think because it is too easy to see the refugee as ‘the other’, to diminish them by lumping them all together, instead of seeing they too are people like you and me. These days there is a lot of fear and cruelty in the ‘treatment’ of refugees. As a nation, our track record has gone from the woeful White Australia policy to positive post-war immigration, to something where we now focus almost entirely on the cost of taking in refugees and the ways it can all go wrong instead of seeing the benefits of immigration. We have become very frightened and as a result, very careless in our terminology, whereby ‘refugee’ by default is only a hair’s breadth from ‘terrorist’. If this were the case in 1948 when my father applied to migrate to Australia, he wouldn’t have stood a chance and I wouldn’t be here now. Of course, taking in people is complex and takes resources but it also makes us a stronger, more diverse, more resilient and more international player on the world stage.

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Here are some lines from the Introduction of ‘Sahara Libre!’ to answer your question about bearing witness to terrible emotional suffering.

‘Some days I wanted to stay in the camp my whole life. Nothing else existed, it was a world to its own. Life was good. I had what I needed – company, work that made me happy, time to laugh. I was who I wanted to be. Other days, especially at the beginning, I wondered what on earth I was doing there. And what the Sahrawis were doing there. What the hell was wrong with these people, sitting in some God-forsaken refugee camp in the middle of nowhere? Was this it? Was this as good as life was going to get for them? Didn’t they want a better life, if only for their kids? Was it enough to sit suspended in time and space, miserably waiting out their days, hoping against hope that the world might one day sit up and notice their plight?’

Polisario, The Western Saharan government’s mass release of Moroccan prisoners of war in the 1980s and since then, more than 80 United Nations resolutions supporting The Western Sahara and condemning Morocco’s illegal occupation of it and yet still nothing changes… There they sit, freezing by night, sweltering by day and always battered by that cursed wind – wind strong enough to pick up your spit, coat it with a shell of flying sand and send it smashing to the ground 3 or 4 metres from source. Bone-jarringly cold nights, daytime temperatures of over 50° and nothing but desert as far as the eye can see, day in, day out, year in, year out. No wonder they call it the Devil’s Garden, God himself could not get anything to grow in this most savage of environments.

Add to that, no institutions of higher learning, no jobs, no economy to speak of, ‘no nothing’. The Sahrawis, colonised by the Spanish, invaded by the Moroccans, have been to war, laid down their arms, talked nicely with the United Nations and still they are living in refugee camps. They have done everything conceivable to wrench their lands back from an aggressively expansionist Morocco but to no avail. They remain an occupied country.

Imagine it, some 200,000 people huddled together in a handful of camps, cut off from those parts of their family living under Moroccan occupation, a 3rd generation of children being born into these camps, 41 years and counting… What do people do ? How do they cope ? The answer is that they do as anyone else does – they live their lives, as best they can. They grow up, get married, raise their kids. They do their utmost to hold the community together, to survive but what, I wonder, do they dream of in the quiet moments in the day, these people that don’t officially exist, these people supposedly without a future?

 Welcome to The Western Sahara

There were a number of projects that our group from Jakobsbergs Folkhögskola, Stockholm chose to work with – making a documentary comparing Sahrawi teenagers with their Swedish counterparts, compiling a picture reportage of life in the desert, investigating methods of food/ water/ aid distribution but beyond this, what captivated me was the question of identity; Who are these people, these Sahrawis?



And who do you become when your country is occupied, when you have lost a sizeable chunk of your land and have sat in refugee camps for four decades ? When I first saw pictures of Sahrawis, I was a bit daunted. They are a tough looking people. They stand somewhere between Europe (being Spanish-speaking, thanks to Spanish colonialism), the Middle East (their culture sharing much with Arab cultures) and Africa (their lands being situated in the north of that continent). How then, have they managed to maintain their identity, against all odds ? That is what I wanted to find out and this book is my attempt to do just that.

What have been some of your career highlights?

It is always the latest thing. I am very pleased with the North Eastern Girrrls’ work because filmmaking is not easy. It is by far easier to give up than to finish a film. They didn’t give up. They have made two interesting films that speak passionately of identity, community and the right to live safely, without violence.
I am also very pleased to show the images in There but for the grace of God, go I… Niki Vouis and the staff at Gallery 1855 are extraordinary in the way they support emerging and established artists. As a local artist, I really appreciate this. I think that Gallery 1855 is a very fine visual arts facility with a fantastic range of exhibitions, talks and workshops and reflects the Tea Tree Gully Council’s progressive and positive approach to culture and the arts. They do a lot to bring culture and the arts to the community and I am glad to live in a council area that does that.

This month you will co-host an visual art and writing workshop, where participants will explore their own stories and then interpret them using visual art. Are you a writer yourself, who has a serious interest in the visual arts?

I am both a writer and an artist. The workshop, Identity, Memory and Place, is an opportunity for participants to explore their own identity in writing and then transform the written word into an artwork of their choosing. I am co-running this workshop with Catherine Buddle and we are both really looking forward to it.

 

What would you love to work on in the future, or who would you like to collaborate with?

Well, I should begin by telling you what my other current projects are ;

  • Tea Tree Gully Stories which is an oral history documentary film. The Red Carpet Screening is on Friday the 14th of October at 6pm at Tea Tree Players on Yatala Road, Surrey Downs. The event is free and everybody is welcome. RSVP Tea Tree Players.
  • Gardens don’t lie… is a photographic and video installation that will also include a 6 x 3 metre garden of South Australian natives. It will initially be held at Adelaide Airport and then hopefully in Tea Tree Gully as well. This project explores the stories our gardens tell about us. Regardless of the way we present ourselves to the world, regardless of the income bracket we fall into, our gardens tell the truth about our values and about how we spend our time and our money.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about art, culture and There but for the grace of God, go I…

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 for 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.

Ang Walford

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.

Shino bowl

Shino bowl – by Angela Walford

teaset-shino

Teaset – Shino – by Angela Walford

 

Shino bowl glaze overlay

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 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.

tagine

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!

dip-bowl-celedon-and-chun

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

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.

SALA

Contested Landscapes coming up soon at Gallery 1855

Contested Landscapes: natural and built environments undergoing change. Works by Robert Habel.

Opening 2pm, Sunday 21 September.

Robert Habel, Palmer Landscape 3, 2011, oil on canvas, 140 x 127cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Robert Habel, Palmer Landscape 3, 2011, oil on canvas, 140 x 127cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the artist:

Visual artist Robert Habel has been painting landscapes for over thirty years but not in the traditional sense.

His practice doesn’t acquiesce to the traditions, rules and nostalgic affirmations of the past.

Instead, his landscapes deal with issues of ecological and cultural sustainability.

To Robert, the depiction of land undergoing change or suffering abuse is as relevant in art today as idealistic landscape painting was in the past.

For more information about Robert’s creative practice please visit his website

Come along to Robert’s floor talk on Saturday 25 October from 2pm.

Want to know more about what we are doing in the Gallery and Studio? Visit our website