Once a month Adam and I ditch work and check out all the new exhibitions in the North Terrace museum precinct. This month we hit up the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, the State Library of South Australia and the Migration Museum. Here are our highlights for August, along with exhibition dates so you can make sure you don’t miss out.
This month we ticked off 6 exhibitions, which was great because some of them we’d been meaning to get to for a while. We were cutting it close with some of them as they are due to close soon.
Art Gallery of South Australia
This month we started at AGSA, to check out the Ramsey Art Prize and William Kentridge exhibitions.
Ramsey Art Prize
25 MAY – 25 AUG 2019
The Ramsey Art Prize exhibition is an eclectic mix of creative works. Out of the myriad of mediums in this space my favourite was possibly one of the more subdued.
Seven Revisionists, by Kuba Dorabialski, is a 22-minute, full-HD, stereo-sound video installation filmed on the centenary of Russia’s October Revolution of 1917. As is often the case with film in exhibitions we came in half way through, but still sat down to watch ten minutes of the calmest man I’ve seen produce some of the most surreal dialogue I’ve heard, all in a single shot while driving around the streets of Sydney.
this work combines themes of political hope and disillusionment, restless myth-making and vague, sugary memories of the twentieth-century socialist projectFrom the AGSA website, on Seven Revisionists
Obviously there are too many pieces in here to comment on all of them, but there were so many great ones. In particular Tricksters by Tarryn Gill, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite new artists. Like the last piece we saw from Tarryn, Guardians, Tricksters is a surreal installation that at first just looks a bit whimsical, but quickly sucks you into a deep study of details and feelings you never noticed.
6th JULY to 8th SEPTEMBER 2019
I’m the first to admit I know very little about art, and I’d honestly never heard of William Kentridge before descending the stairs to this exhibit. That didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying it as we spendt hours watching the animations and films spread throughout the space.
The description of the exhibition mentions that the collection is presented as a “series of intimate encounters” and this really comes through. In every room you are surrounded by works, some of them surreal and some quite emotional. It’s easy to get swept up in it and to forget how much time has gone by.
South Australian Museum
04th AUGUST to 22nd SEPTEMBER 2019
Next up we headed down the street to the South Australian Museum. New at the SA Museum is a great little exhibit called Minaaka Apinhanga: Through Many Eyes.
This is a nice and intimate space with some thought provoking photos. I think my favourite part was the hand drawn notes written on the walls around the room. This really gave the impression that these are personally selected photos of family members and ancestors.
State Library of South Australia
There were two exhibits on at SLSA but we only had time to visit one. The second (Photography of an Adelaide Flasher) is on for a while still, so we’ll get there next month. We did, however, get to explore the exhibition on Phil Cummings.
Phil Cummings: Stories Behind the Books
18th APRIL to 29th SEPTEMBER 2019
While I never read any Phil Cummings books (I was a Roald Dahl kid at that age) it was still great being able to read all about the author and his characters. It wasn’t just reading though, there was so much to do here. There was a great touchscreen with an illustrated map of Phil’s hometown of Peterborough, along with a series of videos of Phil in classrooms talking to kids and a teacher translating some of the stories to Auslan.
We spent quite a while at this exhibit with the hands-on activites. There was a great lightbox that let you draw with sand, and a claystation that prompted you to create something you are afraid of out of clay.
The Migration Museum this month had another twofer, as there are two SALA exhibits running at the moment.
03rd AUGUST to 29th SEPTEMBER 2019
Island Welcome is an exhibition that explores contemporary jewellery as a gesture of greeting, like leis used as welcome garlands. Contributors created neckpieces interpreting the theme of “welcome”. What we found in the space were a number of great pieces that focused on different aspects of Australian culture.
Portraits of Elizabeth: Migration, Community, Identity
01st AUGUST to 29th SEPTEMBER 2019
I’m going to admit to being the moron here, because my lack of research made me think this was photos of someone called Elizabeth. After living in the North for 34 years and visiting many of the locations in the photos I was pleasantly surprised.
Portraits of Elizabeth is a photo series highlighting the faces and places of Elizabeth. It includes stories from past and present Elizabethans, the impact of Holden’s departure, and other migrant and community stories.
That was our trip for August. I know of a few new exhibitions opening in September that I’m really keen to see, so that should be a great month as well!