Monday, March 15, 2010

Adelaide Festival & life in our garden

The Adelaide Festival and accompanying Fringe Festival is officially over. In one way I feel as if I should have made the effort to see more, but on the other (much more grounded in reality) hand, much of the stuff I did see was disappointing to say the least. I think I've spoken before about 'concept art' and my increasing intolerance for it and I'm the first to admit that I understand little of what is happening in the world of contemporary 'Art' with a capital 'A'.
What I can say, and this is only personal opinion, is that a fair amount of the visual art I went to see was derivative, dull, (in some cases) poorly constructed or it was so bewildering that it failed to engage the viewer in any way. I have to ask the question, 'who are these artists making this work for?' I just can't bring myself to stand in front of a pile of string, scratching my chin and nodding in that insufferable way that suggests I actually see a deep and profound message in a tangle of knotty fibers (this is a totally fabricated example....I'm not referring to anyone's work in particular, but I think you get my drift).
However, there were some highlights for me. The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition had some fabulous work by Klaus Gutowski, Joshua Searson and the extraordinary charcoal drawings of Kim Buck. The Samstag housed an amazing, huge sculpture made entirely from styrofoam cups and hot glue and the Biennale at the AGSA was home to my personal favorite; papier mache and inked sculptures by James Morrison.
The absolute winner for me, on every level, was Amococo, a construction by The Architects of Air and designed by Alan Parkinson. I visited this incredible structure twice (took my kids the second time and they LOVED it). The three photos at the top are shots that I took from inside....the color was so intense in some areas it was almost painful to look at it....we were immersed in color. A wonderful experience and one that I highly recommend, if you get the chance.
Other than Festival shenannigans and sculpting, most of my joy at present is coming from our garden. The no-dig beds that my husband built several weeks ago are flourishing. We have beetroot, peas, beans, assorted lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, radishes and marigolds (because they're beautiful AND they confuse pests) practically leaping out of the earth. Our herb garden is now threatening to cover the path into the backyard and the smell of sage, thyme, rosemary and mint permeates the air. This past week has also seen our three chickens begin laying and our beautiful walk-in aviary (another of Guy's wonderful constructions) is a hive of activity with our quails hatching eight tiny chicks and many other birds nesting.
So that's pretty much it for the moment. I've started painting the 'dragon-snail' piece but am being slightly thwarted by a burst of hot weather (the paint dries too fast on the polymer clay)....I'm afraid the air-conditioning in our house doesn't quite cut the mustard, but we press on regardless.
Lots of projects on the go and some exciting things in the pipeline. Hope to fill you all in soon.
Till next time.


  1. I know what you mean about conceptual art. I think the art establishment has gone over the deep end in respect to that kind of art. It seems to be about what you can get away with. As for your garden, lovely. My partner is an avid gardener and I love the flowers, veggies and more I get to share. It provides me with inspiration too.

  2. I was in an installation by Architects of Air around 10 years ago in Madrid, the one called Levity. It was completely breathtaking. I took a bunch of pictures too.

    I remember very vividly a 4 years old girl getting in there running around in ecstasy and screaming¨"This is beautiful, this is beautiful". They are always the ones who first recognize when somethings feels just right.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Love the aviary birds! I have aviaries too! - Deb

  4. What beautiful pictures of your gardens and chickens... I have 3 and I can't keep up with the eggs...

    Installations are are all a "state" of mind. I had one done in my living room... paper cranes from ceiling to each corner... WOW...

  5. Hi Lorell,
    I didn't get the conceptual art either which is a shame so much work and still so much crap. I did enjoy the Helpman and the others you referred to. I also went to Tribal Fibres and the Spinners and Weavers, the Embroiderers guild and the Basketmaker's exhibitions the most. Of the three the Basketmaker's had the most WOW factor. Hopefully next year will be better. Your garden looks great mine is a bit sad at the moment.