I've been lucky enough to visit three art exhibitions this year, two of them in one month alone! While these do not include crochet specifically, the variety of work can serve to inspire creativity in all sorts of crafts. If you ever feel like you are in a crochet design rut, I can highly recommend a visit to a gallery or exhibition to stimulate and rejuvenate your creative spirit.
"White Sands" Exhibition (16th June)
Brighton Secondary School Concert Hall Foyer
"White Sands" was a collaborative exhibition by students of Port Lincoln High School and Brighton Secondary School Students. Port Lincoln is a country fishing and farming town on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia while Brighton is a beachside suburb of Adelaide, South Australia's capital city.
|Basket weaving wall hangings|
The aims of the project were to share the artistic talents of students, build friendships, develop cultural understanding and teach each other art skills. In order to do this, the artwork was carefully transported the 650 kilometres each way between the two schools and the students took turns to meet each other in Port Lincoln, Adelaide and Scotdesco (Tjilkaba) Aboriginal Community.
|Shell and Basket Crabs|
The students learned about basket weaving, contemporary Aboriginal painting techniques and understanding the storytelling involved in Indigenous Art.
Much of South Australia is an arid landscape. The coastline is a mixture of sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. There are sand dunes around the beaches and also in the desert.
An excerpt from the artists' statement:
Two major pieces are based on the sand dunes that we share in common in our local areas and are intertwined in most of our shared experiences. Another major piece was based on the fields seen on the flight between the two schools.
Brighton Secondary School has a specialist volleyball program. I love the way the students incorporated this aspect of their identities into their artwork and combined it with totemic traditions.
|Close-up of Volleyball Totems|
For geography buffs, here is a Map of South Australia showing Port Lincoln and Adelaide.
Port Lincoln is on the Eyre Peninsula and Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Scotdesco is west of Port Lincoln and Ceduna, between Penong and Fowlers Bay in the Bookabie area.
|Close-up of Volleyball Totems|
Gallery M Inaugural Open Contemporary Prize 2016 (5‒28 August)
Marion Cultural Centre
The inaugural Gallery M Open Contemporary Art Prize is an exciting new opportunity for South Australian artists to exhibit their work ... and is open to all artists aged over 18 years living and working in South Australia. Entry to the exhibition was via a pre-selection process, with the judging panel selecting the finalist artworks from digital images submitted. Through generous sponsorship the Gallery M Open Contemporary Prize is offering non-acquisitive prizes to the value of $4,500.
- Gallery M
|'Murray Mouth' by Valerie Jordan|
I went to the launch with my teen who is keen to learn more about art. This was the first exhibition launch she had ever attended and she was thrilled to be there. When children ask, "What time are we leaving?" it is usually a signal of boredom but mine was asking because she wanted to stay as long as possible! She truly was in her element and it was a joy to see a young person discovering their interests and talents.
We enjoyed meeting the artists and listening to audience discussion while enjoying an eclectic collection of artworks. I was surprised at the number of people taking photos of the artworks with their phones! I thought such behaviour was frowned upon. Flash photography is usually not permitted in art galleries. One cannot blame people though because the standard of work extremely high.
We overheard artist Tim O'Shea explaining that he always places his wife in his paintings. That notion reminded us of "Where's Wally" and added extra interest and fun. It must be fun for the artists to observe the audience and listen to what others say about their work. He won First Prize with his painting 'At the Gallery' and I was very much taken with it but was unable to take a good photograph due to the crowds! Fortunately, Gallery M have displayed the winning works online.
|'Windows No. 2' by Michelle Driver|
Michelle received an honourable mention for her tapestry featuring an X-ray. She also went on to win the Port Pirie Regional Art Prize for a similar woven piece.
Congratulations Michelle! Her work is available for purchase through her Etsy shop "Threefold Designs" or other outlets which are listed on her web site.
I am always thrilled to see talent from my local area reaping the rewards of their hard work. How parochial I am (!) but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate talent from elsewhere.
Michelle Driver's woven tapestry pieces remind me of crocheted work by Kayt Ross who won the Crochet Guild of America's 2015 Crochet Design Competition with a crocheted ultrasound scan of her daughter. Kayt Ross' "Emily Rose" can be viewed on Pinterest (link details below). It was also featured in Interweave Crochet magazine (Fall 2015).
Crochet lends itself well to such a project as it can curve easily. Kayt Ross is quoted: "To make the image work proportionally, I decided to "build in" the curve rather than working straight rows and decreasing the edges."
It is interesting that both Michelle Driver's and Kayt Ross' pieces have won prizes. Both require technical skill and they both combine traditional crafts with modern technology.
|'Melting Moments' by Jeremy G Paddick|
digital art inspired by Lego bricks
Final judging took place prior to the exhibition launch, and the prizes were presented to the winning artists on the opening night by the Mayor of Marion. A list of finalists and views of the prize-winning words can be found through the Gallery M website here: http://www.gallerym.net.au/art_prize_2016_32.html
SALA 2016 "Inspired" (16‒26 August)
Brighton Secondary School Concert Hall Foyer
This exhibition was part of the SALA Festival of visual arts during the month of August. 'SALA' stands for 'South Australian Living Artists.' All students and staff of Brighton Secondary School were eligible to enter.
The theme was "Inspired" and entrants were encouraged to be creative:
The theme can be interpreted in so many ways; what inspires the artist or perhaps how our friends, family and experiences inspire our creativity.
It was a great showcase for senior students who were preparing their work for the Senior Secondary Assessment Board (of South Australia - SSABSA). This is the major assessment for graduation from secondary school (Year 12) and to enter university. The standard of work was stunning!
The exhibition featured work from all year levels, both individual and group projects. Photography, sculpture, collage, mixed media, drawing, painting and graphic design were all included. Some students were quite excited to have their work publicly exhibited for the first time. There were many pieces of work worth purchasing but most of them were not for sale. I could have easily bought a couple if they were (and if I had the funds)! It was very crowded so I was unable to take many photos.
|A variety of illustrations by junior students of Brighton Secondary School at the SALA "Inspired" exhibition.|
It was my first time at the annual exhibition at Brighton Secondary. I happened to bump into a friend there who said that she visited every year because "the standard is always extremely high" so guess what I'll be doing next year?
There are many artistic events around South Australia during the SALA Festival each August. Find out more here: https://www.salafestival.com/
Put it on the calendar!
Do you enjoy art exhibitions?
What was the last exhibition you attended?
Have you ever had your work displayed in a public exhibition?
Links & Related Posts on Lupey Loops
Brighton Secondary School, 305 Brighton Road, North Brighton SA 5048: http://brightonss.sa.edu.au/
Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre: http://www.gallerym.net.au/
EDITED 30 October 2016: Gallery M new web site: http://www.gallerym.com.au/
- Art Prize 2016: http://www.gallerym.net.au/art_prize_2016_32.html
Interweave Crochet magazine: http://www.interweave.com/crochet/
Jordan, Valerie, "Jordan Fine Art": http://www.jordanfineart.com.au/valerie-jordan-art.html
Lupey Loops, "What a Busy Month", 5 September 2016: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/what-busy-month.html
Port Lincoln High School, PO Box 30A, Port Lincoln SA 5606: http://www.plhs.sa.edu.au/
- Jarvis, W. & Silver, J., "Adelaide Trip for PLHS Aboriginal Artists", Port Lincoln High School: http://www.plhs.sa.edu.au/adelaide-trip-for-plhs-aboriginal-artists/
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, 3 Mary Ellen Street, PO Box 481, Port Pirie SA 5540: http://pprag.org.au/
- Port Pirie Regional Art Prize exhibition 21 August – 3 October 2016: http://pprag.org.au/?p=26
Ross, Kayt, Winner 2015 Crochet Design Competition, Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), "Vivacious Art", Fallbrook CA 92028, USA: http://www.vivaciousart.com/gallery.html
- Pinterest image: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/148407750198411510/
- CGOA 2015 Crochet Design Competition winners: http://www.crochet.org/news/248772/Crochet-Guild-of-America-Announces-Winners-of-the-2015-Design-Contest.htm
- Smith, Marcy, "A Winning Design is Born", Interweave Crochet, Volume IX, No. 3, Fall 2015, Interweave, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA 2015.
Scotdesco Aboriginal Community, South Australia: http://www.scotdesco.com/
South Australian Living Artists Festival: https://www.salafestival.com/