New Art Spaces in South Australia

Adelaide, surrounding areas and country SA

New galleries in South Australia range from the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery (est. October 2001) to the new exhibition spaces of established galleries like BMG and Main Street Gallery to artist-run spaces such as Cube Contemporary Art and upstArt studio & gallery. There are now 23 Regional Galleries in South Australia ranging in their locations from Ceduna to Waikerie, Wudinna to Kadina, and including relatively new spaces at Roxby Downs, Tanunda and Port Lincoln. The Country Arts Trust administers and tours up to fifteen shows per annum between these spaces though the program of the galleries also always include a strong component of local work. The Station Master's Gallery, an independent space at Strathalbyn was established in 1998 and mostly shows work by local artists. Recently two Adelaide-based artists undertook six months of plein air studies in the region to prepare an exhibition of works for the space called Rainshadow Landscapes. From their on-site sketching Ken Orchard developed pastel drawings on pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica while Ian Hamilton transformed his work digitally with a basic computer program.

Main Street Gallery (www.turtlelane.com.au/msegallery) is the only print and work on paper specialty gallery in South Australia. First established in 1994 Main Street Gallery is located in the main street of the historic town of Hahndorf, about 15 minutes out of Adelaide. A fully equipped and active printmaking workshop, holding classes in drawing and in solarplate etching, is in the old house that used to contain the Gallery. Next door is the new Gallery which was launched in March 2002. Converted from a second house into two exhibition spaces it includes a folio room where prints may be viewed. Artists' books, prints and works on paper are shown and promoted by the director Adele Boag who travels regularly to events in these media, taking the work of South Australian artists both interstate and overseas.

Cube Contemporary Art (originally known as Studio 91B) is located in Bowden, a post-industrial area of Adelaide and is thus surrounded by vast old buildings and yards, splitting bitumen, waist high weeds and ancient painted signs. It is an evocative ambience for a gallery. Though it is a conventional commercial gallery Cube is also an artist run space as the two directors Jim Thalassoudis and Dianne Gall are both practising painters. The gallery opened informally and almost accidentally during SALA week in 2001 and now has a busy program and schedule representing the artwork of thirteen South Australian artists selected on the basis that their work is of high quality both conceptually and technically. Through arrangements with commercial galleries interstate, Cube is also showing artists whose work is rarely seen in South Australia.

upstArt is an artist-run gallery co-ordinated by practising artist Penny White. The gallery opened in January 2001 and is open to both emerging and established artists to self-manage exhibitions. Exhibition proposals are vetted for professionalism. Studios, suitable for a number of art forms, are attached to the gallery for rental of $38.50 per week. The main gallery costs $110 a week, the mezzanine $66, both together $165. UpstArt is also now the Australian Centre for ATC or Artist Trading Cards. ATC are a 'collaborative cultural performance'. They are a variation on mass-produced trading cards. At the beginning of the century it was cigarette cards, more recently it is Pokemon, basketball stars, pop stars ands so on. The cards are 64mm by 89mm and are made, signed and dated by the artist. They are then swapped. Trading sessions are happening on the last Sunday of every month at 2pm at upstArt.

In March 2002 the First International Biennial of Artist Trading Cards was shown in the New Land Gallery at Country Arts SA in Port Adelaide. The show is now touring South Australia. Artist Trading Cards are the brainchild of a Swiss artist Strinemann who began making and showing cards in 1997 in Zurich in his bookshop/gallery INK.art&text. Calgary in Canada was the second place to become involved. The cards have a political agenda to do with culture jamming and the anti-globalisation movement. And yet their movement appears to be fairly global&

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