1. Give us the who, what, when, where and why of your SALA show?
I’m a Feminist but… brings together women to examine the challenges and hypocrisies of being a 21st century feminist. The exhibition is also being presented as part of FRAN Fest 2017, which is exciting.
There are artists not only from SA but also a few from interstate, though only the SA artists are registered in SALA.
NSW Alex Pye
ACT Jacqueline Bradley
Opening night Thursday 31 August, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Exhibition runs: Thursday 31 August – Thursday 28 September 2017
68 – 72 Gibson Street, Bowden
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Wednesday – Saturday, and by appointment
2. How does this SALA show fit with the rest of your practice.
My curatorial practice focuses on working with and supporting artists to explore identity, in a number of ways. This exhibition is an extension of that, working with artists to think about their feminist identity, and the ways in which this identity is tested, stretched and challenged. I enjoy working in the in-between places of identity, where the lines a bit blurred. This show does that. It presents imperfection, and challenges the audience to think about their own relationship to the feminist movement.
3. Tell us about how you came to be at your venue.
praxis director Patty and I have been talking for a while about a me doing a show in the space. When the FRAN Fest announced it was calling for exhibitions, I started think about how Patty and I could work together on a show for the festival. I had been listening to the podcast for a while, and thought it would fit perfectly and would bring a new dimension to the discussion during the festival. Lucky for me, Patty agreed. We then thought we would register in SALA as well, to extend the reach of the show. It’s a beautiful gallery, and Patty is a supportive and generous host so it’s been wonderful to work with her.
4. Have you been involved in SALA before?
Yes, though this is the first time I have been registered as part of my independent curatorial practice. Generally, it is events that I have curated or programmed as part of work which are included. This year, as part of work, I am involved with three other exhibitions in the festival, and ran a professional development program for regional South Australian artists, bringing them to the city to explore as much of the festival as we could. It’s a great time to be in the state, with so many wonderful shows and locally grown talent being exhibited.
5. How do you think SALA is unique?
There’s nothing like it in Australia, and I’m sure only a handful of events the same in the world. To have so many artists involved, over a full month is fantastic. I think what is most unique is that it is not just about the exhibitions but it’s about facilitating the general public to meet the artists. The open studios, gala, forum, artist talks and all the other events are wonderful ways for the public to meet artists, and to hear directly from them. That’s what I find most special about the festival.
It’s also about the way in which the festival focuses the public’s attention on art. For a month there is art everywhere, in so many spaces we go into, it’s almost impossible to ignore. It’s in all the newspaper and online too. Which is great. Taking art to the people, rather than waiting for them to come to us, in the galleries, it’s brilliant, and it’s working.
6. What are you most looking forward to in SALA?
Now that the festival is almost over, perhaps I can tell you what I most enjoyed?
Soft spot/hard feelings was also really exciting, showing at Holy Rollers studio. It’s such a great space, an old church. There’s a baptismal pool and everything. They held a performance night last Saturday. It was a really great, and it’s brilliant to see performance work really taking off in Adelaide.
The SALA Artist Forum is always a highlight of the program. If you missed it don’t worry, it has been recorded and you can watch online. The PechaKucha night is also one not to be missed.
7. Do you have a studio? If so, tell us about it
I am one of the writers in residence at The Mill. It’s great to have a place to write and work away from home where I am too easily distracted by the dog, or my day job where I would have to do work. And to be in such a creative community is really inspiring.
8. What tips would you share with other artists looking to be involved in SALA 2018?
The relationship between venue and artist is so important, it makes everything easier and you will both get what you want if you talk communicate well. It’s also good to spell things out in writing. Just in case there are questions and sticky points later in the process.
9. Have you entered any of the SALA awards? Would you consider entering any of them in the future?
As a curator I didn’t, but Deb Prior did, and she’s a finalist, which is fantastic.
10. What’s next for you after SALA?
FRAN Fest, and more writing at The Mill. I’m not sure what my next curatorial project is, but I’m sure something will come up!
I have a few big projects at work, including one in Mount Gambier, which I am excited to launch. Friday 6 October, keep an eye out!