Art appreciation

Adelaide Festival Theater seashells light up with SA art

The iconic shells of the Festival Theater in Adelaide Festival Center will come to life this autumn and winter with all-new large-scale animated projections from local South Australian artists, in collaboration with award-winning creative team Electric Canvas.

Artists Jake Yang, Cedric Varcoe, Bridgette Minuzzo and Sue Michael have each created a series of works exploring a theme of personal significance.

A graduate of Adelaide Central School of Art, Jake Yang explores identity and self with strong ties to his Chinese heritage and the influence of contemporary Western culture.

Narungga and Ngarrindjeri artist, Cedric Varcoe, has participated in the OUR MOB exhibition and numerous community art projects. He mainly works in acrylic on canvas and his subjects are usually lizards, snakes and stylized male figures.

Adelaide-based visual artist Bridgette Minuzzo has over 20 years of experience in creative practice. His commissions include work for the Art Gallery of South Australia, Flinders Medical Center and several local councils. In 2013, Bridgette documented Adelaide Festival Centre: theatres, backstage, rooftops and outdoors, to create Phantasmagoria for Adelaide Festival Centre’s 40th anniversary. Bridgette animated layers of photographs to create a series of kaleidoscopes, a reference to the psychedelic 70s and the use of octagons in the design of the building.

Award-winning artist, Sue Michael, explored regional South Australia during her doctorate in visual arts and has become known for her artwork that showcases often overlooked aspects of South Australian domestic life. Sue presented an appreciation for these aspects: modest interiors of shacks on the beach at Lucky Bay and galahs flying along the End of the World Highway, as well as subdued local landscapes achieved through collage processes. Sue feels particularly honored to have been given this role of communicating with the forgotten, on such an extensive scale.

Sue Michael: “The artist can leave a trail of poetic thought and feeling, which potentially lingers beyond their work. The animal world has been brought back to life in a holistic layering; even extinct creatures now adorn the riverbank of Torrens. Aspects of place can endure, and extend beyond their time and place, to convey meaningful messages that can help ground us.”

Charissa Davies, Senior Curator of the exhibition at the Adelaide Festival Centre: “To see these four local artists bring existing works of art from their studios and bring them to life as animated projections that fill an entire building is a wonderful sight to behold. It was an honor to work with each of them and see their work light up the shells of the Festival Theater for all to enjoy.”

The exhibit currently lights up Festival Theater Shells every night from 7pm until June 3. Future screenings include artwork by Craigmore and Salisbury East High School students from the Legendary Textile Tales exhibit at the Children’s Artspace exhibit (June 4-July 14); and works by contemporary First Nations artists from the Illuminate festival’s New Light exhibit (July 15-31).

For more information on Adelaide Festival Center exhibits, please visit here.