Universal themes explored by Art Gallery of South Australia exhibitions
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Universal themes explored by Art Gallery of South Australia exhibitions
James Darling, Australia, born 1946, Lesley Forwood, Australia, born 1950, Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe, 2018, Adelaide, digital video (20 minute loop) 1.5 tonnes Mallee root & 4,000 litres of water, 1612.0 x 464.0 cm; Courtesy the artists and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, installation view: Living rocks: A fragment of the universe, 2018, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, photo: Sam Roberts.

ADELAIDE.- Art Gallery of South Australia celebrates the 2019 South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) with two pivotal projects that demonstrate the diversity and universality of South Australian art– Honor Freeman: Ghost Objects and Living Rocks Virtual Reality.

AGSA Director, Rhana Devenport ONZM says, ‘SALA recognises the breadth and depth of South Australia’s visual arts. We are thrilled to present two pioneering art projects that showcase major accomplishments of South Australian art and are testament to the diverse trajectories of our artists.’

South Australian ceramicist, Honor Freeman’s most ambitious work to date, Ghost Objects, opened at AGSA as part of SALA on 27 July.

Over the past 12 months, Freeman has created Ghost Objects, a suite of pivotal work, inspired by her research of mourning objects and works of art that offer solace within AGSA’s permanent collection as part of her residency for The Collections Project.

Championing South Australia’s cultural, historic and scientific heritage, The Collections Project is a collaboration with Guildhouse that offers an artist the opportunity to research the permanent collections of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, Flinders University Art Museum or AGSA.

In her artistic practice, Freeman has long been drawn to exploring everyday objects and the theme of mimicry in her work. Based on the estimation that one person will use 656 bars of soap in their lifetime, Freeman explored mortality with her celebrated installation Soap Score at the JamFactory in 2016. In 2019, Freeman has returned to the exploration of the rituals of the domestic and everyday life in Ghost Objects.

In Ghost Objects, Freeman reimagines handkerchiefs, buckets and bars of soap as vessels of memory and mourning. This suite of work reflects Freeman’s fascination with these humble, hardworking, universal objects and with the materiality of ceramics. Honor Freeman says, ‘I’m drawn to clay and porcelain because it is a material that has a memory. By creating a mould of the object, it remembers the form within, further capturing the theme of Ghost Objects.’

Honor Freeman says ‘The Collections Project residency has been tremendously re-invigorating and at times overwhelming, feeling the weight of the sheer volume of works, and the stories the collection holds. Having the opportunity to see evidence of the hand and imagine the maker and the life of an object that is centuries old is thrilling. I know it will continue to be a rich resource and inform my practice into the future.’

Honor Freeman: Ghost Objects is on display in Gallery 16 at AGSA from 27 July to 29 September 2019 as part of SALA.

An innovative and immersive installation, Living Rocks VR is being presented at Lot Fourteen, as part of SALA in August.

The installation invites audiences to step into The Chapel at Lot Fourteen and, through VR technology, be transported to Venice, Italy, to experience the internationally celebrated South Australian installation Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe, which is currently on display at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Described by Premier Steven Marshall as ‘a major creative milestone for the State’, Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe incorporates moving image, sculpture and an evocative soundscape. The project was developed by South Australian artists James Darling and Lesley Forwood in collaboration with Jumpgate VR and the Australian String Quartet.

Audiences at Lot Fourteen will journey to the Magazzini del Sale, the historic stone salt storehouses of Venice that have stood the test of many an inundation, where Living Rocks is installed. From an extensive pool emerges thrombolites that have been crafted, not by nature, but by Darling and Forwood who employ the distinctive roots of an arid land eucalypt to create ‘living rocks’. Surrounding the water are images constantly in motion, made in collaboration with Jumpgate VR. The installation is accompanied by String Quartet No 2 composed by Paul Stanhope and performed by the Australian String Quartet.

Living Rocks VR is presented by Craniofacial Australia and supported by AGSA, Jumpgate VR and Lot Fourteen. Living Rocks VR is open Monday to Friday from 5 – 30 August 2019, 10am-3pm. Location: The Chapel, Lot Fourteen (entry via Gate 7, Frome Road).

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Universal themes explored by Art Gallery of South Australia exhibitions

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