Current Issue #488

Hidden treasures of Gay's Arcade

Tucked down Gay’s Arcade, an arm of the Adelaide Arcade, is T’Arts, an artist-run gallery featuring an array of contemporary art by local artists and designers.

T’Arts (Textile and Arts) began in 2002 after a small group of textile artists felt they needed a space to show their work and discovered the location in Adelaide’s CBD which has housed their creations ever since.

T’Arts opened in March 2003 and, with the majority of the founding members being feltmakers, the original focus was on textiles. Over time the scope grew to cover a range of different artf orms. There are now 34 members of the T’Arts collective who work together to run the not-for-profit gallery.

Visitors can expect to see around 30 artists on display at any one time, working in a range of media including jewellery, glass, ceramics and painting. Marion Dawson, director of promotions and marketing and one of the founding members, says: “The displays and exhibitions change frequently, which provides new, stimulating and refreshing pieces for our customers. It’s all very innovative work… all locally made, it’s all Australian and mostly South Australian.”

Spread across three rooms, the gallery holds regular monthly window displays with three artists having the opportunity to display their work, sometimes with a guest artist included. For October, the artists on display are Liz Wauchope working in collaboration with Naina Devi and Rosi Gates.

Wauchope is a founding member of T’Arts and has been creating textiles for more than 35 years. For the last six years she has worked with Devi, a fashion designer from India. Their window display features their new range of exclusive kids clothing, under the label IAB clothing. IAB stands for Indi, Aara and Baby Bo, the kids who have inspired the work (Liz’s grandchildren and Naina’s daughter).

Gates’ window display is titled Birds of a Feather and features both 2D and 3D textile works. Using her sewing machine, fabric and thread, Gates has created wall works of pelicans, capturing their character and quirkiness. These wall pieces are accompanied by a sculpture of a pelican and a colourful collection of sculptures of wrens.

Like many local businesses, T’Arts has felt the impact of COVID-19 as it relies heavily on the international travellers who usually pass through the arcade. The gallery is full of exquisite pieces by local artists so now is as good a time as any to visit and support this very unique South Australian business.

T’Arts Collective
10G Gay’s Arcade, off Adelaide Arcade

Jane Llewellyn

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