Current Issue #488

Adelaide exhibition guide:
February 2020

Jonathan Kim, Density

Adelaide Review arts writer Jane Llewellyn surveys the city’s visual arts landscape to pick out some of the highlights for the month of February.

Sanaa Exhibition
Kerry Packer Civic Gallery – The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre
Monday 3 February – 24 March

Returning for its fourth year, Sanaa: A Better World Through Creativity at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre’s Kerry Packer Civic Gallery celebrates the work of African artists from the grassroots level to some of the continent’s leading visual artists. The 2020 exhibition will see new artwork showcased from artists across Africa; from Senegal and Ghana, to Zambia, Uganda, Sudan and Kenya and continues to highlight the diversity of the contemporary art scene across the region alongside traditional works.

Think, Compassion Series, 2019

Stand out pieces include the 3.5 metre-long abstract work by Leevans Linyera and the work by Ugandan artist Wamala which communicates the challenges of African life in a dynamic and colourful way. Wamala is the successful Sanaa Residency artist, which was presented in partnership with Principal Partner Lipman Karas and Supporting Partner Nexus Arts, we are also offering Ugandan artist.

Curator Victoria Lewis says: “This is my favourite Sanaa Exhibition in the four years since Sanaa commenced in 2017. It showcases a really strong calibre of artists – from East to West Africa.”

Jonathan Kim: Density: the phenomenological exploration
6 – 22 February

This exhibition sees Jonathan Kim continue his exploration into post-minimalist concepts, with a particular focus on the Korean painting style Dansaekhwa and the Japanese sculptural concept Mono-ha. These movements focus on the interaction of objects with their environment rather than the artwork itself and it’s this that interests Kim. Through these two large installation works Kim has expanded the meaning of spatiality.

For example Stone & Wood VI, a floor-based work consists of wooden boards with one stone between them. This changes the spatial tension formed by them as there is a different physical density between them. His other work Stone & Cloth in Frame III and IV is a 16.3 meter long wall-based installation that consists of stones tied to cloth in a wooden frame. The work is inspired by the concept of Dangsan or village deity shrine in Korean culture. Dangsan usually featured a Dangsan-Namu (tree of Dangsan) which people threw stones at or hung cloth on for good luck and protection when passing by it. However it’s not the historical background and symbolic meaning that interests Kim but rather the spatiality created by the interaction of fabric, stone, and wood.

Yvonne East: Art & Object
Festival Theatre Foyer, Adelaide Festival Centre
Until 22 February

Celebrating the Adelaide Festival Centre’s impressive performing arts collection Yvonne East’s Art & Object has been inspired but the fabrics, textures and stories within it. East became interested in the collection in 2012 when she noticed the Child Catcher coat worn by Robert Helpmann in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the foyer. She says: “I was instantly drawn to it, it was not only beautiful but it had a history and I wanted to spend time with. I wanted to sit with this object. I wanted to paint it.”

Image courtesy of the artist
Yvonne East, Helpmann Coat
Image courtesy of the artist
Yvonne East, Patricia Hackett Shoes

This led her to delve further into the collection spending time with the objects and exploring the fascinating South Australian stories behind each piece. From costumes designed by renowned South Australian artist Dorrit Black (1891-1951) to the priceless authentic Eastern costume and jewellery collection of Patricia Hackett (1908 – 1963) the collection houses objects steeped in history.

East has uncovered these amazing objects and brings them to life through her paintings, this is particularly evident in her depiction of the Pelham Puppets. “While the puppets are small and delicate to handle, when rendered with expressive gestures in large scale paintings their personalities become larger than life. The quiet life of an object transformed into art.”

Head to our Adelaide Review Event Guide to find out what else is happening around the city

Jane Llewellyn

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