The SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artists) is underway currently until August 22nd. It is Australia's largest visual arts festival held across 500 venues in the state with 3,000 artists participating over a month long period.
This is its 13th year, and each year continues to grow and be recognised for its important contribution to the Visual Arts. One of its important roles is to create pathways for Artists to a mass audience, and for its mass audience to learn about the importance, place and relevance of Art and Artists in our community.
The first exhibition I've attended at SALA this year is called "EARTHY DELIGHTS" in the picturesque hills town of Strathalbyn at "Toad Hall". It is an exhibition of paint, glass and clay by 5 South Australian Artists - Sheryl Glassmith (Glass), Pauline McPharlin (paint), Louise Ramsay (paint), Lenny Scott (ceramics) and Rod Scott (paint & sculpture).
This new Gallery (which is also Louise's studio) has set a new standard for small galleries. It is warm and inviting and has a polished feel with its wooden floors, white walls and great lighting. Refreshingly it hasn't gone down the path that many regional galleries do, with "country cottage and lace" decor and clutter.
The theme for the exhibition is "Earthy Delights" - and the works exhibited span the themes of Gardens, Seasons, Water, Birds, Trees and "Chooks". (If you are outside Australia you will probably have no idea what the Australian colloquialism "Chook" means -i.e. a Hen or Chicken)
All of the Artists exhibiting display a high level of skill and strong love of nature which is obvious in their work. As you walk in you are struck by the vibrance, joy and warmth of colours in their works.
The exquisite oil painting "SPRING" by Louise Ramsay summarises this combination of a common love of nature, and a technical proficiency, superbly well.
The exhibition is also fun. I love Rod Scott's statement about his Chooks and Art in the catalogue " I love my chooks to range freely....I hate to see them penned up...but life for a free ranging chook is hard. Crows eat the eggs and the young chicks. Rats steal the eggs. Snakes and mice frequent the hen house. The dog chases them. The fox eats them and the hawks prey on them. I steal their eggs.....My art records their daily struggles."
This exhibition is well worth a visit if you are in or visiting Adelaide or South Australia. Details at the end.
|Rod Scott "Poultry World"|
|Rod Scott "Cluck Close"|
|Rod Scott "Battery Babies"|
|Pauline McPharlin "Woman watering new plant"|
|Louise Ramsay "Autumn"|
|Lenny Scott "Temptation Tree"|
|Lenny Scoot - "Blue & White Hen with Eggs"|
|Glass plates by Sheryl Glassmith|