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2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object

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by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
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My Top 8 Magical Works
Adelaide is now host to the 2016 Biennial of Australian Art. Contemporary art in all its complexity is now showing at various venues across town as part of this Biennial. What's more, it is all free. The theme for this feast of contemporary art is Magic Object. The inspiration for Magic Object is the 'Wunderkammer', which are rooms or cabinets of wonder dedicated to the display of magical objects.

2016 Biennial of Australian Art
2016 Biennial of Australian Art

Venues involved with the Biennial are the Art Gallery of SA, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Jam Factory, Carrick Hill, and The Santos Museum of Economic Botany in Adelaide Botanic Garden. Trying to do justice to the immense range of works in this Biennial is a big ask, so I have narrowed it down to my top eight works of art. Each viewer will of course have their own top art works. There is just so much to explore in the eclectic range of art works that is Magic Object.

Nyikini Country by Loongkoonan
Nyikini Country by Loongkoonan

Number 1

Magic Object features the works of Loongkoonan. An indigenous woman who began painting aged 100, so never say it is too late to reinvent yourself! Loongkoonan is now 105 and has works exhibited as far away as New York and around the world. This work is entitled Nyikiri Country.

Hiromi's massive installation
Hiromi's massive installation

Number 2
Hiromi Tango's Lizard Tails

Hiromi describes this massive installation as cumulative healing. Relating and extolling the healing properties of art. The public are invited to make their own lizard tail and add a healing message. There is a growing exhibition of lizard tails on show. This giant installation is far from inanimate, as the artist became part of this at the opening, startling viewers who came upon a figure, not sure if this was a real being or not. Curiosities abound here. The installation reminiscent of a mass yarn bombing exercise. As with all the works on view in this exhibition, the visitor is rewarded with repeated viewings.

Artist Louise Haselton
Artist Louise Haselton

Number 3
Giant Ball of Wool

Artist Louise Haselton presents a deceptively simple set of art installations featuring yarn. This artist uses a far more orderly use of wool, but still sees these objects as having a life force, energy and consciousness.

Artist Michael Zavros
Artist Michael Zavros

Number 4
Floral works

Michael Zavros has gone to the natural world for inspiration. Using a series of beautiful flower blooms to form images on plain white backgrounds. The addition of fresh flower arrangements enhances this experience. Art imitating life or life imitating art?

The Offering by Jacqui Stockdale
The Offering by Jacqui Stockdale

Number 5
The Offering by Jacqui Stockdale

The Boho series by Jacqui Stockdale pays homage to the old daguerreotype photographs. The works depict larger than life figures posed in vivid colours. The Offering features an albino white woman next to a black woman with hands open. The visual contrasts are marked.

Detail of Tom Moore's Bureau of Comical Ecologies
Detail of Tom Moore's Bureau of Comical Ecologies

Number 6
Detail of Tom Moore's Bureau of Comical Ecologies

Tom Moore is a featured glass artist. His works make up a strange emporium of assorted objects and weird creatures. His works are also displayed in the Jam Factory. There is a plethora of glass to discover that is off beat and delightful. The magic objects here are not overwhelmed by the large spaces, instead generating a carnival atmosphere mixed with an under-the-sea, looking glass vibe. Tom Moore has been honoured further by having his work displayed outside the gallery on North Terrace, as an enormous inflatable replica of one of his works is on show. Limited edition souvenir snow domes of this design are also available to order for $35 from the gallery shop.

Artist Gareth Sansom's work - A Universal Timeless Allegory
Artist Gareth Sansom's work - A Universal Timeless Allegory

Number 7
Artist Gareth Sansom's work - A Universal Timeless Allegory

Gareth Sansom's paintings read like the subconscious in visual form; deformed and conflicting lines and colours sprawl out. The artist relates his images are created over time. His works are gathered in their own feature room. The installation of the biennale is one of the keys to its success with each space both inviting and commanding attention.

Colouring room  The Studio
Colouring room The Studio

Number 8
Colouring room The Studio

The Art Gallery in recent times has expanded to include a studio space aimed at children. This space is open to young and old. On entering the Magic Object inspired studio there are glow pens to colour on the walls. A psychedelic wallpaper is taking shape. There is also Spirograph sets to experiment with. Spirograph circles are immediately known to the baby boomer generation, while others will discover this for the first time here. So come on in and draw on the walls and reconnect with your inner child.

Magic Object is a rich Pandora's box of delights. Discover your own top magic objects among this feast of modern art.
Magic Object 2016 Biennial of Australian Art finishes on May 15th
Free Admission
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Why? Magical Mystery Exhibition
When: Opened 27th February, until the 15th of May, 2016
Where: Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
Cost: Free admission
Your Comment
brilliantly written article Jenny!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3415) 1338 days ago
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