It all started in 2009 with an exhibition named Rust. Since then there has been Salt, Tar, Smoke, Knot and Grit. The series has become quite iconic during each Fringe Festival and is one exhibition that I always really looking forward to seeing.
The exhibitions, curated by photographer Tony Kearney, have been multi-award winners. Tar won the BankSA Best Visual Art and Design Award at the 2013 Adelaide Fringe Festival with Knot and Grit each winning one of the Visual Art and Design Weekly Awards in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Contemporary artists living and working in the Port Adelaide area are featured, as are several invited artists from around Australia and overseas. Each artist has their own interpretation of the theme and each one is so different and so very interesting.
In this year's exhibit, Grain is interpreted in various ways in the displays of wood, paper, rice, timber, flour, textiles and photographic film. Grain is used as a form of measure, in cooking, to enhance photos and it's essential in the making of alcohol.
The Hart's Mill Packing Shed in Mundy Street is a perfect place to host the exhibitions. It's gritty and grainy and full of its own history. It just makes great sense to hold the exhibitions at this wonderfully historic venue.
The exhibition themes are in tune with life and living in Port Adelaide. The elements are part of the diverse culture of living in and around shipping and harbourside towns. Many of the exhibits are items that have been found during restorative and repair works in the Port. They are items that have previously been hidden from our view but are now in the spotlight.