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Kind of Something Unusual at Adelaide Fringe - Interview

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by Tema (subscribe)
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(Photo supplied by Adelaide Fringe)

Love art? Love the Adelaide Fringe? Love going to events that are free?

Then, you're in luck! James Smith is an Adelaide-based artist who is going to be working hard over the next week to create some picturesque and beautiful large-scale artwork at The Raj House and at BRKLYN Bar. Beaming with pride at finding a supportive platform such as the Adelaide Fringe for his work, James is looking to unleash and express his creativity and imagination and add to the CBD's colourful character.

I was fortunate enough to score an e-interview with James, where we discussed his artistic flair and what he was hoping to achieve during the Adelaide Fringe season. Have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Can you give me some background information on how you got involved in the visual arts scene? Were there family influences, was it a passion, was it something you studied at school (or a combination of some/all)?
James: A combination of all, really! The inspiration and the desire for art stemmed from mygrandfather when I was about 7 years of age. I discovered his artwork stashed in a cupboard he had done from his school days. From there, he taught me the ropes and I studied it further during my high school years. I continue to learn and grow as an artist. One can never stop learning!

Tema: Where do you get the creative drive to produce your works of art?
James: Believe it or not, I'm most creative when I'm out walking outdoors or exercising. Hence, my Instagram name 'The Walking Creative'. I find the most random things in the process that will inspire me to create my works of art. For example, I recently got back from London, Paris and the Galapagos Islands and saw some amazing things, but to cut to the point, the colours of some of the buildings, street art, animals, plants and even just random objects became part of some of my creative works of art.

Tema: Is there a certain theme that your artwork will be presenting with, or will it bring a range of different creative elements into the mix?
James: The main trend my work follows is the use of vibrant colours, but, there will definitely be a range of different elements and styles for sure!

Tema: I see that your exhibition is listed at 2 locations how did you manage to score them and how can people access viewing your artwork?
James: Prior to Fringe period, I scouted locations around Adelaide (made available for the festival) that would best fit to the style of work I do. I had quite a list of places in mind, but as I've been to BRKLYN Bar before, it has quite a unique urban style that I like and felt it would be ideal for my featuring piece. I stumbled across RAJ House quite some time ago during my spontaneous "art adventure" and I fell in love with the quirks of the place and met the new General Manager (Joel). During our meeting, he discussed the outlook for RAJ and its direction to become a creative space for all genders across the board. I was sold by the idea and am appreciative to be a part of something that is being embraced in Adelaide. The best time anyone can view my artwork at both locations is around late afternoon/evening. I will have an opening premiere at both locations, which will be:
February 16 at RAJ House, 54 Hyde Street 8pm
February 24 at BRKLYN Bar, 260 Rundle Street 8pm

I will also have an exclusive artist talk on the 21 st of Feb 1:30pm at RAJ House, for anyone who wants to ask questions and discuss more about what I do.

Self-portrait of James Smith with his artwork

Tema: Are you collaborating with any other artists (local / national / international) or is this going to be a solo exhibition?
James: This is a solo exhibition and one of my first with the Adelaide Fringe. I'm very excited!

Tema: What do you hope your audience to feel and experience through the exhibition?
James: Kind of something unusual, something new, something fresh!

Tema: What inspired you to get involved with the Adelaide Fringe?
James: To be honest, I took a big leap and threw myself into it with no idea of what to expect. It's been so overwhelming (thus far) with the amount of things that they have on for participating artists and what comes of it. It's great and it's probably the best thing I've done for myself! I would definitely encourage other artists (especially emerging artists) to do it!

Tema: Have you been involved with other Fringe festivals around Australia or overseas?
James: I've done a couple of small-scale exhibitions here in Adelaide and one in Melbourne, but this will be my first big scale exhibition with Adelaide Fringe. My ultimate goal is to get an exhibition overseas!

Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like our readers / your audience to know about you and the exhibition?
James: As most of my work is on canvas, I also do one of a kind hand painted T-shirts, which are available upon request. Examples can be seen on my website and Instagram. There will also be a roll-out of unisex printed tee's, so be sure to keep an eye out for them!
I've also recently been working with a local vintage clothing company by the name of 'Fanny
Adams Vintage
', who will be running a popup shop (during the Fringe) called in.STUDIO, and will be located at 268 Pirie Street. You can find one of a kind hand painted designs on vintage denim jackets done by myself and among them, many other artists from around Adelaide. I've been lucky enough to do some artwork in the shop so I can say I've had a sneak peek at all the jackets. I'm absolutely blown away by some of the talent, so be sure to check that before they all sell out!

Whether you're an emerging artist, love seeing unique styles of artwork, and/or are looking for something to check out for free, head on over to the Raj House and BRKLYN Bar and check out James' beautiful artwork take shape and form throughout the Adelaide Fringe season (February 16 - March 18).

Want to know more? Connect with James via his official website and/or on Instagram.
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When: Adelaide Fringe season
Where: Adelaide CBD
Cost: FREE
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