I'm passionate about art, poetry, the English language and all things maritime, and I also love drawing: https://touchpaperdrawingtips.wordpress.com/ Join the Fight for the Reef! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Postcards-for-the-Reef/997018917032291
Published August 22nd 2013
Marine Art and Alpacas meet SALA in the Adelaide Hills
We've had some horrible weather recently, but it didn't deter me last week from checking out some of the SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival venues in one of my favourite regions, the Adelaide Hills. This time of year, the Hills are so green and verdant it doesn't matter how wet and cold you're feeling, and some of the artwork that's on show at the moment is bound to give you a warm feeling inside as well.
I started my art tour at Kangarilla, on a dry sunny afternoon, which was just as well, as Gillian Napier's studio is at the end of a long muddy driveway. But if you have a sturdy vehicle it is well worth the drive even on the wettest day. Gillian runs alpacas, geese, ducks and chooks on her property, and still finds time to produce beautiful textiles, handmade clothes and colourful paintings. Originally a marine biologist, Gillian took up textiles when she moved to the farm, and you can see her passion for marine creatures as well as life under the microscope in her choice of colours and subjects. Rich blues, greens and purples abound in her dyed silk scarves, she knits shawls and wraps that remind you of kelp and coral, and her paintings are strongly influenced by Torres Strait Islander traditional imagery, without being derivative.
I spent a good hour admiring her work as well as drinking in the peaceful atmosphere of her studio. She is thinking of opening her studio on a regular weekday, and I think that would be a very successful idea in the summer months: she's on the scenic route from Adelaide to Maclaren Vale, so she'd attract a lot of visitors on their way to sample the wineries and the Fleurieu Biennale.