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Talking picture book meets poet who flirts with moonbeams
One of Indigo Eli's 'poetic' mugs, photo courtesy Fiorella Consoli
I discovered the Tooth and Nail Gallery, art store and artists' collective a few weeks ago. A friend told me where to find it, but it's not that easy to spot from the outside, and could easily be mistaken for a disused warehouse.
The Tooth and Nail Gallery is in Coromandel Place, Adelaide CBD
Inside, however, it's an Aladdin's cave of artists' creations, artists at work, and artists' tools, including screenprinting facilities and printing presses, and the store sells printing inks that you can't buy anywhere else in Adelaide. There is an open access printmaking workshop, and studio space for more than a score of artists.
The man behind the whole project, Jake Holmes, began leasing this space as a way of giving local artists the opportunity to work in an affordable studio space in the city. You can see more about their activities on their Facebook page. They recently held workshops in screenprinting, and workshops in other printmaking methods are planned.
The gallery mainly exhibits work done by the resident artists, but it also hosts experimental exhibitions by other artists, and the one that opens on Friday October 18th promises to be more experimental than most.
David Jobling's screenprinted business shirts, photo courtesy of David Jobling
The Fit In Room by David Paul Jobling is an immersive and interactive exhibition. With a grant from the Arts SA Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust, David has produced a magnificent collection of screen printed business shirts, all hand printed in a 'studio' shed at home, which he says 'offers a colourful insight into the way identity twists and turns like a river through a lifetime'. His aim is to 'create a unique salon environment where his own poetry and the words of others resound and reinvent a chequered existence'.
Well if you're not sure what that means, take a look at his shirts, or better still, try them on. David has led a colourful and eventful life, and these shirts literally illustrate it. He has written for and appeared on stage, screen and radio for decades. Screen appearances include films as diverse as Dr Plonk, The Munster's Christmas Movie and The Three Stooges (biopic) and television such as All Saints, Water Rats, Love My Way and Far Scape. In an interview on Radio Adelaide he describes how the idea for these shirts grew out of an earlier experiment at the Mortlock Library when he became a 'living book'. He decided that if he were to become a book, he would want to be a living picture book. These shirts give us all a chance to try on David's life and become picture books ourselves. And yes - they are for sale!
Sue Fleming models one of the shirts
'When I collaborated with Jake Holmes on 'Spotlight' in a combined project between the Professional Writing and Printmaking Departments at AC Arts I rediscovered my visual arts mojo. I had started out as a junior artist on the John Martin's Christmas Pageant but rapidly progressed into writing and performing, so The Fit In Room brings me full circle back to my visual art roots,' he said.
A detail of a shirt collar
David went on to say, 'In a strange sort of way the content is really about media and the way it has shaped a fictional version of me through half-truths, misconceptions and opinion. If you only knew of me from what you'd read in the papers or seen on the television you'd have a very odd view of who I am and after the recent federal election I'm certain the same could be said for many other people.'
all shirt photos courtesy of David Jobling
If you're more into a relaxing massage than trying on shirts, David will provide that too. He invented 'poetry massage' (words gently administered, exclusively for your ears only) for the The Amazing Side Shed at the SPOKE Writer's Festival during the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
'Poetry Massage isn't 'hands on' as such, but it is very relaxing,' says David. 'Everyone who tried it at The Amazing Side Shed really loved it. As the exhibition reflects my personal journey it becomes a comment on change in society over the past couple of decades; I feel it's important to offer some lighter, more personal contrast to that weightier content, after all I've been in some extraordinary situations."
It will be possible to book your own free poetry massage strictly at weekends during the exhibition.
David met Indigo Eli when they were both working at the Knee High Puppeteers – he was a director, she was a stilt walker. They got talking about presenting poetry visually, and they have been experimenting with it ever since. Indigo says that her work 'stems from the urge to document intangibilities and speak the unspoken'. She also describes herself as 'one who is afflicted with the unstoppable desire to flirt with moonbeams'. She 'plays with poetry, performance and voice amid collection, costume, circus, movement, textile, object and the potency of moments.' She is a founding co-director of the Nameless Project and Spoken Word SA.
Part of Indigo's installation at the Goodwood Institute, photo Indigo Eli
During an artist's residency called NEST at the Goodwood Institute she developed a series of sculptures from found objects and other ephemera. In The Poetry of Object 0.1 (listen to her Radio Adelaide interview here) she will be exhibiting a progression of her work in poetic installation along with other objects that display her original poetry.
Artist and advocate[LINK=http://restlessdance.org/people-staff/2010/06/gaelle-mellis-resident-designer/]Gaelle Mellis, will officially open the exhibition at 6:30 on Friday, followed by readings of original work by the artists.
The exhibition continues until October 31.
The Tooth and Nail Gallery is open from 10am till 5pm Monday to Friday.
Call 0432 924 938 for more information about opening hours at weekends.
The exhibitions will be complemented by a series of special events and workshops:
Workshop / Artists Talk
2 - 4 pm Saturday 26th October
Indigo Eli and David Paul Jobling offer a free artists talk about their work and an interactive workshop Tooth & Nail Gallery, 22 – 28 Coromandel Place, Adelaide.
Bookings essential on 040 414 8880
SPOKE Case Performance X Space, AC Arts
Wednesday 30th October.
A performance with spoken word by the artists, video, song and music AC Arts, 39 Light Square, Adelaide.
Entry by gold coin donation.
Halloween Pre-hangover Hiccup 2013
Thursday 31st October 7:45 pm
Join local poets and creative artists for readings including an open mic Tooth & Nail Gallery, 22 – 28 Coromandel Place, Adelaide.
Bookings essential. Call 040 414 8880 to book.