Long live van Gogh

The much-hyped multi-sensory experience Van Gogh Alive opens in Adelaide tomorrow in a purpose-built 1860sqm “digital gallery” on the former Le Cornu site on O’Connell Street.

The venue, dubbed the Grand Pavilion, took six weeks to create and is said to give visitors the sensation of “walking right into van Gogh’s most famous paintings”.

Van Gogh Alive – part of the inaugural Illuminate Adelaide Festival – features more than 3000 images of the Dutch master’s works and incorporates audio-visual technology, giant screens and a classical score to create an immersive experience.

It was created by Melbourne-based Grande Experiences and has previously toured to more than 70 cities around the world. This is the first time, however, that it will be presented in the Grand Pavilion, which producer Andrew Kay says includes four immersive spaces such as “the instagrammable van Gogh’s bedroom” and “the amazing infinity Sunflower Room where you can stand in a never-ending field of sunflowers”.

See InReview next week for our reviewer Katherine Tamiko Arguile’s take on the experience, which continues until August 1.

Porter Street Commission

Applications are now open for the 2022 Porter Street Commission, which will see $20,000 awarded to a South Australian artist to produce an ambitious new work for a solo exhibition at ACE Open.

The award is in its second year, with inaugural Porter Street Commission recipient Bridget Currie’s work Message from the meadow  set to open at the gallery on July 16. Currie’s practice incorporates sculpture, furniture, film and sound, and Message from the meadow is described as an immersive, meditative exploration of how artworks can trigger sensory affect.

Applications for the 2022 commission are open until July 30. Artists at any stage of their career working across any contemporary art form can apply, with the criteria stating that the proposed new work must be “an ambitious next step in the artist’s career and exhibiting trajectory”. Further information is available on the ACE Open website.

COVID impact on live performance

Adelaide Festival Centre is still working through what the latest COVID-19 restrictions and border closures mean for upcoming shows in its venues, but the ASO’s Symphony Series performances will go ahead as planned this weekend.

Violinist Grace Clifford is performing with the ASO this weekend.

“We are working closely with SA Health and producers, including Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Ballet [whose season of Anna Karenina is scheduled to open on July 9],” Festival Centre CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier told InReview.

“This weekend’s Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performances will proceed as scheduled and masks are required in the theatre.

“Ticket buyers will be notified of any changes to upcoming shows as soon as possible.”

The promoters of Eclipse – Pink Floyd Orchestrated confirmed today that it would go ahead as planned at the Festival Theatre on July 17, with all the cast and crew already in Adelaide.

This weekend’s ASO concert at the Festival Theatre, Longing for Home, features NSW-based guest violinist Grace Clifford but she arrived early in Adelaide and has received a quarantine exemption to perform.

The orchestra also announced this week that it has added a matinee performance for the final 2021 concert in its popular Classics Unwrapped series, Love and Other Catastrophes, which will be presented at the Town Hall at 11.30am and 6.30pm on August 4.

Cultural collaboration focuses on River Murray

The first “Collab” digital fellowship awarded by South Australia’s biggest cultural institutions will mine their collections for data stories about cultural, environmental and economic changes to the River Murray over time.

The $10,000 Collab Digital Cultural Fellowship was awarded yesterday to South Australia’s Growing Data Foundation.

Collab is a joint project of the State Library, South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of SA and the History Trust, designed to promote the discovery of the institutions’ vast digital collections.

The Growing Data Foundation will gain access to the collections as well as relevant staff, as part of the fellowship. It says it plans to research digital and other cultural collections to find artefacts relevant to the River Murray, and will use digital tools, technologies and other data sources to bring these to life in “real-time”.

“Artefacts may include: paintings; diaries; logs; physical objects; books; newspaper articles; photographs; music; poetry; and oral histories. Digital tools and technologies may include: environmental sensors; data ingestion and display tools; physical assets such as public fountains or sculptures that change properties according to ‘real-time’ data. Other data sources may include geospatial data and government data sets.”

The Growing Data Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to open projects and systems, with a sustainability focus. Members include software developers, hardware designers, manufacturers, researchers, educators and start-ups. – David Washington

Stitch and Resist

If you think cross stitch is all about flowers, birds and butterflies then it’s time to brush up on the concept of contemporary craftivism.

The SA Centre of Democracy’s Stitch and Resist exhibition, opening this Friday at The Mill, features 140 works by individuals and community groups from around the world – including South Australia – that address a range of social issues such as diversity, inclusion and equality. There are pieces with text in English, Arabic and Indigenous languages.

The exhibition continues until August 6, and there will be a Crafting Change event on July 24 where members of the public can hear from Stitch and Resist artists, purchase a cross-stitch kit and create their own Stitch and Resist-themed badge. Details here.

I’m Really Quite Cross, by Karen Blackwood.

Firestarter on the small screen

Firestarter, the beautiful and profoundly moving documentary about Bangarra Dance Theatre which won the documentary award at last year’s Adelaide Film Festival, will air on the ABC next Tuesday.

The film traces the development of the Indigenous performing arts company from a small dance group in Sydney’s Glebe in the late 1980s to an organisation of international renown, driven largely by artistic director Stephen Page and his brothers, composer David and lead dancer Russell.

It is written and directed by Wayne Blair (Top End WeddingThe Sapphires) and Nel Minchin (Matilda & Me), who spliced together archival footage and candid interviews to paint a comprehensive and captivating picture of both the Page family and the dance company.

If you missed Firestarter at the cinema, it’s well worth tuning in to catch it at 8.30pm on July 6 on ABC or later on ABC iview. Read our review here.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

Get in touch by emailing us at editorial@solsticemedia.com.au

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.