The Art Gallery of South Australia has events called First Fridays. Every first Friday of the month, the gallery stays open late, they have a band playing music in the courtyard, they have tours and talks and performances. All free. So far I've been to three of the Art Gallery's First Friday events, and I've loved each one.
I first went to the February First Friday. It was the opening for the new display Public Image, Private Lives (more on that below). After browsing the exhibition, my partner Tom and I got a glass of wine and sat in the courtyard, where the band Various Nefarious played fabulous swing music. Just before leaving we popped into the photo studio they'd set up for a memento of our lovely time.
By March's First Friday the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object had begun. We took a guided tour of the exhibition, which I cannot recommend highly enough. While the art itself is beyond stunning, the insight provided by the tour guide adds so much depth to the pieces.
Since there were no new exhibitions, April's First Friday was a bit lacking... April Fools! This First Friday was actually my favorite so far! We attended a part-talk part-performance by artist Tom Moore, whose beautiful glass pieces are one of the highlights of the Magic Object display. One of my favorite things ever is to hear passionate and creative people talk about their craft, and this was no exception. To give you an idea of how the talk went, he rode a bike around a room full of glass. That really says it all. After that we watched a (very) abridged version of Much Ado About Nothing performed by The Little Fish theatre ensemble. Much Ado is my favorite Shakespearean play so I'm biased, but even Tom (who isn't much of a Shakespeare guy) enjoyed the performance.
Public Image, Private Lives: Family, Friends and Self in Photography
When you first step into Public Image, Private Lives, it doesn't take your breath away. It's such an unassuming display that you might be tempted to just give it a pass. Don't. Take the time to read each photo's story and really take them in. All the images are personal and touching, and the glimpse this display gives you into the lives of the photographer and their subjects feels almost uncomfortably human.
2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object
The goal of the Magic Object display is, as the name implies, to feel magical. It absolutely succeeds. I could write in praise of this display all day, but I'll just talk about a few of my favorite artists below (and check out the rest here).
I first fell in love with the concept of the camera obscura when I first saw it on (of all places) an episode of White Collar (my favourite show). When I look at Stacey's photographs, I feel this incredible sense of wonder. Visiting the camera obscura at Carrick Hill is definitely on my to-do list. (artist page)
When I look at Zavros' work, I have to constantly remind myself that I'm looking at a painting, not a photograph. The charm of hyper-realistic paintings of things that look like something they're not (as the case of flowers shaped like a poodle) is very appealing, especially since a painting is already something that looks like something it's not. So meta. (artist page)
I already briefly mentioned Tom Moore when talking about First Friday, so I won't say too much more here. His glass pieces are so delightfully weird that they're both charming and unsettling. It's definitely an unusual balance he's struck. (artist page)