Christopher Orchard named 2017 SALA featured artist


Renowned artist Christopher Orchard has been named SALA Featured Artist for 2017 at the festival's official opening night gala at the Art Gallery of South Australia tonight (Friday, July 29).

A multi award-winning artist and former head of drawing at Adelaide Central School of Art, Orchard is one of Australia's leading exponents of the drawn image with a career spanning more than four decades.

A founding member of Central Studios Adelaide in 1982, Orchard has held more than 60 solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia, UK and the USA including at the Art Gallery of SA and Festival Centre, the International Art Fair in London, the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and Stephen Rosenberg Fine Art in New York, where he maintains a studio presence.

As the festival's featured artist Orchard's work will be on the cover of the 2017 SALA Festival program and he will be commemorated in the official 2017 SALA monograph, funded by Arts South Australia, to be published by Wakefield Press and penned by a collective of six influential arts voices including celebrated poet and writer Peter Goldsworthy AM, artist and thinker Margot Osborne, Adelaide Central School Of Art founder Rod Taylor, visual artists Julia Robinson and Roy Ananda and Stephen Rosenberg, Director of Rosenberg Fine Art in New York.

Orchard's work is on show in two SALA exhibitions: "In My View" at Studio Bowden in Bowden (until August 13), and "Anything At All" at Adelaide Central School of Art in Glenside (August 14 to September 17). He will also be a part of Central Studios' open studios event on August 13 and 14.

His artwork will also be hitting Adelaide's streets during this year's festival on one of the SALA Art Cars, generously provided by Holden. Keep your eyes peeled for the SALA Holden Trax wrapped in one of Orchard's iconic "Bald Men" series of paintings as it zooms around the city and regions.

"The honor of the SALA monograph for 2017 for me marks a potent milestone in my career as a visual artist," Orchard said.

"SALA is a nationally unique engagement of living visual artists in a concentrated celebration of their contribution to the essential cultural life of South Australia. The process of piecing an artistic life together for the monograph is proving to be a powerful evocation of a lifetime of thought and speculation, through drawing and painting, about the human condition, what it is to be human.

"The writers of this monograph are a unique mix of observers of the world and my work, and will bring their individual insights to my oeuvre in a series of concentrated texts."

Orchard follows in the footsteps of this year's SALA featured artist Catherine Truman, whose 2016 monograph Catherine Truman: Touching Distance was officially launched at Friday night's gala.

Written by Melinda Rackham and published by Wakefield Press, the book chronicles Truman's more than 35 year career as one of South Australia's leading artists.

Truman's work is currently on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia until September 4, in a solo exhibition including contemporary jewellery, sculpture, object-based installations, photographs and moving-image works.

Now in its 19th year, the SALA Festival runs until August 31, presenting the works of more than 4600 artists in 630 free exhibitions across Adelaide and regions.

Encompassing all forms of visual art from painting, sculpture and jewellery to video and multimedia and much more, SALA will give South Australia an arty makeover as 570 venues from pubs and cafes to wineries, cinemas and even tattoo shops are turned into pop-up art galleries for 31 days.

More information about all SALA exhibitions and events can be found online at www.salafestival.com or by calling 8233 0676. All SALA events are free unless otherwise noted.