Slide Night Archive
A Festival favourite, Slide Night is a night of fun and frivolity where we hear from South Australian artists about their art, interests, or something else entirely! Far from your grandma’s slide night; this event is a fast-paced snapshot into what South Australian contemporary artists are thinking about.
Slide Night 2022 took place at the SALA Hub / Queens Theatre in Adelaide with the following speakers:
MC: Arlon Hall
The Slide Night for 2021 at Nexus was a roaring success!
See below for the video of the night courtesy of Channel 44.
Speakers: Chelsea Farquhar, Matthew Cawthorne, Tom Borgas, Claude Creighton, Jasmine Crisp, Truc Truong, Kate Kurucz, and Tom Moore.
MC: Christina Joy Peek
Hello, everybody. All right. We’re gonna get started with our slide night tonight. And I am your emcee. My name is Christina, arts worker by day, presenter by night. And if God gives me any more hours in between, I’m an artist. So I’d like to start with an acknowledgement of Country, today we are meeting on Kaurna land. I’d like to acknowledge Elders and pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded. To Slide Night; a SALA staple, arguably the best event of the calendar -of the whole year, let’s be honest-. I’m standing in some very big shoes tonight, glittery shoes, as an homage to past presenters, Jenna Pippett, and sort of with with that sort of spirit and flavor, I really tried to put my own spin on the emceeing tonight. So I’ve created a little pun for every artist that comes up. These were workshopped hard people, so I want you to really take them in really enjoy them. So you ain’t chel-seen anything like this before? It’s Chelsea Farquhar. Ah, let’s give her a hand.
Chelsea Farquhar 01:31
Hello. Um, that was terrible. As it already started, yep. Okay. So last year, I studied my honors at VCA over in Melbourne. And I moved there about three days before lockdown started and then spent like most the year in my bedroom. So I thought that I would just talk through some of the works I made and the research that I did over the year. And so these are some of my works that I made. But one of the first influences I had was Simone Weil, who was a 20th century French mystic, who moved through religions picking up ideas, and talked a lot about the individual versus the collective. And she self-isolated in order to kind of, I guess, like most mystics, like find a better relationship with God and the universe. And that was kind of nice for me to think about in isolation. And this was one of my works that I made when I was really obsessed with making candles. And it’s like ceramics. Yeah. Another artist I looked at was Sonia Delaunay, who followed the Russian avant garde. She liked to break the distinction between life and art, which was happening a lot. I just kind of kept making things. Like I made a rug for like, no reason, and then my supervisor told me to get rid of it. But it looked like really good in my room. And I was really obsessed with puff sleeves for about three months, and just kept making them every day. And then couldn’t talk about them in crits, because I just had nothing to say. And I would just wear them around the house, and it was bad. That’s the only one we kept as well. So another artist I was reading about was Agnes Martin. And she talked a lot about finding the mysterious and indescribable through her paintings. And she found like true beauty through like unknowing, and I think I was like, trying to like trick myself into really enjoying the like uncertainty of last year, even though it was really terrible. And this is I was really obsessed with pewter for a little while as well, and making nails and I was like, burn, like I got to use the workshop at the end of the year. And I got to use like a flame thrower and then like burnt the shelf for no reason just to use the flame thrower. And I was looking at séances and ectoplasm. So Victorian-era séances were held by psychics who would call upon spirits for communication with receivers, and during this process, a substance called ectoplasm was produced from the body of the medium, which is like the white goo. And it was kind of like the physical outcome of this like emotional or spiritual exchange with people and I really liked that idea. And they were all kind of exposed as frauds, but I really like the theatrics of séances. And they would like cut out pictures from magazines and just stick them on cheesecloth with like egg whites and stuff. And this is like, there was like a scientist who was like convinced they were real when he wrote this whole book about them, and this was one of the layouts. And I just really liked, I guess, like the theatrics of it all. So at this time, I was working with cyanotypes and like solar dies on cheesecloth, kind of making like ectoplasm thinking about exchanges between, like people that had had like through like the internet or whatever. And this sundial was at my Nan and Pop’s house when I did come back to Adelaide. And I also made this bell. So we got a bit of time in the workshop right at the end of the year, and I spent like a week straight, just making a bell. And I’m really proud of it. And it did ring as well I like forced all the assessors to ring it. It was really fun. So the last artist that I looked at was Hilma af Klint, who was a Swedish painter in the 20th century, and she spoke to spirits and like had this spirit that she would talk to specifically about painting and like what she should paint and she was influenced by science and like science at the time, so it was like a lot of microscopes and life cycles, and she saw herself outside of her own timeline and when she died, she left all of her works to her nephew and told him that he wasn’t allowed to share them with anybody for 40 years because she knew that people wouldn’t understand them and I just like it was just like a nice place to like end my year like thinking because I was like looking back at all these artists all year and it was nice but she like could see herself like many many years in the future. And that’s it
All right, that was a pretty excellent start to the Slide Night and I know you’re all feeling it, but there’s no need to mourn because this time we have Matthew Cawthorne.
Matthew Cawthorne 06:43
Hello, my name is Matthew. I am a digital artist who work at Tutti. I create characters based on based on cartoons, anime, and scary stuff. My world is scary. Enjoy. This is Sun Monster. He eats planets. He eat 100 of them so heading to our galaxy. This is my character Robot Snake. Half robot, half snakes. This is Nightmare mask. This mask can take over body and hop in their dreams. Lizard head the giant lizard who eats people. Yum! Frankensaur is a franken-like dinosaur, created to look like a earth dinosaur from the old world. Sea Clown is a sea monster who likes making people laugh. But he looks evil, but he is kind. This is Axe Arm. He lose his arm and replaced it with the axe. He’s not kind, and he’s not a natural red-head. This is Flame Rose. She is a model, and she’s not related to Axe Arm the clown fox. This is Evil Mad Hatter. He’s one of my old characters. In the picture you can see the old work and the new one. Hellfather. He’s in charge of the monster madia. This is Cool Wolf, a teen wolf who looks sad but he likes listening to heavy music.This is Loch Ness Monster. I tried something different. I like the myth. This is Eye Monster Spike. So he ses through his mouth instead of having eyes and mouth. Also I’m on Instagram: @MonsterCartoon
Guys I think they’re just getting better.
So now prepare to have a gas with Tom Borgas
Tom Borgas 11:54
Okay, I’m gonna continue SALA’s library theme. It’s not a supreme library, I’m not going to hit up against Roy pretty impressive. minds will be more boring. So if you want to go grab a drink or go to the toilet, now’s probably a pretty good time to do. So I’m going to walk you through a bunch of books, readings and massive part of my practice. And I read every day and so I’m just going to lead you through them from smallest to largest. This is a little fragment of my library. So the first one, it’s called, Are We Human? Notes on an Archaeology of Design. I love this book, it’s by two people called Mark Wigley and Beatriz Colomina and they deal with a whole lot of things to do with design as something that defines us as being human. They say that design makes us, we don’t make design and technology. So the next book is part of a series of 15 books. This book is all about the floor and it was part of the Venice Architecture Biennale. It’s an essay by Keller Easterling. And the person that designed it is a person called Irma Boom, who’s one of my favorite book designers. This one is pretty cool. It’s a book by Sissel Tolaas, it’s an interview with an artist cool. She’s all told us who works with smell. And it’s an interview that’s interleaved with smells of 15 different people. So you actually smell the page. It’s kind of freaky. There’s definitely track traces and B.O. in there. This is a book by Eduardo Kohn, who is a anthropologist and he’s really interested in how human semiotics really just grows out of the semiotics that already exists in the forest. Yeah, really interesting kind of switch around that sort of places humans as independent with nature. This one here is a book by architect firm called OMA. They produced a guide to Palermo before the Manifesta Biennial, which is a European biannual that moves around and we got to read this before Amber and I went across to see the exhibition that was a pretty introduction, epic introduction to the city. This one is by Jonathan Safran Foer. And it’s actually a book that’s made out of another text and he’s pretty much cut out most of the words to create a new story. So it’s almost like a book that’s kind of a sculpture as well. And it’s out of print and very expensive, so don’t worry about trying to find on AV books. This is an e-flux book, I love e-flux as a publisher. You can see I’ve gone to town with a bit of highlighting. This was produced for the design biennial in Istanbul, by Mark Wigley and Beatriz Colomina again, about a whole lot of different stuff to do with technology and design and architecture and urban planning. Another one for an exhibition, I realized it’s a bit of a theme. This was for the architecture pavilion in Venice, the Australian Pavilion. You can see Linda Tegg’s work she worked with an architectural firm to produce a work about repair and how architecture can kind of repair landscapes or hold a plant in a gallery space. This is Frank Gehry, I’m bringing the Frank Gehry, but I’m even more into his process. He uses models to develop ideas predominantly. This is for a building in Sydney at UTS. And 200 models were made over the space of about three years to kind of develop the ideas behind that. So that’s a nice, little reference. For my 40th birthday, we went across to Boston, because I really wanted to go to Harvard, and this is a Harvard design school journal. It was produced in 2017. And it’s the theme of it is 17, the number, and so it’s pretty diverse, kind of, in terms of its theme, but I’m really interesting. This is a really recent one that I haven’t finished reading yet. It’s about asemic writing, which is writing that doesn’t actually have a meaning. It’s a, it’s more about kind of an embodied action of creating marks, and the meaning that sort of found in that as opposed to sort of controlling meaning through what’s written, and that was produced for an exhibition in Milan. This is a book about the Designers’ Republic, which is one of my favorite design companies based out of Sheffield in the UK, they made a lot of artwork for record covers. And it’s kind of like a lookbook of a lot of the aesthetics in my work. It’s kind of like a secret that I keep tucked away because you flick through it, you’d be like, well, kinda looks pretty much like Designers’ Republic. This is another book by Boon who’s an awesome book designer. It’s about a textile artist called Claudy Jongstra who works with felting. And she creates all her own dyes and stuff from her own property. And it’s actually been printed using those same dyes. And then finally, this is one book one of six volumes about Herzog & de Meuron, who are a Swiss architectural firm. Again, you can see it’s pretty model-heavy. Yeah. And they’re kind of way of thinking in their kind of ambition with works is a pretty inspirational. Yeah, that’s it. Thank you very much.
But now, right on with Claude Creighton.
Claude Creighton 17:30
I should probably like note that a lot of these slides don’t really correlate with what I’m saying. But I’m going to go ahead. So basically, last year, my practice was looking a lot into mythos, legend, cultural Boogie men and folklore. So, throughout all my work, I often combine illustration with sculpture. So the following slide is kind of like an example of my work where I created heraldry -oh, it’s moving on- using my own mythos and inspiration from the Middle Ages. So I often find my inspiration from historic interest and cultural stories that sit within the fantastical realm. This is going to ruin the surprise now, like we all know about Krampus. But um, so that’s my latest interest at the moment. It’s a central European legend. It’s a half goat, half demon monster. There’s a lot of build up to saying this. So he’s pretty well known mostly for punishing misbehaving children at Christmas time. It’s the one, it’s the only: it’s Krampus. So the following talk, it will kind of give a brief overview of this yule creature, terrifying. So Krampus is kind of the devilish companion of St. Nicholas. So he originated from Germany and his name derives from the German word ‘krampen’, which means claw. So Krampus was thought to be a part of pagan rituals for winter solstice, according to legend, Krampus is the son of Hell, the Norse god of the underworld, kind of makes sense looking at that, like I feel like you see that there. So Krampus and St. Nicholas is said to arrive on the evening of December 5, which is also known as Krampus. Night. So while St. Nicholas rewards nice children by leaving presents, Krampus beats those who are naughty with branches and sticks. It’s Yeah, kind of kinky. So, in some cases, he’s said to stuff misbehaved children into his sack, which like, you can see not in this picture, but in other ones, he has a sock on his back pretty iconic. So he does that so we can haul them to his lair and eat them or like take them to hell, which also makes sense that he’s like, yeah, the son of the underworld or whatever. You could kind of awaken to find gifts or nurse injuries with Krampus and St. Nicholas. With the spread of Christianity Krampus became associated with Christmas despite the efforts by the Catholic Church to ban him. So in ways the Krampus is the Yin to st Nick’s Yang. He’s a Samwise to Frodo Baggins. I’ve like I forcibly made my housemates watch Lord of the Rings lately. So like, there’s gonna be a lot of references. He’s that you have the saint and then you have the devil. So it basically taps into the subconscious with card design but a lot of people have that is the opposite of the serene Christmas so serene Christmas is a source of light and warmth against the cold dark. So Christmas kind of requires the darkness every child understands that it’s not only at midnight, the Christmas mystery Well, it’s at midnight that the Christmas mystery unfolds. So the holiday we’ve spawned from sugar plums and annual TV specials can’t exist without those dark edges where imagination blooms. That was meant to be on the slider I had a picture of Elf the movie, but I have surpassed that. So it’s not by chance that it aligns with the long black knight the solstice and nature’s last breath. So friction between the savage Krampus and our notion of the holiday as cozy domestic ideal is slowly working in the base by the with popularization of festivities such as Krampuslauf, or other you know, the ‘Krampus run’ is another name for it. So it’s a popular tradition where people dressed as a creature parade through the streets, scaring spectators and sometimes chasing them. Originally an ancient pagan ritual meant to disperse winter’s ghost. They might dress in first suits and cardboard and mask Karen cowbells Krampus runs of probably most popular in Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Czech Republic. So this medicine or well companion shocks us with his brutal threats of punishment for naughty children. Krampus in a way is the anti Santa he seems to express a countercultural contempt for Coca Cola guzzling, bloated patriarch of all those consumers and parental crap. This is my holiday revolution in a time of Christmas, and it’s strange, supernatural mayhem, and a realization that St. Nicholas isn’t the only thing that goes bump in the night. I think from this, like Krampus is a lifestyle. And I was gonna have licorice on the stage, but I had a long day and I forgot. And so I’m gonna read out what this does and with which is I invite you all to come to the stage and share a lump of coal this cold winter’s night, but alas the coal is not here. So in a way you did get punished. But yeah, that’s all.
Oh my God, can you imagine? Next we have Jasmine… Crisp.
Jasmine Crisp 22:51
I’m Jazz. I’m a painter and muralist. And this is my heaps catchy title, a selection of moments, comments and questions presented to me by passing people whilst I’m painting murals in public space. Yeah. This was really cute. So this was a taxi driver rolled up right next to my lift, windscreen down, passed me. $10. Like maybe it’s a tip. He says, ‘Please buy sunscreen. You scare me such pale one’. Thanks, Mike. I actually bought lunch. But yeah, this was really cool also. So there was a boy across the road in a church watching me paint. And he came over and asked if he could bless me, because he had been praying that my spine would make it through to the duration of the painting. And he actually did a little blessing and everything was really was a bit special. Yeah, my spines fine. Um, one of my favorites as well. So this is a tiny little boy. And he just ran across the street, his mom’s like, distraught, freaking out, and goes through the bunting. And he’s holding my scaffold and he says, ‘why is it yellow?’ As I’m painting a sunflower? best question all day. This guy, we know this guy. Everyone knows this guy. And I kind of think he could potentially be my uncle. He could be he could be your uncle. So I was doing just a bit of a anyways give you back a bit of a that’s as close as you get to a Western shootout or something. I actually met another Jasmine Crisp, who’s got an army forming. She was a 12/13 year old girl. And she brought in her entire family out to come get pictures with the painting. So actually found other Jasmine Crisps. Yeah. Another one sort of similar. Although that Jasmine Crisp was not at all related. But um, yeah, once when I was doing my first Well, there was a woman I started talking to, you know, turned out we were like second or third cousins or something. It was like, Adelaide. I’ve never seen her Since then, yeah. I get asked this so much a day that I’ve just started telling people like, really silly ages. So I’m ‘just about to turn 57 in September’, and then they’re just like, Wow, you look so good. Oh my god, you’re amazing. You do your thing. And it’s like, yeah, I always feel better after that. Yeah. This one sets the context. This one’s only asked if I’m physically maybe 10 meters high, at least with a brush in my hand covered in paint. Physically painting, like only when you’re physically painting, tend not to answer that one. Yeah, this guy just for walked into the site without permission. I turned around headphones I had I had no idea. And he was taking pictures of my ass. He said, No, no, don’t worry, your face isn’t in. It’s just your parents. Think you can tell why there might be an issue with that one. Which leads into this other buzzkill. They first said, Did you do that by yourself, which is also very common, followed by this necessary to include I think in its quantity that I receive? do better. Oh, this was cool. So this dude, I reckon, probably didn’t go home after a night out on the town. And just came screaming and running. What does it all mean? Cuz I was probably far in the answer. He’s just screaming it out into the straight line. Good question, man. This is key a couple of days in there. You were passing me every day. And he kept asking me when I was gonna finish. And I was like, probably tomorrow. So they brought some beers. We sat on milk crates and talked about tiling. That was pretty cute. We all know this guy. So don’t worry. We all know that question. I usually just now ask them what they get paid. And it’s funny because they always say, Oh, that’s be rude isn’t really your business. Just let that one soak in. Oh, this is a nice one. So there was a 94 year old woman who lived around the corner from a wall while I was doing that happened to include some of her favorite native birds. And because of that wall, she started going for walks. And her granddaughter brought me chocolates to thank her because she’d gotten fitter and happier and more sweaty in her daily routine. And thank you is probably one of the things I actually get the most commonly and it’s also something that I want to really thank the world for as well because I feel really grateful to Yeah, extend my practice into the public realm and get to paint with real people every day.
So next, we can’t go wrong with Truc Truong.
Truc Truong 28:12
I missed the pun! I didn’t know what it was. Okay, so mine, I feel like it’s a little bit serious compared to everyone. So bear with it’s five minutes. It’s gonna start rolling. Okay, so these are my doggies. That’s Miles Davis, snd that’s felonious monk. And that’s my grandpa’s altar. So he’s not with us anymore. But we arrange, rearrange fresh fruits and food for him, and sometimes give him a cup of coffee, or the remote control or a new mobile phone. And he kind of plays with that in wherever he is at the moment. That’s my mom, my grandma in the middle, and that’s me when I was two. That was the first time I was in Vietnam. So mom took me back there to visit her mom, and that’s a big part of my practice and my family’s. Yeah, tell lots of stories. And I look at intergenerational trauma, as well as healing and celebration. So that’s my grandpa, who’s still in Vietnam, I took that the last time I was there. And this is my dad. And that’s a really big, big part of my practice, because my dad’s story of war historian in Australia is very different compared to my mom, he hasn’t adapted that well, and he’s had a really tough time. This is, these are pig intestines, that’s a big, that’s a main material that I use. And I like to do experiments with food. A lot of that comes out like food themes. And I like to look at East and Western materials, civilized things and civilized things, or what people consider uncivilized. So if you look, think back to my grandpa’s altar. I was raised between a Christian home and a Buddhist home. So a lot of my upbringing has to do with spirituality and assemblage and rearrange What outages look like and yeah, that really plays a big part in my practice. Food again, bitter melon, I hated this growing up. It’s really popular in Vietnamese cuisine. And I hate it when mom cooked it and she said one day you love it. And at 30 years old, I did turn around and be like, Oh, I’m actually craving beauty melon soup. Yeah, I don’t know how that happened. But she was right. Which is Yeah, kind of simulate my practices. Well, I’ve been craving my roots playing around with chicken feet. Yeah, it’s kind of like why I play with intestines. It’s, I like looking at what people consider civilized and uncivilized. And that’s just my experience in Australia with my family. A lot of them think they’re uncivilized, I suppose. And it’s a bit of an ode to, you know, US building communities. Oh, this one’s a good one. So my dad had to make a candle when there wasn’t one and this is what he came up with here. And I was so obsessed with it. During my residency, I tried to replicate it, and I just couldn’t get it exactly like that. And I called him and he’s like, why are you spending time in Melbourne making like dodgy candles? But yeah, that was my last day at Hyphenated Projects house in Melbourne. I actually went there with no materials and just decided to get everything from the closest like Asian grocer, which was sick, because I didn’t really know what I was making. And it was a bit of fun. See, and my dog could come as well. That was the agreement we had I’ll come with my dog can come. So Phuong Ngo, he runs hyphenated projects with Nikki Lam. In the middle is James Nguyen. James Nguyen is a Samstag Scholar and on my last day, he begged me to paint his face, I thought so he was like walking down the street petting dogs without a care in the world being painted like that, which speaks about his practice quite a bit. This is my current studio at uni. So I thought you’d have a good look at it. It’s not with a messy stuffies. I leave that at home because you don’t want to get in trouble at uni. I’ve learned that the hard way. So that’s just stuff I bought from my favorite favorite Asian grocer, which is Thuan Phat on Days Road. So if you haven’t been there, check it out. It’s my favorite. This is the first collaborative performance work that I did. My cousin Ian’s actually in there. So it’s a dance group in in Adelaide. And I really enjoyed doing that. And I’m looking at doing a lot more performance based works because of that. That work got picked up by for a in Sydney. And I was invited while I was commissioned to do some work for 4a and this work was performed at the Chinese Garden of friendship, which is really nice little spot. That was a really hot day, actually. So the team did really well. But that was working with the Cabramatta martial arts group. So I’m currently working at ozasia as the festival designer, and I thought I’d include the picture of the lady behind the work. And it’s Lady Triệu. She’s a third century female warrior from Vietnam. And I’ve been sharing her story with a lot of schools across Adelaide, which has been really cool. And that’s just my last day at Adelaide Secondary School of English. These students haven’t been in Australia for a long time. But I wanted them to make work with me so that they can display it at the Adelaide festival center. Because, you know, it’s hard when you’re a person of color and getting introduced to the art. So I thought I wanted to create a space where they feel like they can be there because it’s their work too. Yeah, thanks.
All right, and now if this is my last chance, and I’m feeling a little bit more confident, I’m feeling like a bit of a rock star. I want to get a call and response going. I’m doing exactly what they told me to and moving out of the light. So when I say ‘SA’, I want to hear ‘LA’. Are we ready? ‘SA’. ‘LA’. ‘SA’. ‘LA’. ‘SA’. ‘LA’. Oh my god, this is really addictive guys. Okay, so not just good looks. We’ve got Kate Kurucz. Thank you.
Kate Kurucz 34:16
She’s gone mad with power. Okay. So I think I’ve written too much. So apologies in advance if I speak quite quickly. I often describe my practice as concerning the absurd and the sublime. And what I mean by that is that I’m interested -as most artists are- in big ideas like death, time, human condition, all that jazz. And for me, things that are bizarre or hyper specific, are useful lens to focus these bigger ideas through, sort of like looking at a solar eclipse as a projection in a shoe box. Specificity and narrative allow me to connect to bigger ideas in a way that feels more human. Tonight I’m going to focus on two very specific absurdities the level apps and the internet and a pineapple and Antarctica. So in the late 50s, an RAF officer named Edward Craven Walker, moved to France, had an epiphany, became a nudist. That’s him on the left there, it’s very accurate rendering. In 1960, he produced a nudist film called traveling light. And that gave him enough money to fund his invention, the lava lamp. Today, lava lamps are used to encrypt nearly 10% of the world’s internet. So in their San Francisco offices, yeah, in San Francisco offices, a company named CloudFlare has what they call a wall of entropy. What it is, is a wall of lava lamps. So that’s actually it there. The reason for this is because in encryption, true randomness is a resource. And it’s not a resource that computers are actually very good at coming up with. So they run on logic, essentially. So if you give them the same input, they always come out with the same output. And that makes them vulnerable to predicting to having predictable patterns, essentially. So at that wall, cameras are trained on those lava lamps and photo sensors pick up the changing light that’s converted into long numbers that basically describe like, you know, any image is saved as long numbers. And then that’s used to help encrypt the internet service. So lava lamps are truly unpredictable in their minute fluctuations. And to me, I thought it was quite beautiful. The idea of these nearly functionless novelty items being recontextualized as something so purposeful. And I thought it was really lovely that it was precisely that aimlessness that actually made them so useful in this in this function. So yeah, that’s them. When they went public on the stock exchange, they actually brought their lava lamps with them. So even things like people coming and visiting the lava lamp wall helps to contribute to this randomness into this entropy because their shadows being cast on the lava lamps affect the sensors that are picking up that light. So to me, it’s quite strange that these these things from the 60s, that kind of, you know, don’t really have a function were recontextualized like this. And this idea of absurdity. And the sublime is really well summed up by the creator of the lava lamp who said that “it’s like a cycle of life. It grows, it breaks up, falls down and then starts all over again. And besides the shapes are sexy”. The second story that I want to talk about is one from the Antarctic. And this came about from a show where I was looking at doomed expeditions. Specifically, this is from Douglas Mawson‘s ill-fated 1912 journey. So this photo coming up is the last one taken of the Far Eastern party as they set out. Within two months Belgrave Ninnis, and Xavier Mertz would be dead. Ninnis fell into a cravass taking many of their dogs and most of their supplies. And after an excruciating decline, Mertz would also pass away from a combination of what they think was exposure, and what they now believe was vitamin A-poisoning from eating their dogs’ livers, which is pretty gruesome. He has said that inspired these works, but specifically, I was interested in what came after. So this left Mawson alone. Physically he was a wreck and more than 100 miles from their base camp. Dragging himself across the expanse, he finally came to a food depot that they’d named Aladdin’s cave. And it was little more than like a little dug out in the snow wasn’t really a capital. And what he found when he entered there were three oranges and a pineapple. Later in his diaries, he wrote that he wept to finally see something that wasn’t what he ended up being caught in a blizzard and actually having to stay in that cave for five days. By the time he finally got out and got back to base camp, he was just in time to see the ship sailing over the horizon, and he had to stay at base camp for another season. But it was those five days that he was alone in that cave that fascinated me. Just the idea of how completely bizarre and surreal it would be to be in the Antarctic near death. And then you go through this brutal journey, this grueling endeavor, and then there’s a planet at the end of it, and thinking about how similar he and the pineapple were, in a way, so completely out of place in this strange alien inhospitable landscape. And what a perfect encapsulation of humans ambition and fortitude, folly and vulnerability, hubris and loneliness all summed up in this surreal vignette. And for me, that’s what’s interesting finding these strange images and stories to connect with, and to create work that can maybe connect with someone else. Whether they feel as pointless as a lava lamp, or as isolated as a man in a cave with a pineapple.
Last one, give me give me more. Give me more. Give me Tom Moore.
Tom Moore 39:58
Thank you for inviting me. And to all of you for coming along. I hope to give you some idea about the influences that go into making my artwork and what I’m aiming to do with it. I hope to make objects that defy categorization, including both humor and dread. drawing upon the history of glassblowing, and playfully combining life forms. I’m connected to ancient craft traditions that combine vessel making with depictions of animals. I think there is poetry in the weirdness of the resulting object. These blowing glass objects from the first century provoke the viewer to question what is a bottle? And what is a bird? Is that supposed to be a horse? What is a dog? Weird drinking vessels became very popular in Europe around the 1600s. There were very few remaining examples. Because they were notoriously fun to smash. I visited several Italian libraries to see the original design drawings for 1000s of funny glasses. It was amazing. I brought this facsimile of 1600 drawings that I have here for you to see if you want to later. I made several objects following these antique designs, it’s funny to see them being used. Some are amusing because they are intentionally difficult to use. I’m also keen to draw up on the many broader social meanings and metaphors of glass. I want to explore the character of glass by making glass characters. Part of this desire is fueled by a delight in subverting established associations. For example, making dirty glass potatoes upsets the expected purity of the material. I have a wide ranging love of metamorphic imagery sourced from many cultures throughout the centuries. I believe that these pictures offer insights into the profound interconnections of all life and matter. Glass itself is the product of transformation, it is neither truly a liquid nor solid. It is a good material for creating characters that inhabit and in between existence. There are close historical ties between glassmakers producing experimental apparatus, and alchemists refining and combining ingredients for glassmaking. Some of those trick drinking glasses are closely related to oil chemical vessels. such objects were highly prized to diplomatic gifts in Renaissance Italy. My work also attempts to respond to the dread of impending environmental collapse brought about by intense industrial activities, such as glassmaking. Glass is a culturally significant material, however, it’s impossible to avoid confronting the environmental impact of working with such resource intensive process. There is a vibrant community of glass makers in Adelaide. All of us wrestling with what it means to continue this ancient traditional craft in contemporary conditions. I believe that glass continues to have great potential as a material for communicating unique artistic responses to current challenges and for inspiring wonder. Thank you very much.
As you know, it’s been a tumultuous year but we are so thrilled to actually be able to host this event with incredible South Australian artists with an amazing audience. And with Channel 44 streaming it all for us. So can we give a big hand to the artists the audience and Channel 44!