Where: ARTHUR Art Bar, 66 Currie Street
When: Thursday-Sundays, all August long
It’s been a while since we last went out on a Friday night to check out an exhibition. But suddenly, we’re half way through SALA and the time was right. ARTHUR has been open for around a year. Part gallery, part bar, founder Cass Tombs opened up the doors to “connect people to creativity in the broadest and most immersive way possible.” Over the course of the last year there have been gigs, exhibitions, and workshops, but we were heading over on Friday to visit SA LA LA LAND, their 2020 SALA exhibition show.
A collaboration of over 20 SA Living Artists, SA LA LA LAND was my favourite experience at ARTHUR yet, and not only because I have been deprived of night time activities. As we headed up the stairs we are immediately overwhelmed. The many small rooms each have their own vibe, taken over by different artists each with a different intention.
There are too many artists involved to go into detail here on each of them, and there are also some timed events that we are yet to get to, but here are some of our favourites from our first visit.
Annelise Forster & Rosina Possingham – Earthly Bodies
Annelise and Rosina are asking “what does your body need?” We were invited to digitally draw the nature we were craving and then they took a photo of us immersed in our projected nature. They are slowly pasting up the images of visitors in their natures, which will eventually spill into the corridors.
Eric Kuhlmann – Drawing by Dancing
What is drawing? Eric programmed software that turns human movement into digital drawings made up of many different coloured lines. These swing across the wall as stick figure-us move, dance, and kick.
Robert Wuldi -Yes, I Am Dreaming
Robert Wuldi’s room is one of the first we visit, intrigued by the red light that bleeds out from the open doorway. We are greeted by animals that are not quite right, a roo-in-a-box and an owl-lama. In a display case are toy Aboriginal men in various sorts of garb beside an Esky (or chilly bin) on display, the room working together to play on the word from the Pitjantjatjara, Yankuntjatjara, Nyangatjatjara languages for ‘taboo’.
Casssndra Tombs, Ben Viney and Will Tamblyn – The Discobobulator
The button is clear in its instruction: do not touch. But of course, you’re supposed to. The surprise made me choke out a laugh. It was what I have missed most and for a few presses of the button, we get to re-live it again in this secret, smoky room.
It was surreal but so great to sit down with a drink and listen to live jazz played in the downstairs bar. Our visit to ARTHUR was what we needed after the last few months. It was refreshing and surprising and with a new encounter in every room, SA LA LA LAND might be just what you need, too.
— Natalie Carfora