Creative Sparks

photo-icon Image: Live Art in Francis Street.

Creative Sparks enables creatives to deliver art experiences, utilising Council spaces, resources and connections to enable skill building for creatives working in the public realm. Running since 2013, Creative Sparks is part the Emerging Curator Program, an initiative of the City of Adelaide, delivered through partnerships with local art organisations such as Guildhouse, Helpmann Academy and Carclew.

2021 Emerging Curator program - ART WORKS Guildhouse

Delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide, ART WORKS is a collaborative program of residencies, curatorial mentorship and creative engagements, designed in partnership with the City of Adelaide to provide a city-based platform for artists, curators and writers to pursue new ways of working and engaging with audiences.

In its fourth year, ART WORKS 2021 presents three Artist in Residence opportunities within the City of Adelaide ArtPOD, a Writer in Residence within the Adelaide City Library and an Emerging Curators Program mentored by Guildhouse, presenting three exhibitions within the Adelaide Town Hall and Mankurri-api Kuu / Reconciliation Room. These extensive artist engagements deliver on the City’s Cultural Strategy 2020-24 for Adelaide to be recognised as a cultural incubator where people, enterprises and audiences flourish.

Biophilia is the first of the 2021 ART WORKS Emerging Curator exhibitions curated by ART WORKS 2021 Emerging Curator Ann-Marie Green and Heidi Kenyon.

We are adjusting to a new world order in which the recognition of nature’s therapeutic power will likely grow, and may become critical to counteracting the lasting effects of isolation.

Current ART WORKS Artist in Residence Rebecca McEwan states ‘I have a profound fascination with the visceral connection humans have with the natural world. Through my work I attempt to find ways to reconnect us with ancient wisdoms and intrinsic knowledge.’

Rebecca’s practice was a catalyst for the exhibition theme, biophilia (translated as love of life or nature) which explores the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to connect with other life forms. This intuitive relationship is explored through the lens of established and early career artists Ahli (Radomi), Carly Tarkari Dodd, Gail Hocking, Mark Kimber, Brad Lay, Rebecca McEwan, Deborah Sleeman and James Tylor.

Working across a variety of media including photography, painting, sculpture, video, drawing, and materials from the earth, these artists speak to the beauty, power and intricacy of the natural world. Their works comment on the vulnerability and fragility of nature, their spiritual connection to the land, and the contemporary loss of Aboriginal cultures within the Australian landscape due to the impact of European colonisation.

Collectively, these works set a post-pandemic challenge to renew our focus on local environments and recognise their essential role in our wellbeing.

Mark Kimber into seas without a shore web crop

Image: Mark Kimber, Into the seas without shore, 2012. Photograph: courtesy the artist.

Curated by ART WORKS 2020 Emerging Curator Steph Cibich

Like it or not, things have changed. The current pandemic has impacted every aspect of contemporary life. Since the birth of the Industrial Revolution, more and more people are living in dense urban city centres. Now, COVID-19 has capsized how we go about our daily lives. It has called into question our deep-seated methods of contact and the way in which we navigate and experience our domestic, urban and ecological environments, forcing us to find new meanings and new ways of working in the wake of this existential virus.

S P A C E S explores the way we navigate through and experience our surroundings. Examined through the lens of emerging and established South Australian artists, the works in this exhibition resonate with existing interpretations of ‘everyday spaces’ and encourage new meanings which align with a globalised, COVID-safe environment. Inspired by conversations between ART WORKS Emerging Curator, Steph Cibich and ART WORKS Artist in Residence, Jane Skeer, S P A C E S conveys an eclectic representation of personal and shared experiences.

Alongside Skeer, S P A C E S includes work by Steph Fuller, Jonathan Kim, Hailey Lane, Tara Rowhani-Farid, Darren Siwes, Rhoda Tjitayi and Tony Wilson. Together, these artists offer a reflection of our pre-COVID way of life, and advocate for continued agility, empathy and creative thinking during these challenging times. The collective power of these works inspire new ways of navigating future S P A C E S whilst offering a poignant demonstration of the ways in which art is a necessity to make meaning in our darkest hours.

Curated by ART WORKS 2020 Emerging Curator Steph Cibich

We are bound by something we cannot see. Our emotional and intuitive responses are part of every human experience. When strong, these feelings spark connections with other people, objects, surroundings and create meaning in our lives. Such bonds inform our personal identity and facilitate relationships within communities. Despite our differences, we are all connected by what we feel.

You’re only human, after all offers a safe and immersive space to consider these ideas as expressed through art. Inspired by ART WORKS 2020 Artist in Residence, Jasmine Ann Dixon and her investigations into emotionally charged paintings, this exhibition features a breadth of emerging and established South Australian artists. Alongside Dixon is the work of Maxwell Callaghan, Tony Kearney, Anna Platten, Margaret Richards, Lee Walter and Raymond Zada. These artists draw on themes of emotional expression and human connectedness in an eclectic display of works of various mediums and styles. In this way, You’re only human, after all offers creative insight into the authentic, relatable and sometimes uncomfortable truths regarding how it feels to be a human being.

This exhibition was presented at the Adelaide Town Hall Foyer and Reconciliation Room/Mankurri-api Kuu as part of the ART WORKS 2020 Emerging Curator Program, delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide.

In her inaugural exhibition for the ART WORKS 2020 program, Emerging Curator Steph Cibich has curated an exhibition of South Australian contemporary artists titled Our Future in the Landscape.

Climate change is affecting us all.

In 2020, there is not one country, nor one city, unaffected by factors relating to climate change. In light of recent national and international events, the urgency for climate action dominates political, social and cultural debate. Despite differences in opinion, the issue now extends beyond harrowing environmental concerns into all aspects of contemporary life including urban and regional environments, energy consumption, food production, scientific and technological advancements, business development, council strategies, community engagement and the arts. Ironically, in an increasingly divided society, it is one issue that has the potential to bring people together.

Our Future in the Landscape harnesses the power of multiple voices to illuminate urban and ecological responses to climate change, as explored through the lens of South Australian artists.

Featuring work by Nici Cumpston, Louise Flaherty, Jake Holmes, James Tylor, Lara Tilbrook and the SA Artists for Climate Change collective, presented at the Adelaide Town Hall as part of ART WORKS Emerging Curator Program and delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide, this exhibition demonstrates and encourages positive climate action declaring our collective responsibility to actively address one of the most pressing issues of our age.

ART WORKS Studio Residency at Art Pod

Rebecca McEwan will be the ARTWORKS artist in residence at ArtPOD from the end of March to July 2021. During this time she will be using the space as an artist studio to continue her exploration of the human connection to water by delving into the stories and history of Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens) and creating new work that reconnects with this significant waterway. While in ArtPOD Rebecca will be collecting stories, researching the history of Karrawirra Parri, and asking the question “What is your water”? Inviting contributions from the public via call outs on social media, messaging in ArtPOD, and by connecting with passers-by. Call by ArtPOD and let Rebecca know “What is your water”?

With an arts practice based on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Rebecca has a profound fascination with the visceral connection humans hold with the natural world. Through her multi-disciplinary approach to making she seeks to reconnect us with our environment through the exploration of stories, ancient wisdoms and intrinsic knowledge.

Guildhouse ARTWORKS 2021 – Artist in Residence is presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide.

Image: Rebecca McEwan, 4000 stories (detail), honey, glass, metal, cork, dimensions variable. Photo Steph Fuller

R mcewwan 400stories

Image: Rebecca McEwan, 4000 stories (detail), honey, glass, metal, cork, dimensions variable. Photo Steph Fuller

We are excited to see Guildhouse's second artist in residence as part of the 2020 ART WORKS studio residency series presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide. Jane Skeer will activating the the Art Pod over the next few months while working on a new body of work for exhibition.

Jane Skeer lives and works on Kaurna Land. Working predominately in sculpture and installation, creating works in response to her observations of people, objects and materiality. In this residency Skeer will be immersing herself in urban culture to discuss, rethink and continue current research on commerce and trade to further build on the #we’reinthistogether art project. This project has become a way for Skeer to map human culture during COVID-19, calming her fears and insecurities in the process. Interested in the way artworks hold ideas, Skeer decided to investigate real feelings in the urban environment, placing herself precariously in the public domain, asking questions, exchanging thoughts, listening, and recording these findings digitally. Discovering reassurance and confidence in our commonalities, strength in each other and surprisingly an enlivened community spirit. #we’reinthistogether is a journal responding to our lived experiences. It is the process of gradually building a collection of information en-masse.

This artwork has recorded the voices of people internationally and will be built on during September in the Art Pod, Pirie Street, Adelaide. #we’reinthistogether is stretching Skeer as an artist to get out of her comfort zone and interact more with the public to find the real conversations waiting to be told.

#we’reinthistogether is Skeers’ way of making art for the now, it’s a documentation of current events, a moment in time to reflect upon, connecting us to the future!


Image: Jane Skeer, #we’reinthistogether, 2020, (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist.

This year we were excited to see Guildhouse's first artist in residence as part of the ART WORKS 2020 studio residency series presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide.

Jasmine Ann Dixon was in residence at the Art Pod from February – August 2020, during which she worked on paintings exploring elements of the City of Adelaide’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan themes of Smart, Green, Liveable or Creative for exhibition in 2020.

Jasmine Ann Dixon was born in 1993 in Adelaide. From an early age she was drawn to painting, and in her later years of school became particularly interested in portraiture. This passion led her to study a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at the Adelaide College of the Arts from which she graduated in 2014. Since then Dixon has been a part of the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition, where she won the Peter Walker Encouragement Award, exhibited numerous times with Hill Smith Gallery, been a Finalist in the Emma Hack Art Prize and the Black Swan Portrait Prize and won the RSASA 2016 Youthscape Prize. Dixon’s practice thus far has focused on combining textiles and colour with hyper-realistic portraits. She sees the face as the window to the soul and hopes to celebrate it in each portrait by highlighting individual’s character and beauty though her detailing.

Jasmine dixon


ART WORKS Writer in Residence at City Library

2021 is the fourth year of the ART WORKS program, which delivers on the City’s Cultural Strategy 2016-23 for Adelaide to be recognised as a cultural incubator where people, enterprises and audiences flourish.

The Writer in Residence will engage with the ART WORKS Artists in Residence and the Emerging Curator to respond to themes and ideas that are developing across these programs. The resulting work will document the projects undertaken and enable storytelling.

In addition to completing theses at honours, master’s and doctoral level Connal Lee has published in several journals in the area of pandemic ethics. His most recent publication is in the area of art and health and the role of community gallery spaces as vessels of well-being promotion.

Connal is also a regular writer for The Conversation having written on ethical distribution of vaccines in a pandemic and the potential for an ‘infodemic’ during a pandemic; whereby the public is overloaded by information and misinformation. Connal has presented conference papers on pleasure and health, utopian thinking in political philosophy, and developing moral imagination through narratives. He is currently in the editing phase of completing his first novel, which explores philosophical themes associated with trauma, memory and the duty to rescue.

Connal will engage with the ART WORKS Artists in Residence and the Emerging Curator to respond to themes and ideas that are developing across these programs. The resulting work will document the projects undertaken and enable storytelling.

He will be based at the Adelaide City Library from April to September 2021.

Susan Charlton is a writer and curator, specialising in collaborative projects with artists and archives, communities and cultures. She has recently returned to live in Adelaide after working in film, museums and archives in Sydney.

Susan’s recent projects include the Unity! Strength! Justice! exhibition for NSW Teachers Federation; Museum of Love & Protest for Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras; three Feminism & Film programs screened at Sydney Film Festival; and the exhibition This Woman is Not a Car: Margaret Dodd at The Cross Art Projects in Sydney and Ace Open in Adelaide. Susan has also been commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia to write the catalogue entry about Margaret Dodd for the Know My Name exhibition honouring Australian women artists, due to open later this year.

Susan’s writing and editing skills were refined in the Print Media and Production Department of the Powerhouse Museum from 1990-94. She has written artist and exhibition texts, as well as freelance stories and reviews for the Sydney Morning Herald, Filmnews, Cinema Papers, RealTime and Art + Text, and written about Australian culture for Singapore arts magazine The Esplanade. Susan contributed seven stories to Barbara Campbell’s experimental performance work 1001 Nights Cast.