By Peter Maddern
Last year, the Adelaide Parklands Preservation Society, with some courage, organised an art competition which they say is the first of its type, including relating to the city of Adelaide. The aims, no doubt are to record for posterity the standing and issues around the Parklands circa 2013.
The results are now on display in the Festival Centre’s Artspace and it is all worth a visit not that the quality of these finalists is uniformly great. But the variety of approaches is in and of itself intriguing.
Many take to a landscape depiction with a view to decorative arts. Some of these then ascribe quite, well, self-important price tags to their work which perhaps both reveals their composers’ desire to enter on the basis of a free exhibition that may bring a sale and explains why these types of works have mostly not sold.
Thankfully the judges have awarded their prizes and commendations to those who looked beyond. The winner, CJ Taylor, has come up with a photo entitled Denim (Pasha of the Parklands) where an old grey mare seems reproduced at full size on a screen propped up amongst the dry summer grasses of the northern parklands. But in fact she isn’t as can be seen when gaining perspective from the car battery jumper lead jacks that keep it upright. It may have been quite the prerogative of the judges to dismiss this entry but obviously its intrigue drew them in.
Mark Judd presents one of any number of city ‘square mile’ depictions with his made up entirely of electric circuit boards and transistors for buildings of various sizes and coils, a blue one for the Torrens and gold studs for trees. It is most definitely a labour of love though perhaps not the most so.
That title may go Morne de Klerk’s Light’s Vision in 2013 Pictures. Here we see a montage of seemingly millions of images 1cm wide which, when sorted together, come up with a side view of the great man on Montefiore Hill. While software can make this happen (one no longer needs to do this by hand), nonetheless you need the raw material and that is where de Klerk has got his 2013 picture title. It is a delight.
Like Judd, Susan Napoli has gone for a square mile depiction and done hers as a tapestry while, dare it be said, Douglas Russell has perhaps indulged in shameless ingratiation to the judges who may come from the City Council with a daring prediction of how the new Victoria Square will look once works are completed as seen from the top of the Hilton Hotel. For the record, his hopes were dashed.
As noted at the outset, this was a brave initiative by the Preservation Society and it has worked. One can only hope they muster the courage to do it all again for contemporary views and events recorded like this are a valuable contribution to this city’s heritage.
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