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October 22, 2014

Going, going, gone – CASHspace art auction

Whilst it raises funds for an enduring Adelaide artist-run initiative, tomorrow night's art auction CASHspace is also a chance to get your hands on some very reasonably priced art.

  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Image: Zoe Kirkwood, Let Them Eat Cake, 2013

The idea of an art auction conjures the image of people who have so much money they sometimes forget exactly how many yachts are moored in their marina.


CASHspace opens its doors from 6pm tonight, October 23 at FELTspace – 12 Compton Street, Adelaide.

Tonight’s CASHspace is not for those people – the works by emerging and established Australian artists will sell, on average, for about $100.

CASHspace is the annual fundraiser for FELTspace – one of Adelaide’s most enduring artist-run initiatives (ARI).

FELTspace co-director Meg Wilson, says spaces like theirs are essential in any art community to support innovation and give artists an induction to the commercial world.

“What ARIs do is fill the space between being a student and being able to exhibit in bigger institutions and gallery spaces. It gives graduates a space to get experience working in a professional way,” she says.

“But it’s also for more established artists who are wanting to be more experimental with their work – it allows them to have a platform to play and try out new ideas and get a sense of how people are going to respond to new work – we like to think that we are highly contemporary and highly experimental in the works that we show.”

Unsurprisingly, there’s not a lot of money in the experimental and emerging art market. The annual CASHspace event helps to raise funds to keep Felt ticking over for another year.

For the event, a list of some of Australia’s most exciting artists have donated works to be auctioned off. The names include everyone from the very established like Nicholas Folland to bright-burning and exciting artists on the cusp of greatness such as (our favourites) Amy Joy-Watson and Matt Huppatz.

Meg is herself donating a piece, and is excited about the prospect of being able to buy from artists she has long-admired. While she says most works will sell for about $100 and some for less, she also suspects a few of the pieces could incite some genial bidding wars that will push the prices higher.

This year’s contribution from Adelaide artist Ryan Sims could well become one of those most sought-after at the auction.

“Ryan originally showed this work when Brigid Noone set up a temporary exhibition in the Central Market,” says Meg.

“Ryan has these white fabric apples he had made and he was dipping them into the coloured dye and leaving them hanging to dry. He has actually donated some of those apples which are already made, and then he also has another lot of white apples which are yet to be dyed. He’s actually planning to take that work to the home of whoever buys it and specifically dye it for them.”

Controlling the bidding wars will be former Felt co-director and newly-announced Emerging Curator at the Adelaide City Council, Polly Dance, acting as auctioneer. Full of charisma and energy, Polly is excited to be running the night’s proceedings.

“FELTspace has a history of running amazing fundraisers and art auctions that appeal to the masses,” she says. “Every year they raise the bar with a lineup of exceptional artists and artworks that will make your art-lover-heart skip a beat!

“I am honoured to raise much needed bids that directly support artists, writers, exhibitions and events at Adelaide’s most treasured non-for-profit, artist-run initiative FELTspace.”

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