SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
January 27, 2016

Art set to overrun Sym Choon Lane

Next week's Sym Choon Lane Arts Market is built on an unwavering belief that Adelaide has something special to offer.

  • Words: Katharine Ahern
  • Picture: Jackson OJ via Facebook

Sym Choon Lane doesn’t always catch your attention during the day. Privately owned, this little side street is tucked neatly away next to breakfast hotspot Penny University and errs slightly on the scruffier side of the East End. Sally Neville, one half of the creative team behind the Sym Choon Lane Art Markets, says this is exactly what attracted her to the location in the first place.


The Sym Choon Lane Art Market is happening on February 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 5pm at Sym Choon Lane, Adelaide.

“It reminds me a little bit of New York. It’s a bit dirty, a bit grungy. And because the art we’re displaying isn’t strictly sleek and commercial, the event has a really urban feel to it” she says.

After working in the fashion industry in London and Melbourne for 15 years, Sally moved back to her original home of South Australia to be part of the ever-evolving culture that she believes is unique to this state. Her vision is to create a local arts scene that thrives just as much all year round as it does during the Fringe months.

“Fringe is great. I haven’t lived in Adelaide for so long, but I’m blown away by how incredibly creative this city is. It has this underlying culture of what I can only describe as bohemia,” Sally says.

“It’s a shame that most of the action seems to be happening in February and March, but I believe that’s gradually changing. The aim of these markets is to contribute to a creative scene that is exciting all year round.”

The markets are a collaboration with Darren McGlashon, known in Adelaide’s art world at Stickman, who runs a Rundle Street space called Wildwood Art Gallery and is mostly responsible for sourcing artists and curating. The final result is a far cry from the glossy art galleries and well-groomed spaces that many people assume are synonymous with the art world. On the contrary, it is an ever-changing and interactive event

“What’s great about these nights is that most of the artists are present, discussing their work and talking to the public. There are some amazing conversations happening as you walk around,” says Sally.

“Children are allowed to get chalk and draw over the lane. Whoever you are, it’s one big community”.

And the fact that the dates coincide with the adjacent and much loved Ebenezer Night Markets? That’s no coincidence. Designed to be a natural continuation of the event in the same way Sym Choon Lane flows on effortlessly from Ebenezer Place, the whole venture is built on the basis of collaboration.

“So many of my friends have moved back to Adelaide from all the big cities of the world for a reason. There’s an amazing culture here, and people are hungry for it. We’re not some little backwater anymore.”

Share —