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November 16, 2023

New wave: Artists from ACE’s Studios: 2023

Now the year’s almost up, we check in with some of the artists from Adelaide Contemporary Experimental’s annual studio program.

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  • This article was produced in collaboration with Adelaide Contemporary Experimental.

Each year, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental’s (ACE) annual Studio Program offers fully-supported, rent-free studios and professional development opportunities to five emerging South Australian contemporary artists.


Studios: 2023
11 November–16 December
Adelaide Contemporary Experimental
Lion Arts Centre
North Terrace, Adelaide 5000
More info

The results of the year-long residency can be seen in Studios: 2023 co-curated by ACE associate curator Rayleen Forester and Murray Art Museum Albury curator Nanette Orly.

The exhibition features the many disciplines of this year’s artists, including sound, video, installation, assemblage and sculpture.

Here, we check in with the first three artists to see how their practices and careers have evolved during their time at ACE.



Describe the work you’ve created for the Studios: 2023 exhibition.

The major work I’ve made is a sculpture titled Sinners Grotto. It’s a grotto made from a salvaged boat that I covered in seashells. It’s part of an installation titled Asleep with the Fishes that I made for a solo exhibition at Firstdraft in Sydney. The exhibition pulled together some of my personal memories, beliefs, family history and elements of fantasy.

How has your ACE residency influenced the work you’ve created?

The residency has made me realise the conditions I like to make in and that has been helpful. I’ve been able to collect and assemble objects in the studio and create an environment that is conducive to how I work best. It has been awesome to have more space to make, I’ve been able to be more ambitious and make bigger work than ever before.

Opening Night: Studios:2023 (2023), event documentation, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental. Photography by Lana Adams.⁠

How is your personality reflected in your work?

All of my work is autobiographical in some way, so it’s all a reflection of myself. This year I’ve been focused on working intuitively to create genuine expressions of my feelings at any given moment. Sometimes my work is happy and playful, but oftentimes it is sad. I often work with whatever materials are available to me – I think that is a reflection of my personality, I’d say I’m a resourceful person.

Did the other artists in the program influence you during the residency?

I’ve started drinking way more Diet Coke because of Truc.

What’s next for you?

Sitting on a chair looking at the sea.



Describe the work you’ve created for the Studios: 2023 exhibition.

I approached this work wanting to use the exhibition as a means to spend as many hours as possible with my last remaining grandparent, after losing two grandparents in quick succession last year. I wanted to use my practice as a moving image artist to preserve as much of my grandmother and her house as possible. I have used my camera to film hundreds of objects and spaces around my grandmother’s house and, most importantly, film snippets of her happily plodding around that space.

How has your ACE residency influenced the work you’ve created?

The biggest influence has been seeing how the other artists in the studio space operate their own practice, and observing the things that they feel the most compelled to make work about. It has influenced my own perception of what is valid in my making.

How is your personality reflected in your work?

I am a family orientated person, who is incredibly sentimental about particular objects, spaces and people. The footage in my work, the way the camera lingers on particular objects, and the sheer volume of things around my grandmother’s house that I have deemed important enough to document – reflects my sentimentality of the space and the things within it. Dedicating an entire work to one person also reflects my love for her.

Opening Night: Studios:2023 (2023), event documentation, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental. Photography by Lana Adams.⁠

Did the other artists in the program influence you during the residency?

Brad Darkson has influenced me in the sense that both personally and professionally, he is a calm, generous and consistent person, which is exactly the sort of energy you want in a studio space where you’re trying to develop new work. He has been phenomenal to talk through ideas with.

Conversations with Jen Matthews around ‘loss’ gave me a deeper and richer understanding of the complexity and universal nature of grief, and those conversations allowed me to let go of a few self-conscious hang ups I had in regard to my work.

Even though Truc’s practice is entirely different to mine in terms of aesthetics, materials and subjects, I feel like we are making work from a very similar place and drawing from similar notions of family, identity and loss. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have witnessed her space and her making – it’s made me reflect on my own practice and appreciate how ‘sincerity’ can emerge in different forms.

In a similar way to Truc’s work, Teresa’s has been a wonderful opportunity to witness how other artists deal with ideas around family and identity. There is a fleeting moment in my final film that I love, that serves as a nice little nod to Teresa’s boat – it’s footage of a model house made from sea shells, that my great aunt made for Grandma in the 1970s.

What’s next for you?

I am hungry to get back into the experimental studio stages – I will be driving around to op shops, farms and homes in South Australia collecting materials and domestic artefacts to bring back into the studio for rigorous experimentation. I tend to oscillate between making projection works and installations. I have some site-specific installations that I am excited to realise, things that are specific to particular buildings and places in rural SA.



Describe the work you’ve created for the Studios: 2023 exhibition.

The work I’ve created for the Studios: 2023 exhibition re-presents (with permission from the band) the original music video for Yothu Yindi’s seminal protest song Treaty. Through the technique of synchronising multiple screens with a specific delay, iconic scenes and song lines from the music video are stretched and repeated in a cascading effect that draws the viewer across the work.

The result is mesmerising, encouraging contemplation on the significance of the Hawke Government’s broken promise of a Treaty in 1988 and delineates the time between now and then.

How has your ACE residency influenced the work you’ve created?

The curatorial and technical support provided to me throughout the residency has been amazing, allowing me to focus on multiple exhibitions, enabling me to experiment with equipment and helping me with funding applications. Having a large studio in a central location without needing to worry about rent for an entire year is an incredible opportunity. I was able to meet regularly with visiting curators, collaborators and elders in a professional gallery and studio environment, and always felt supported by ACE within this side of my practice.

How is your personality reflected in your work?

Identity, politics, cultural practice, family and community are all aspects that I consider to be central to who I am and to the work I make. I tend to move between mediums, never really settling into one particular thing – sculpture, painting, installation, sound, animation, etc – and I reckon most people who know me well would agree that’s a bit of a reflection of my restlessness in life.

Studios: 2023 (2023), installation view, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental. Photography by Sam Roberts.

Did the other artists in the program influence you during the residency?

Working alongside four accomplished artists in the studios, all with strong commitments to their practice, was inspiring. I’d always look into their studios to see what they had cookin’.

Teresa’s constant making and use of repetition in unique ways with familiar materials made me constantly long for the ocean and more determined to make work about family and memory.

Georgia’s archival approach to video works that interrogate heritage and colonial influence on the land was a regular reminder that my art could be a powerful way to communicate social issues from a personal standpoint.

Jen’s meticulous design and considered approach to her work was met with an equally thought provoking and subtle absurdity that encouraged me to consider ways to make interesting work about the otherwise banal.

Truc’s epic stitching marathons, ever present references to pop culture, family and nostalgia were a constant reminder of how art bridges between generations to continue cultural practice and the transfer of knowledge.

What’s next for you?

I have a couple more shows booked for 2023-24 one new work and one existing work — and my wife and I are working on our seaweed farm and family business. I’ve applied to do a PhD, and I’ll keep homeschooling our little one. And swim in the ocean as much as possible.

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