Now more than ever, local artists and venues need our support and engagement. Here’s how to connect with Adelaide’s visual artists, musicians, performers and galleries without leaving your house.
Remotely control the Art Gallery of South Australia’s nine-metre-long robot
“People look to artists and cultural institutions for a sense of community, learning, wonder and to find solace,” says AGSA director Rhana Devenport.
The gallery may be closed, but it continues to champion the positive influence of art, and its team has devised a series of digital experiences to engage audiences at home. There are online workshops for educators; daily activities for kids and teens; virtual tours; and podcasts featuring curators and artists. You can even command Reclining Stickman, a nine-metre-long robot that’s part of the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.
AGSA is continually updating its online resources, so check in regularly for new content. First Fridays continues this week (May 1) with live bands streaming online and live video guides to make a "monster Martini"](https://www.agsa.sa.gov.au/whats-on/event-calendar/first-fridays-monster-music/). Live activities for kids are available online this Sunday (May 3).
Experience Feltdark online
Feltspace, an artist-run initiative in the CBD, has put its in-gallery programming on ice for now, but it’s moved its video-projection project Feltdark online. Queensland artist Peter Kozak’s Siren Song will be online throughout May, and Touch Point, by SA-based artists Inneke Taalman and Nicole Clift, will show in June (the latter has been adapted for online viewing).
The Textclub program (a reading group for critical discussions about art and selected texts) has also been rejigged, and will now be offered as a series of interviews with featured artists, all available to the public.
“We are also enabling one exhibition that was planned to be exhibited in the gallery to be delivered virtually – and have approached other artists about their capacity to do the same,” says Alice Castello, co-director for 2020.
Tour Floating Goose Studios in 3D
Morphett Street art space Floating Goose is embracing the online realm, trialling a 360-degree virtual tour of its current exhibition, No Fear of Falling by Felicity Townsend. It’s a little disorienting, but the gallery’s Chloe Noble tells us, “We’ll be continuing to trial and adapt our technologies to keep up with the times, and will hopefully continue to put all our future exhibitions online.
“We’re also wanting to connect people with our studio artists a bit more than we have in the past,” she adds. She recommends jumping on the gallery’s Instagram account to meet artists and learn more about their practices.
Explore The Mill showcase and support its studio artists
Discover your next favourite Adelaide artist via an online tour of The Mill’s latest showcase exhibition, which consists of works produced in the venue’s studios. The tour is led by curator Adele Sliuzas, who introduces each work and shares a little about each artist’s practice.
The current iteration of the showcase features furniture designer Andrew Eden; tattooist and visual artist Mark Mason; hatter Blake Canham-Bennett; and ceramicist Annabel Hume. All works are available for purchase – along with others by The Mill’s 30-plus studio artists – via an online shop.
Adelaide collective The Bait Fridge is The Mill’s current artist-in-residence – though with isolation disrupting the clique’s normal process, this residency looks a little different to most. But they’re more than up to the challenge. Be sure to follow The Mill on Instagram and Facebook for online workshops, takeovers and other colourful content.
Get front row at The Jade without leaving your couch
Josh Trezise and Timothea Moylan’s new venture, Sunny Side Uploads, is fighting back against the “colossal blow” dealt to Australian musicians by the lockdown. “We’re capturing the raw energy of a gig, so our audience feels like they’re standing right there – Coopers in hand and sweat flying off the stage,” Moylan said in a press release.
“Our industry is resilient, and we’re determined to find a way for our community to continue,” added Trezise.
So far, Sunny Side Uploads has streamed the launch of The Sea Thieves’ new album Disquiet, and killer live sets from Timberwolf, Venice Queens, Seabass, Alana Jagt and others. Upcoming gigs include Abbey Howlett and Naomi Keyte.
Tune in on the website or via Facebook or YouTube, and get behind the artists with a cash donation. You can also enter a draw to win bottles of gin from local distilleries Prohibition Liquor Co and Never Never Distilling.
Log on for a knock-off session at The Wheaty
Every Friday evening, Thebarton’s beloved Wheatsheaf Hotel broadcasts a double bill from its open-air stage under the banner The Knock Off Sessions. Enjoy previous performances by Kelly Menhennett, Tara Coates, Ben Ford-Davies, and Nikko & Snooks online now, or tune in Fridays at 6pm to catch a live act. (The Knock Off Sessions also streams Wednesday-night gigs directly from artists’ homes – previous musicians include Cookie Baker and Jimmybay.) Watch the shows on YouTube or Facebook.
Visit the ASO’s virtual concert hall
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is inviting audiences inside the Grainger Studio for a series of free online recitals. Each Wednesday and Saturday, musicians from the orchestra present solo performances of their favourite and lesser-known compositions. The most recent upload features principal cellist Simon Cobcroft playing Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major: Allemande & Sarabande.
“I miss playing the music I love, I miss playing with my colleagues, and I miss the frisson that only a concert with a wonderful, engaged and appreciative audience brings,” says Cobcroft. “We hope that our virtual solo performances can bring some joy to those at home in isolation until we can get back on stage.”
Each recital is available for seven days from the date of upload. In addition to the recitals, ASO musicians are also sharing personal video diaries from home.
Boogie with Bank St Social
It’s not just singers and instrumentalists who have lost gigs (and income) due to coronavirus-related closures: DJs are doing it tough too.
CBD bar Bank St Social will be firing up the decks for a three-hour livestream this Saturday (May 2) to help keep their regular DJs in work. Sam Walker, J Hennessy, Troy J Been and Tom Cotter will each play a short stint, starting from 9pm.
You’ll be able to stream the sets on (Netgigs)[https://netgigs.com/en/page/welcome] in exchange for a small fee to cover music-licensing fees and ensure the DJs get paid for their time. The fee will be redeemable for a drink at the bar when Bank St Social reopens. Follow the Facebook page for updates.
Watch Australian Dance Theatre’s award-winning works
The world-renowned Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) is grounded for the time being, but Covid-19 has given the experimental company “the opportunity to innovate and reshape” and “appeal to a digital audience”, says Artistic Director Garry Stewart.
Staring May 1, audiences can access six of ADT’s award-winning works for free via a new online platform called Adapt. Each performance will be available for 48 hours only.
Adelaide Fringe is back – with Fringeview
And you thought festival season was over. For 60 years, Adelaide Fringe has provided a high-profile platform for performers from all disciplines. The festival is open-access, meaning anyone can register to participate. Director Heather Croall and team are now extending this ethos to a new online initiative called Fringeview.
The idea is to give performers the opportunity to generate income in new ways. Participation in Fringeview is free for artists, and audiences will be able to buy tickets from May 1.
Registrations are now open, and the guide will drop soon. Like Fringe’s IRL program, we expect it to be a wonderfully mixed bag.
Story time is better with Windmill At Home
Children’s theatre company Windmill has a heap of resources to keep kids occupied (and parents sane) during the lockdown.
A collection of hands-on activities and movement-based tasks are available free of charge, alongside videos of past works such as Girl Asleep.
We recommend snuggling up with Grug Storytime, in which actors present filmed readings of Ted Prior’s beloved Grug books. Or you can “Grugercise” with super-fun workout videos for kids.
Other featured Windmill works now available for streaming include Beep, Baba Yaga and Creation Creation (all of which have had IRL seasons either cancelled or postponed).
After launching its 2020 season on Zoom in March, theatre collective Rumpus will kick off a second program of original, independent works on July 8 (hopefully IRL). Running through to the end of October, the program features five new South Australian works, from award-winning plays to cutting-edge genre mashups, touching on everything from queer self-discovery to house shares to modern love. First up will be Britt Plummer’s 2019 Adelaide Fringe hit, Chameleon.
If gathering restrictions are still in place in July, the Bowden-based company has a few tricks up its sleeve for scheduling and broadcasting performances.
Play around with MOD online
North Terraces’s Museum of Discovery (MOD) has launched an all-digital interactive exhibition, created for right now. Life Interrupted is a medley of 11 ideas (so far), with additions to be made over the coming weeks. It's built on excerpts from previous exhibitions, and new responses to feelings of isolation, disconnection, distraction and the affects of a relentless news-cycle.
There are plenty of opportunities to interact with, or influence what’s going on. Start your day with compliments on demand, assume a false identity to ‘win’ at spreading fake news, or stretch your digital legs on a stroll through a glorious community garden in Minecraft.
Drop by The Listening Place
There’s something fundamentally comforting about being read to – even as adults. In a moment when we’re spending more time than ever staring at our screens, The Listening Place offers aural relief with a program of authors reading aloud works of short fiction.
The Listening Place began as a conversation between Adelaide writers Ben Brooker and Janet Thomas about The Decameron, a 14th-century text by Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio set in a time eerily similar to ours. “In the book, the survivors of a plague gather in a villa outside Florence and share stories to pass the time,” Brooker explains. “It’s an extraordinary book, written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, full of bawdiness and jokes,” he says.
Inspired by the idea of solidarity through storytelling, Brooker and Thomas pulled together a season of readings by their friends and peers. “The overwhelmingly positive response to the readings, broadcast via Facebook Live, has taken both of us by surprise,” Brooker says. “Although only a few people are watching the videos live, many more are tuning in afterwards.”
The entire first season of stories is available on Facebook – a second season starts next month.
Disclaimer: Tim Watts is general manager at The Mill.