Over 100 artists have come together for a raw unveiling of self-reflection, creating a self-portrait as part of the 100 Barossa Artists exhibition for SALA 2020.
The concept was initiated before COVID-19, with the idea of marking 2020 as a critical point in time for the Barossa, highlighting the arts as an integral, yet often invisible part of the community.
Marking history with such a large body of work from such a diverse cross section of the community was considered crucial for future generations. The fact that COVID-19 occurred concurrently made the exhibition even more poignant.
Artist and co-organiser, Renee De Saxe said, “Art provides the opportunity for the viewer to think and to feel. It enables our community to observe, relate and remember emotions captured within these portraits of time.
“It will be a comprehensive reflection and a historical reference point in which future generations will be able to look back on.”
Fellow artist and co-organiser, Kirsty Kingsley added, “The breadth of artist’s skills and experience has produced a body of work encompassing the self portraits of career artists, practising artists, school leavers and true creative yearners. Because the creative spirit is as diverse as we are.”
During SALA 2019 artists and organisers, Kirsty Kingsley and Renee de Saxe became very aware of just how isolated artists within the region were.
“Isolation often comes with the territory when you are an artist. However after our SALA exhibition in 2019, we had over 700 visitors to our pop-up gallery and we realised artists are desperate to plug-in, to connect with other artists. We became aware of just how many artists live within our community that don’t get that opportunity,” they said.
“We wanted to give all artists an opportunity to be recognised, to show that they count within our community, that their arts practice is crucial to who they are and who we are as a society. That is where the concept of 100 Barossa Artists was born.”
As COVID-19 continued, co-organiser and artist, Rebecca Reynolds said the group looked to ‘COVID’ friendly ways to allow the exhibition to go ahead and are down the path of converting it to an outdoor projection exhibition as well.
Working closely with lighting and projection specialists, the exhibition will grow in richness, depth and audience by taking the exhibition out of just the SheIS Art Pop Up Gallery in Nuriootpa and into the great outdoors.
Kirsty added, “We are ecstatic that (at this stage) we will still be able to exhibit the intimacy of the exhibition in a traditional gallery space. But we are now also able to highlight the artists’ plight, reaching people who would not normally step into a gallery.’
In addition, a 100 Barossa Artists book is being produced and some of the regions Early Learning Centres and Kindergartens are joining the exhibition as 100 Barossa Future Artists.