In 2012, the Adelaide Critics Circle moved to Higher Ground, an experimental theatre venue in Light Square.
Therein, an estimated 160 members of the arts industry converged to share the bounty of Coriole wines, Coopers beers, Woodside cheeses and fresh fare prepared by the city's critics. Some 25 professional critics comprise the circle which, noted David Sefton, Adelaide Festival Artistic Director and guest presenter at the 2012 ceremony, creates a powerful arts energy in the Festival city. This was the Circle's 15th awards.
The award trophys (shown in the main image) are designed and made by Adelaide artist/jeweller, Christine Pyman, and are accompanied by a cash prize.
The awards ceremony differed from the previous events, not only in venue, but in the making of a significant public statement about the state of the arts in Australia today.
Veteran Adelaide critic and founding chair of the Circle, Samela Harris, read out her statement about the critical condition of the state of criticism today, noting that arts reviewing, a vital aspect of traditional Arts coverage, is dwindling alarmingly in the shrinking pages of today's print media. Here are some of her points of concern:
* Fewer reviews are appearing.
* This is an issue for potential audiences in selecting arts experiences.
* This is an issue for companies having their achievements acknowledged.
* This is an issue for governments in assessing the value of their arts grants.
* This is an issue for taxpayers, since arts budgets are paid from the public purse.
* This is an issue for sponsors and advertisers, who expect returns on their investment.
* This is an issue for critics in employment, and also for academics and students in arts analysis and understanding.
* This is an issue for the cultural history of our country.
* The record is not being kept.
The Winners of the Adelaide Critics Circle Awards 2012
Adelaide Critics Circle Professional Awards
Robert McFarlane, singer, for his performance in J. S. Bach’s The St. John Passion with the Adelaide Chamber Singers.
Windmill Theatre for its production of School Dance.
Performing Arts Emerging Artist
Kate Cheel, for her performance in State Theatre's The Glass Menagerie.
Iaf Innovation Award
Adam Synott, composer and media artist, for Pari Passu, with Leigh Warren and Dancers.
Adam Synott also won this award last year, and he used his prize money to buy the software that he used to create the work that won him the award again, this year.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Adelaide Critics Circle Amateur Awards: The Coopers
Michael Baldwin, actor, for his performance in Antigone with the Adelaide University Theatre Guild.
Marie Clark Musical Theatre for its outstanding production of Forbidden Broadway.
Visual Arts – Emerging Artist