Presented by Lipman Karas
Reviewed 9 September 2016
The Loreto springART Exhibition is a fun-filled highlight of the Adelaide arts calendar. In this, its 32nd year, the exhibition has ramped up to a whole new level. Upon entering the flower-lined tent you’ll be hit by a wave of exuberant colour that will keep you in a hypnotised stranglehold until you’ve made your way around the whole exhibition.
Loreto College, in partnership with a number of sponsors including Lipman Karas, has put on an absolutely breath-taking show this year. Breathtaking in both senses; you’ll be amazed by the artworks on display, and also out of breath by the time you’ve absorbed it all.
With almost 100 artists featured, local, international and working in every medium from photography to sculpture to abstract painting, it would be easy for an exhibition of this magnitude to get a bit chaotic and messy… which it admittedly does (it perhaps would have paid to feature each artists work together instead of spreading them across the exhibtion hall), but the attention paid to the curation of the works does tie it all together nicely. There’s some celebratory essence in all of the works that unifies everything.
While it would be amazing to give every featured artist their due, it is only possible here to highlight some of the most eye-catching and popular pieces. Of course, feature artist Yve Thompson’s abstractions (which undoubtedly carry a Japanese vibe) are the stars of the show, sitting in pride of place in the centre of the assembly hall. They are mystical, ancient in a way, but also carrying a spark of some bright, futuristic energy.
Mike Barr’s stunningly realistic painted snapshots of rainy Adelaide streets have an almost European elegance and a beautiful melancholy that perfectly captures the essence of those dim days. Jane Disher’s stark, black and white prints stand as contrast to the more naturalistic pieces in the show. They shout loudly from their tiny frames. Harriet McKay’s patterned canvases similarly scream from attention. These high contrast pieces, almost tribal renderings of city vibrancy, explode from the wall like almost nothing else in the show.
Joy Kngwarreye Jones’ paintings, based on ceremonial body paints, are beautiful and deep, as if you could somehow get lost within them. Jane Skeer’s abstract sculptural pieces, such as Suspended are strange things that seem to both defy and exaggerate the rules of nature. They are beautiful blobs of living material. Finally, Donovan Christie’s hyper-realistic depictions of Adelaide landmarks teeter on the edge of the uncanny valley. Looking at them is like looking at a straight-out-of-the-factory toy model of some of our best know buildings. They speak of nostalgia and home-sickness.
Along with the visual art on display, this year’s exhibition will also feature a cabaret performance showcasing the talent of Senior vocalists from the Loreto music department, including old scholars and current students. Though tickets are now, unfortunately, sold out, it’s bound to be a spellbinding event.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Venue: Loreto College, 316 Portrush Road, Marryatville
Season: 9-11 September 2016
Image: Imperfect Cadence, Yve Thompson, oil on linen, 2013