I finished last week with a sense of TGIF and launched into my weekend shouting “Fri-YAY!” as I met my friends outside of the Art Gallery of South Australia to attend a new and culturally satisfying start to the weekend.
Let me explain. On the first Friday of every month, the Art Gallery keeps its doors open until 9pm, treating culture goers to live music, curator talks and guided tours at their aptly named event: First Fridays. There is something magical about being inside the Gallery after dark – the light is different and experiencing works of art feels so VIP. Something is around every corner! You might walk into a talk, catching the end of a spectacular tale you had no idea about, or perhaps a glass of champagne will find its way into your hands as the live music warms you up to the imminent imbibing of a fabulous Friday night.
Special offerings for patrons, such as last Friday’s 2016 Collections Project Launch with artist Kate Kurucz enriched the experience. As I sat and listened with my friends beside me, we were able to transition from the normalcy of our work week into the whimsicality and imaginative mind of Kate, whom was sharing with us her personal symbology, story and journey behind her Painting, The Island. Kate even shared a little story she discovered about a haunted painting in The Melrose Wing having us all intrigued!
Through these First Friday events, patrons are able to have a totally different experience of the gallery. One that acts as a conduit between day and night activities, fuelling you with stories and inspired musings for you to take out into the night, conversing over issues, topics or ideas that have captured your imagination, challenged you or moved you to think deeper through the medium of Art. The exhibition Carrying Culture launched also on Friday night, stopping people in their tracks, arrested by the contemporary responses to vessels, weapons and ornaments from Aboriginal art and culture. Curator Niki Cumpston created a great sense of journey and historical narrative through these diverse pieces, translating to patrons the power and persistence of these objects.
I don’t know about you, but gallivanting around the city where the culture is ebullient and the champagne flows makes for a perfect Friday night!
Here are the details for the upcoming First Fridays – don’t miss out!
Friday 1 July, 5-9pm
This First Friday coincides with the launch of the major exhibition Robert Hannaford. Join the celebration and experience the most significant exhibition of work by this renowned South Australian portraitist. South Australian jazz quartet Miss Wonderful will perform an eclectic mix of jazz classics on the night.
Friday 5 August, 5-9pm
During the SALA Festival we recognise the diversity of local talent with a series of exhibitions presenting the work of Catherine Truman, Fiona Hall, Sue Kneebone and Robert Hannaford. We will also mark the silver anniversary of Guildhouse with the opening of Guildhouse 50. Headlining the evening is South Australian, indie / Alt / Rock Artist Timberwolf.
Friday 2 September, 5-9pm
First Friday will focus on the major display Great Tales in Asian Art and usher in a whole month at the Art Gallery dedicated to the celebration of Asian art and culture. Hear from Asian Art curators James Bennett and Rusty Kelty as they bring the display to life, and enjoy the energy of Taiko drumming.