Nature Festival will return to South Australia in 2021 from the 25th of September to the 4th of October, and today releases the first elements of its 2021 program, an artistic program of talks, exhibitions, and performances focused on the relationship South Australians have with nature and exploring how the creative arts influences this relationship.
Nature Festival are proud to announce the return of Jack Buckskin as the festival’s Cultural Ambassador for a second year, offering the festival the opportunity to engage and create a meaningful focus on the knowledge of South Australia’s Indigenous peoples, cultivating a deeper engagement with the land we live on.
The Nature Festival’s artistic program sees four artist-led residencies and additional activations focused on driving interaction and engagement to cultivate a deeper relationship with nature as a society.
Adelaide artist Louise Flaherty will be working with collaborators Belinda Gehlert (musician/composer) and Tanya Voges (dance artist) to present a multi-disciplinary two-day experimental sound and music performance in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Memorial for Forgotten Plants reflects on the loss of native plants from our suburban landscape, with inspiration drawn from Flaherty’s repeated drawing of all 86 species associated with the Grey Box and SA Blue Gum Woodland communities once found in the Adelaide CBD.
Celebrating the 40th year of Trees For Life, Rosina Possingham will undertake a residency telling stories of the incredibly dedicated community of South Australians who have contributed to the work of Trees For Life over the past four decades, exploring their achievements, connection with nature and the ongoing relationship they sustain with the world around them.
Visual artist Laura Wills’ interactive social media residency will see Wills draw live tree portraits, with inspiration taken from photos supplied by the South Australian public of their favourite trees, culminating in a spectacular tree montage.
Keeping the tree theme growing, artist Oakey will undertake a residency at Forestry SA’s Thomas Hill House in the Adelaide Hills. Oakey will immerse herself in the forest and local community, many of whom were affected by the 2019/20 fires, to develop a public workshop which will take place during the Nature Festival drawing on her experiences throughout the residency, the forest, and her own arts practice.
Writers SA are thrilled to partner with Nature Festival to present a special series of talks and provocations from some of Australia’s leading writers on life and the environment. Authors include Sophie Cunningham, author of City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the need for a Forest and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy who will provide a thoughtful and rousing presentation on the threats of climate change and renowned writer and environmentalist Claire Dunn, launching her new book Rewilding the Urban Soul which traverses her journey to return to nature and unravel herself from the urban sprawl. Dunn’s previous book My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild has contributed to the growing movement of people wanting to connect with nature on a spiritual level and her third book is much anticipated.
The arts program doesn’t stop there, with a number of South Australian venues including nature arts in their programming for the festival including Adelaide City Council, the National Trust’s Stangate House and Garden and Carrick Hill where artists Christopher Williams and Therese Williams will come together in the exhibition. The Scattering of Leaves in the Wall and artist-in-residence, Chris de Rosa will take over the sun room of the historical home with her installation Nothing But Flowers.
The arts program doesn’t stop there, with a number of South Australian venues including Adelaide City Council, the National Trust’s Stangate House and Garden, and Carrick Hill where artists Christopher Williams and Therese Williams will come together in the exhibition The Scattering of Leaves in the Wall and artist-in-residence, Chris de Rosa will take over the sun room of the historical home with her installation Nothing But Flowers.
Nature Festival Arts Curator, Amber Cronin said she was excited to announce the arts section of the festival program which explores the significant connection between nature and the arts.
“Nature is all around us, we are immersed and influenced by it all the time, whether we realise it or not, and the same is true for the arts. The connection between the two is often entwined and our Nature Festival residences and exhibits this year will showcase this,” says Amber.
“Art is a brilliant way to tell stories, it creates opportunities for people to reflect and resonate with a subject. We are sure this year’s diverse artistic program will be as provocative as it is enjoyable as we continue to work with artists whose practice reflects our crucial and magical a connection to nature.”
In addition to the core programming, Nature Festival will host a hub on the lawns of the South Australian Museum in a build crafted specifically for the festival by award winning firm, Troppo Architects. The Art Gallery of South Australia will host a nature themed ‘First Friday’ in October titled Return to Earth, along with a collection of events perfect for the whole family with a focus on children’s exploration and play. There’s more on offer for the kids as well, with an ornithological lab at the museum and bird artwork showcase at the gallery.
To find out more about Nature Festival, or read the full program, visit their website here.