Friday, December 3, 2010


On a beautiful afternoon in Adelaide during April this year a group of six street artists came out of artistic obscurity to paint two large murals on the pavement of Rundle Street, arguably the city's busiest cultural hotspot. But after months of negotiations, application forms and a day’s painting, the artists had their murals destroyed less than 12 hours after they were completed by the same council that had approved and paid for them. Why? Because the council simply failed to tell the workers who clean the streets that the murals weren’t graffiti.

It’s a story that’s repeated time and again in varying forms and contained within it are some valuable lessons for any underground artists who are considering sticking their neck out above the surface. In short, gaining legitimacy can just as easily mean losing the freedom, authenticity and dynamism that only the underground can provide.

But the Rundle Street blunder has really just been a small stumbling block in a larger flourishing of Adelaide’s street art culture over the last year. From tags and pieces to stencils, paste-ups, stickers, knit graffiti and any other weird medium - it’s all there with characteristics emerging that distinguish Adelaide from the street art styles of other cities. After all, every city is different and while Melbourne has its city laneways as tourist 'attractions’, Adelaide’s street art still exists well within the underground.

‘That’s something I love about Adelaide. The game is still fresh,’ says Simon Loffler who’s one of the organisers of Adelaide’s biggest urban art festival Street Dreams. ‘We’d obviously love to have our own designated street art laneways like Melbourne,’ he continues ‘but not at the price of losing what’s individual to this city. Basically, we’re getting there the hard way.’

Beginning as the ST5K festival in 2006, Street Dreams has grown from a small group of artists who meet regularly to make street art into an expansive creative community. This year the festival went over five days in March with hundreds participating in street art tours, open-air exhibitions, mural painting and workshops in street art techniques. ‘We’re keeping things going through the year but we’ve come to realise that the (street art) community needs a flagship event,’ says Loffler.

'Street Dreams' is a good example of how the growth of global street art is largely due to the strength in community that exists between the artists. But, as well as being for the artists to celebrate their talents, the festival gives the wider audience a chance to jump behind the scenes. It’s a difficult balancing act for underground cultures to maintain the authenticity of a tight-knit community whilst letting the audience in so that the culture can grow. The task seems doubly difficult for street art which has always had a conflicted relationship with its audience.

Leading the last festival’s street tours was the curator of Sydney’s May Lane Gallery, Chris Tamm. With over 20 years of participation in street art culture Tamm stands as a larger-than-life character who can talk non-stop on the topic for days. I asked him what sets Adelaide’s street art apart from other capital cities. ‘Adelaide’s definitely the capital for bike graffiti,’ says Tamm, ‘but more generally I think the Adelaide street art scene is ahead of other cities in the way the community organises itself using the internet.’

Tamm is referring to the worldwide explosion of street art content on social networking sites where artists trade images and gather feedback from an audience that has, until now, been excluded from the community. But specifically for Adelaide’s street art culture, social networking sites are an excellent way of playing on the city’s natural strength. Ask anyone from Adelaide what sets it apart from other cities and they will tell you it’s the web of connections between people. For underground culture this is especially true, perhaps nowhere more prominently than the growing alliance between artist run initiatives and street art.

Two ARIs that demonstrate this are Format and the TwoPercent Collective. After growing steadily from its roots as a DIY festival, Format has come to dominate the Adelaide emerging arts scene with its large and multipurpose venue making events like 'Street Dreams' possible. With a focus on urban renewal, Format is taking the lessons of Renew Newcastle and Melbourne’s laneways and applying them to Adelaide.

The TwoPercent Collective, which takes its name from the fact that only 2% of art school graduates go on to practice as artists, is more focussed on building the careers of its members. However one of its many exhibiting practices is to hold ‘flash shows’ in which gallery style works are exhibited on the walls of laneways for one night only. Guests are invited on the day and when complaints are raised everyone disappears, in a flash.

Such ingenuity isn’t necessary in cities where street art is no longer persecuted. Perhaps that’s why Melbourne street art has begun to decline, arguably since the council mooted plans to have the laneways heritage-listed. In this sense, street art is punk at its core and while council approval can make things easier in the short term it only sterilises the medium in the long run.

I put this notion to Ankles, the Adelaide-based street artist who organised the Rundle Street mural and copped the blunder that ensued. ‘Authenticity is a huge part of it for me and while it’s great that the council is now chasing us to make up for their mistake, we’ve still got to play a delicate balancing act. We’ve got to keep it about the artists and the art. If it just becomes another council initiative it won’t actually do much for Adelaide’s street culture.’

It’s an interesting point that sheds some light on why street art has such widespread, popular appeal. There’s obviously something liberating about a living culture that bypasses institutions, curators and all their obscurantist text. While institutional contemporary art sinks ever further into its esoteric puddle of post-modern relativism, street art seems to skip over that mess without breaking stride. That leaves just the artists, the audience and the exchange between the two. In short, the community and the art. What else do you need?

-This article was published in the Winter edition of Artlink Magazine-

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Just Between Us
Solo exhibition by Kate Gagliardi
Magazine Gallery
Oct 13

Kate Gagliardi is a natural artist. Compelled to create as the rest of us are compelled to eat she constantly sketches the images that pass before her eyes and through her mind. You won’t find a contrived concept or stale formula here. Gagliardi’s finished works are the intuitive expression of her fascinations and, as such, they are best appreciated intuitively. Thankfully, this task isn't difficult; Kate’s talent is plain to see.

Although she’s still in her final year of study Gagliardi’s works have already been showing up around Adelaide and interstate in the form of group exhibitions, published illustrations and street art. Now her first solo exhibition, Just Between Us at Magazine Gallery, gives us the first full glimpse of what she has to offer.

Illustration is her obvious strength and forms the starting point for much of her work. Female faces and figures feature prominently. Depicted in a naturalistic line of striking clarity Gagliardi’s women all display some kind of fantastical adornment that conveys a sense of otherworldly power. The emergence of animals in her new work follows the trend in art that seeks to covet the natural world as its fragility become ever more apparent.

As the title of exhibition suggests, there’s intimacy to Gagliardi’s work that only reveals itself on close inspection. The combination of pencil, watercolours and rice paper convey a feeling of delicacy and those with an eye for detail will appreciate the line work that’s left uncovered or only slightly obscured.

But ultimately the intimacy of the work is born out of Gagliardi’s own relationship with her craft. Each work is the result of hours spent in exploration of materials and refinement of style.

This wouldn’t be so interesting if it weren’t for the fact that so much art over the last 50 years has been created without any trace of the artist’s hand. From Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst there isn’t a stroke of skill between them. Yes their work is expensive and entertaining but so are most Hollywood blockbusters.

At the end of the day (or century more to the point) nothing beats the skill and vision of an individual artist whose work is the product of their own hands. When art shows the ‘hand of the artist’ it brings meaning to their physical striving. Such works reflect the meaning of all human striving.

Of course, the reoccurring formula of contemporary art is to substitute human striving for irony which is often used to pose the question of whether there is, in fact, any meaning to human striving. Such works demand that we laugh at the meaninglessness of it all or else be laughed at. It's a kind of nihilistic laziness that becomes tiresome pretty quickly even if it is covered in diamonds worth $100 million. After a while such works leave you empty and wondering why we elected such talentless misanthropes as our cultural leaders.

For a new generation of artists the proverbial rubber band seems to have snapped back in the other direction. Not surprisingly this new movement has emerged outside the establishment of contemporary art from two distinct streams of visual creativity, namely, graphic design and street art. This new breed of artist uphold a respect for their craft that belongs outside the post-modern era. Perhaps the best example of the melding of these two streams is the work of Anthony Lister who Gagliardi credits as an influence.

Coming from a street art background, Lister’s paintings subvert popular superhero characters from graphic novels and, in doing so, work to attack our tendency towards idolatry. What sets Lister’s work apart from others of his ilk is his ability to sign post his images with the techniques of fine art figuration, linking his work to a tradition that is centuries old.

Both Gagliardi’s and Lister's work presents human figures in a super human, fantastical light. These images, like so much of the cultural output of our time, answer our desire to affirm a belief in some supernatural aspect of life; to uphold something sacred, beyond the grasp of rational reductionism. Such work has become impossible within the established order of contemporary art that has been sterilised by critical thought.

But art is nothing without an audience and this new breed of artist are being met with a new generation of art collectors who are immune to shock tactics and bored with the notion of ‘is this art.’ Tomorrow’s art collector want beautiful images that whispers secrets to them rather than craftless objects that shout questions at us all. Riddance to the entertaining but impersonal blockbuster exhibitions of large institutions. Tomorrow’s collector prefers the personal growth of individual artists.

Although it’s a first for Adelaide, Magazine gallery follows thousands of others like it around the world. This low cost exhibition spaces places no limitations on how young artists present their work but avoids the non-commercial pretenses of artist run initiatives. Galleries like Magazine offer emerging artists a chance to build an audience and sell their work.

Just Between Us has achieved just that. Gagliardi’s works has developed in leaps and bounds over the last year and it seems the perfect time to let others in on her journey. Gagliardi’s work will develop further as she discovers greater depth of subject matter through which to open a dialogue with artists of the past. But artistic maturity of that kind can’t be rushed. The path of the natural artist is essentially one of self-discovery that persistently challenges the creator to delve deeper into their fascinations. It’s also a journey that holds great rewards for a patient audience.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There's nothing like the suprise joy of bumping into a old friend in a foreign city. So you can imagine my delight while exploring London's East end to find myself face to face with a large piece of street art by Adelaide's own James Cochran. The 2.5 Meter high image of a bearded pilgrim was depicted with thousands of layered dripping aerosol dots that is Cochrans unmistakable style. Like much of Bricklane's street art the image is the constant target of the camera phones that quickly snap up whatever's new from London's greatest underground tourist attraction.

It's funny to think that James Cochran, or Jimmy C as he has been known, was once one of Adelaide's most notorious graffiti writers. With a pseudonym (not to be mentioned) high on the list of SA police's graffiti task force during the 1980s Cochran gave up graffiti for the studio and the world of fine art. Since then his style of aerosol based pointillism has gained recognition from Melbourne to Paris for its amalgamation of French impressionism with Aboriginal dot painting. To my knowledge he hadn't painted anything on the streets for a long time so I was excited to track him down to find out why now, why London and why he gave it up all those years ago.

After bumping into James as an opening we meet over coffee at an East end bar. "The Graffiti world was like a second family" explained Cochran who was kicked out of home at 16 "but it just wasn't sustainable as a way of life." It was this belief that led Cochran to art school only to discover that in the postmodern era where 'painting is dead' he was going to have to teach himself. So by day James Cochran was taught how to think about art and by night Jimmy C went out and made art on the street. It wasn't until Cochran visited Europe in 1995 that he discovered the old masters and found within himself a respect that was lacking in what he'd been taught.

Ask Cochran about Caravagio and he'll display a warmth and excitement that's totally unbecoming of a contemporary artist. In fact, James' whole personality is far too open. Rather than obscuring his intentions in convoluted art speak Cochran is all the more enigmatic for the exuberance with which he races through his ideas. It's easy to understand why such a character finished study only to turn to rural based art projects such as mural painting in remote aboriginal communities. It was through collaborating with local aboriginal artists that Cochran developed his drip painting technique that he was then able to combine with his knowledge of the Western tradition of painting. But after 10 years of community projects Cochran gave in to the pull of the studio and exhibiting paintings. Within 2 years his work would be exhibited at the Point Ephemere in Paris.

In the years since Cochran turned his back on his former life, the world of graffiti has developed a social conscience and reemerged more powerful than ever in the form of street art. It's that sense of social consciousness that's attracted Cochran back. "It's always been present in my work from when i was doing community projects until recently but i did feel an expectation to play that element down within the world of contemporary fine art" he explains. This willingness to engage with the world around it offers some explanation for why street art has found such a widespread appeal. But that's not the only reason why artists find street art so appealing. While the world of contemporary art becomes ever more stratified as institutions and curators tighten their hold, more and more artists are turning to street art as a means of circumventing the establishment.

But for Cochran the initial reasons seem more personal. "I came to London just to shake things up a bit in my art practice" he explains "but I found things just weren't feeling right in the studio." Given this it doesn't seem surprising that the ex-graffiti writer should take a break from the static world of contemporary art in favor of the fluidity of the street. In the weeks following its completion, images of Cochrans work will be viewed by thousands, photographed, uploaded, passed around, commented on, discussed, and (perhaps best of all) responded to with yet more street art. "It's a way of giving something to the place that you're in" says Cochran.

You might be asking 'why then should London be so lucky?' Well, there's no real mystery to that question. There's a long history of Australian artists needing to gain recognition overseas before we feel secure in honoring them back home. However, in Cochran's case, London is about reaching a wider audience. In his words "what happens on the island stays on the island." It's a fact that only really means that Australian artists need to try a little harder if they want to get onto the world stage. Often 'trying a little harder' translates to 'extended international travel.' But just as often Australian artists who take a piece of homegrown culture abroad also manage to smuggle something back on their return. I'm expecting Cochran to be one of the latter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


At the start of this year painter David Bromley was dropped by both his Sydney and Melbourne galleries. While some might find this surprising, considering the strength of Bromley’s brand, others could have seen it coming a mile away. It’s the same old story and the lesson is clear: Don’t treat your art like a commodity.

For the last 10 or so years Bromley’s output has fit into two categories of painting. The first category are paintings of children who seem to inhabit an idealic, 1950s dream world. These paintings bare a striking resemblance to several illustrations of the British boys magazine Boys Own Paper that were often contributed anonymously, blurring the question of copyright. The second category are nudes painted in black outline over decorative colour combinations, applied boldly for dramatic effect. So often have I seen these paintings in the front windows of almost every gallery around town that I decided to do a quick survey. After a few enquirers I managed to turn up 36 Bromley for sale around Adelaide plus another 4 on Ebay. When you multiply this figure by the quantity of paintings you’d expect to find in all the capital cities around the country it begins to look like a severe glut in the market for Bromleys. From the perspective of the galleries that represent Bromley such glut or ‘bubble’ presents a big problem.

“We could no longer guarantee exclusivity,” said Tim Olsen of Tim Olsen Galleries, Sydney. He continued “there was just no point in us continuing to represent David when anyone could buy his work around the corner at discounted prices”. While David himself was apparently unable to account for how this market situation came about it’s pretty easy to fill in the blanks if you take a closer look at his studio practice.

We say ‘studio’ because David Bromley is an artist but the term ‘factory’ is a more truthful description of the production line of workers who do the majority of Bromley’s actual painting. If you’re lucky the artist himself might have flicked the switch on the projector and traced out the actual design of any given nude but why should he even bother? With such a mechanical process why not just pay someone else to do the actual work? Warhol did it so why can’t Bromley?

There are several serious problems with this attitude towards painting. Perhaps the most obvious is that a mechanical process is very easy to duplicate which leads to fakes and no means of proving authenticity. But even if fakes don’t flood the market the artist’s own production line probably will unless the artist deliberately limits production, defeating the purpose of having a production line in the first place.

But the real problem with mass produced art is that it dilutes the meaning and substance of the work. As Tim Olsen puts it “There is always art when there’s never enough but there is no art when there’s too much”. Sure, pop-artists did it back in the 60s but that was a contemporary comment on the rise of mass production throughout the western world. To make pop art in 2010 is just indulging in nostalgia that’s going nowhere. In this sense, mass-produced art has nothing to do with self-expression and, as history shows us, soulless art just doesn’t last. So, knowing all this, why would any artist choose to treat their art like a commodity? There is only one answer: money.

“It’s true he’s commercially orientated” adds Olsen “and there was a time when that was good for the gallery but there’s got to be a cut off point.” One wonders why Bromley didn’t enforce that cut off point himself. Some artists, if they’re lucky, are faced with a moment of decision when they realise they’ve found something that the audience really loves. The question arises: ‘Do I give them what they want or do I continue forever searching for what satisfy’s me?’

For the artist, the temptations of wealth and stability are just as great as its’ dangers are hidden. As soon as the artist begins to follow the desires of their audience the roles are reversed and the art suffers. The problem is that truly great art can only come out of searching. The artist must always keep moving, changing and growing or else the art becomes stale and dies.

But at first it must have felt more like a flourishing than the beginning of the end. As the children and nude series were growing in popularity it must have become harder and harder for Bromley to move on from the themes that had made him a success. Surrounded by collectors eager to buy and galleries eager to sell, why wouldn’t he think he was onto a good thing? He would have been crazy to not focus in on why those themes really worked and pushed them for all they were worth.

The problem is that once an audience starts to consider Bromley’s commercial motivations they begin to see the children series as a patronising attempt to illicit nostalgia from comfortable baby boomers and the nudes seem tailor made for cashed-up bankers. In short, tits and tots comes across like a formula, a marketing strategy designed to provoke its target audience into opening their wallets. It’s almost tempting to tip your hat to him as if he’s duped them. But the truth is that he’s working for them. He’s painting their paintings, not his own.

When you combine this with a market flooded with discounted paintings it probably wasn’t hard for the galleries to admit that they’ve had a good run but it’s time to pull the plug. But where Tim Olsen can bailout of ‘Bromley Inc’ with phrases like ‘I’ve not only lost an artist, I’ve also lost a friend,’ the escape for the artist himself is not so easy.

In light of such brutality one can’t help admiring the courage of artists who choose to engage with the market rather than shelter behind the esoteric and elitist rhetoric of institutional art. But that admiration can evaporate if it appears that the market has consumed the artist and the direction of their art.

However for artists like David Bromley there is always a second chance, an opportunity to reinvent oneself; to stop pandering to the audience and return to that internal spark. Such a move takes courage and it takes a special kind of audience to recognise and respect that courage. Whether Bromley’s attracted such an audience is questionable. But the real question is whether Bromley’s still got the spark.

Some still think so. “I am concerned but to a lesser extent because I’ve lived with it for a longer time” Says Sam Hill Smith of Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide. He continues, “The truth is that David is still searching. He just needs to decide what he really wants.” Hearing this, it’s tempting to assume that it all started from good intentions that got lost somewhere along the way. At the end of the day it’s in the hands of David Bromley and he might yet have a trick or two up his sleeve.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop

“People either love me or they hate me, or they don’t really care,” admits Banksy, the mystery figure whose iconic street art has made his name more recognisable than any other contemporary artist of our time. His new film Exit Through the Gift Shop is sure to satisfy all three levels of appreciation.

In the brief history of graffiti culture the documentary has played a pivotal role in disseminating ideas. None more significantly than 1984‘s Stylewars which views like an instruction manual for a culture built around the heady mix of Hip-hop, break dancing and aerosol based graffiti. Bootlegged and passed along an endless chain of underground connection, Stylewars circled the globe. Before long, New York style graffiti was appearing in every city in the Western world.

But this insular subculture in which the non-refundable currency of ‘respect’ was awarded for displays of finesse and daring was limited by its own restrictions and doomed to stagnation. Inevitably some graffiti writers began to tire of writing their names in ever more elaborate styles and garish colour combinations. Some hit upon the idea of shifting the subject matter of their art to something other than their own name. Street art was born.

By this time the Internet was in full swing and a few key artists would be able to ride the international wave of fascination that ensued. But none did so with a brand as strong as Banksy’s. His mainly black and white stencils conveyed none of the ‘style’ so prized by the previous generation of graffiti artists. In its place was a message, often political, always irreverent, clear and immediately effective. Banksy was a new kind of rebel, seemingly tailor made, for a new kind of youth who found little expression in the sexual rebellion exhausted by their parents generation.

The new front line was the sanctity of private property upheld by a painfully superficial society, obsessed with lifestyle and oblivious to its own terminal malaise. But for every one of Banksy’s images that convey a profound message with beautiful simplicity there are several more that seem no less superficial than the society that they set out to ape. But more than anything it’s his taste for hype that threatens the authenticity that forms the bread and butter of Banksy’s myth.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is a masterpiece in myth maintenance. Rather than making a film about himself Banksy has made a film about another street artist, Mr Brain Wash. A latecomer in the game, Mr Brain Wash mimicked the hype and branding methods of his idols with such skill that it threatened to expose the superficiality of the whole movement. The story is intended to make us think twice about authenticity but it's obvious that Banksy’s been wondering about his own authenticity. In this sense, those who love him will be pleased to discover that Banksy understands why he’s loved and that he’s not about to give the game away any time soon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Feb 27 – May 2
Art Gallery of South Australia

After the success of the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art Handle with Care, there has been much anticipation awaiting it successor Before and After Science. So it is not without some reservation that I admit my overall disappointment. I’d like to put it down to the fact that no exhibition could really do justice to the theme of science and the irreversible effects it’s had on art but that isn’t the whole truth. The fact is, while some of the art works might be strong individually, that strength is lost in the company of works that really don’t hold there own and often fail to connect with the theme by more than the most tenuous strands.

But perhaps the great irony of Before and After Science is that, through its very failure, it might actually present an excellent, if not unwitting, comment on the effect that science has had on art. As you walk from one cold, white room to the next and examine yet another interesting object that questions life far more than it affirms life’s value, one could be forgiven for longing after art that shows some more unity or even dogmatic certainty.

But unity and certainty can be ridiculed by a contemporary world that worships the question mark above all other icons. That’s why so much contemporary art is so painfully light. It’s a defence mechanism that amounts to having as little tangible substance as possible so that there’s simply nothing there to criticise or attack.

Can we really blame science and the unstoppable rise of rational thought for backing contemporary art into this absurdly esoteric corner? It’s tempting to say yes for the sake of finding some poignancy in Before and After Science. But unfortunately the Adelaide Biennial’s failure cannot be redeemed by irony because it actually comes down some obvious problems with contemporary curatorial practice.

Firstly, don’t have an exhibition of contemporary art in an institution that carries the authority of historically significant art. All it serves to do is state “This art is good and important” rather than “Do you think this art is good and or important?” When most contemporary works are destined for the dustbin of history it’s almost cheating to presume the authority to fast track certain works past the trials of public scrutiny and put them strait into a museum. In short, Adelaide needs its own contemporary art centre, at lease, one that isn’t hidden somewhere in the suburbs.

But the main failing of Before and After Science is symptomatic of something much larger. When future generations look back at this period of art history in which the supposedly subversive, the ambiguous and, above all, the esoteric have become so enshrined within the established art institutions that they begin to appear common place, quite boring and often completely idiotic they will, no doubt, ask ‘why?’ The answer will come blaring back ‘it was the curators and the institutions! They’re the ones who preferenced works that had an ever-increasing dependence upon the surrounding text and, therefore, an ever increasing dependence upon curators and the institutions.’ In this sense, postmodernism has exhausted its usefulness as a force for positive change. It exists now, only as a tool of oppression by which the stakeholders who commentate can maintain a dominant position of influence over those who actually create the art.

But even if you do buy the catalogue for the Adelaide Biennial or are privileged enough to receive an explanatory tour from one of the curators you might still find it questionable that Michelle Nikou’s darkened room, hung with shapes of glow-in-the-dark plastic, possess some mystical or occult meaning, some intuitive spark. It’s not because you don’t ‘get it’ that such works seems absurd, it’s because they are absurd. But unlike the works of Dada that had the good grace to acknowledge and embrace their absurdity, today’s contemporary works, that are so indebted to the Duchamp’s example, are embarrassingly unaware of their own absurdity.

But if you invest enough of yourself in the curatorial ‘art speak’ that encases institutions like the Adelaide Biennial there will come a point where you won’t care if there’s actually any substance within the work itself. With the right attitude, anyone can join the flock of those who worship the question mark. You’ll enter shows like Before and After Science, identify the key questions and feel the reward of uncertainty wash over you.

But as you stand before the enormous, mostly white, painting by 12 Martumili women you may find that your Po-Mo fix is suddenly interrupted. It’s a work that draws on such a rich and affirmative tradition that it unwittingly serves to mock the surrounding conceptual follies with the power of its certainty. Works like that of the Martumili artists remind us of art’s potential to answer our enduring need to affirm and unite rather than question and divide. It’s a need that’s gone grossly unanswered by the art of recent decades because such works are generally filtered out by curators who feel redundant in the face of art that communicates on its own behalf. Such communication occurs directly between the artist and their audience and, long after the curators have ‘de-installed’ the oddities of the day, that age-old connection will still be there with all the force of a lightning bolt.



Small is a group exhibition of contemporary art featuring selected small works for the home to be held at Magazine, 1 Clubhouse Lane, off Hindley. This is the 4th exhibition from Twopercent, the Adelaide based artist collective committed to creating opportunities for emerging artists to exhibit and sell their work, free from gallery commissions.

Small explores the notion of the artwork as an object of desire and the compulsion to posses and collect. The 16 featured artists were asked to contribute works smaller than 60cm square. Artists were asked to consider the artwork’s place within the home rather than the gallery. Whether this meant challenging or accepting the notion of art within the home was left completely to the artist’s discretion.

In a sense, Small reflects the curatorial practices of the 19th Century salon exhibitions where each work should be viewed independently from the next. Therefore, the object of the works featured is not to live in the gallery but to live in the home.

This event is also the launch of "Magazine" as a new versatile space in Adelaide for young industrious citizens and is part of the Renew Adelaide initiative. Basically it's an exhibition space for creative projects on Clubhouse Ln in East Hindley. The aim of Magazine is to provide the opportunity for local creative types – artists, film makers, fashion designers, graphic designers, zinesters, musicians and merry makers – to have an affordable storefront presence for their work. If you have top-shelf work but no way to get it to the people, Magazine is the place to host your next exhibition/ pop-up store/ budget-arse film.