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A meeting of art, ideas, and community with FREE artist talks, music and performances during the opening weekend of Inner Sanctum 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art

1 March – 2 June, 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum, curated by José Da Silva, assembles 24 of the nation’s leading contemporary artists and poets for an exhibition that can be seen, heard, and felt at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

As part of the 2024 Adelaide FestivalInner Sanctum’s FREE public programs and events are diverse and plentiful, taking place across a vibrant opening weekend from 1 – 3 March and continuing throughout the exhibition concluding on 2 June. 

Taking place throughout the Art Gallery of South Australia, Inner Sanctum will open with a weekend of engaging artist talks, performances, film screenings, DJ sets, and more, celebrating the nation’s longest-running survey of contemporary Australian art.

Everyone is invited to attend the opening of the 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art on AGSA’s forecourt on 29 February. Commencing at 5.30pm with a Kaurna Welcome to Country by Uncle Mickey Kumatpi Marrutya O’Brien and a ceremonial ringing of Lawrence English’s one tonne bell Proximities, the public will have an opportunity to experience Inner Sanctum for the first time.  

Lawrence English

As patrons enter the Elder Wing Gallery’s, they will be greeted by the voices of the Adelaide Chamber Singers performing All Fire is Flesh, a new work composed by Anne Cawrse and based on the work of beloved South Australian poet Kate Llewellyn AM

First Fridays is an opportunity to relax, chill to live music by local DJ and producer Strict Face and Melbourne-based pop musician June Jones, as the Gallery stays open late until 9pm. The perfect opportunity to kick start your weekend with art and friends.

Over the weekend, artist talks will take place daily at 11am and 2pm in the courtyard, allowing audiences to hear directly from the artists about their practice and inspiration for Inner Sanctum.

Friday and Saturday evenings again sound off with the ceremonial ringing of Lawrence English’s Proximities along with a chorus of handbell musicians playing on the steps of the AGSA forecourt and the surrounding city churches and Adelaide Town Hall bell towers ringing, resulting in a beautiful city-wide sounding event.

Adelaide Chamber Singers’ All Flesh is Fire can be heard again on Saturday 2 March at 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

A special Anasheed performance to accompany Biennial artist Kahled Sabsabi’s project will take place in the Elder Wing at 4pm Saturday and 11am SundayThis performance of spiritual songs and devotional chants popular throughout the Islamic world is presented by members of the Al Rahma Islamic Association from Western Sydney.

Biennial artist Jazz Money will screen her new film WINHANGANHA at Mercury Cinema. WINHANGANHA, a Wiradjuri word that can be translated to ‘remember, know, think’, is a bold re-envisioning of Australian history through archival materials from the National Film and Sound Archive.

Public program events are certainly not confined to the opening weekend. Dance the War of Proximity, is a large-scale performance by Tina Stefanou. Stefanou’s project combines performance art, contemporary dance, vocal music, and participatory actions with an ensemble of young local teenage performers. Performances take place throughout April in the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide Zoo, and AGSA.

Tina Stefanou – Horse Power (2019)

Be transported to George Cooley’s hometown of Cooper Pedy in The Studio, AGSA’s free, hands-on activities space for art lovers of all ages presented by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation. Cooley’s stories of opal prospecting will inspire visitors to create works of art revealing a spectrum of colours like precious gems.

George Cooley

AGSA’s flagship public program events, Neo, First Fridays, and Start, will come alive with the sights and sounds throughout.  

Minister for the Arts Andrea Michaels says: ‘Bold and brave, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is regarded internationally as one of the premiere Biennials in the region. I encourage all South Australians and visitors to make the most of these wonderful free events and experienceInner Sanctum.’

AGSA Director Rhana Devenport says: ‘AGSA’s free public programs are the heart of AGSA’s identity, and the Adelaide Biennial is no different. From artist-led workshops and lectures to musical performances and film screenings our programming is designed to engage and educate, with something for everyone. Come and experience the beauty and power of contemporary Australian art and be inspired by the incredible talent on display at the 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.’

Presented throughout AGSA, the 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum, 1 March to 2 June 2024 as part of the 2024 Adelaide Festival.

18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art

Clara Adolphs (NSW), James Barth (QLD), Christopher Bassi (QLD), 
Seth Birchall 
(NSW), Kaye Brown (NT), Jacobus Capone (WA), George Cooley (SA), 
Ali Cobby Eckermann 
(SA), Lawrence English (QLD), Ruha Fifita (QLD), 
Teelah George 
(VIC), Paul Knight (GER), Kate Llewellyn x Adelaide Chamber Singers (SA), Jessica Loughlin (SA), Peter Maloney (ACT), Jazz Money (NSW), Lillian O’Neil (VIC), Nik Pantazopoulos (VIC), Khaled Sabsabi (NSW), Marikit Santiago (NSW), Vivienne Shark Lewitt (VIC), Tina Stefanou (VIC), Heather B. Swann (TAS), Jasmine Togo-Brisby (QLD)

Heather B. Swann
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