Samstag unveils three seasons of exhibitions showcasing bold and creative artists from SA and beyond

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Bruce Nuske, ceramic, 2022. Photograph by Grant Hancock

The works by leading South Australian ceramicist Bruce Nuske and internationally acclaimed Saudi-Palestinian visual artist Dana Awartani will mark the launch of the University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art 2024 program next month.

Samstag will present ceramics by Bruce Nuske with exhibition design and furniture by Khai Liew, and two moving image works by Dana Awartani as part of the 2024 Adelaide Festival in an exploration of decoration, tradition and symbolism.

The exhibitions mark the start of Samstag’s Parnati season – Parnati meaning autumn in Kaurna culture – and will run from Friday 1 March to Friday 10 May.

The launch will also mark the highly anticipated reopening of Samstag to the public, following a 12-month closure due to an unfortunate flooding event in the gallery.

Director of Samstag Museum of Art Erica Green says Samstag curatorial staff worked tirelessly on a dynamic and responsive program of exhibitions, publications, talks and music, performance and education programs while the gallery was closed to visitors.

“Throughout 2024 we will be showcasing bold and creative artists and cultural practitioners from South Australia and beyond, examining language, decoration, tradition and belonging,” she says. “You will also hear throughout the year from artists, curators and Samstag Scholars via our events, education programs, publications and podcasts.”

Parnati season

Friday 1 March to Friday 10 May

2024 Adelaide Festival

SA ceramicist Bruce Nuske with exhibition design by Khai Lew

Intricate, whimsical and often surprising, Nuske’s ceramic practice is steeped in the history of the decorative arts – from Chinoiserie to Japanese ceramics, Wedgwood and the Arts and Craft movement. His teapots and pouring vessels often draw on a rich array of botanical references, symbols and traditions and display remarkable technical skill in hand-built forms, complex surface application and rich glazing. The exhibition was designed by Adelaide-based multidisciplinary designer and artist the late Khai Liew, a much-loved South Australian cultural leader.

Dana Awartani

Saudi-Palestinian artist Dana Awartani’s exhibition spans the two-storey atrium. Featuring video and installation. The works are a nuanced example of a varied art practice in which Islamic geometric patterns are interpreted as a philosophical language rather than a lost decorative art. Awartani is seeking to reconsider the forms, techniques, concepts and spatial constructs that define Arab culture. Her intricate and poetic works have been around the world, including at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Venice Biennale.

Dana Awartani, I Went Away and Forgot You. A While Ago I Remembered. I Remembered (I’d Forgotten You. I Was Dreaming, 2017, mixed media installation. Detail from video courtesy the artist.

Kudlila Season

7 June to 20 September

In June, Samstag’s Kudlila Season, Kudlila meaning winter in Kaurna culture, features a group exhibition titled MulkaYata/The Knowledge of Place. Presenting new work alongside historic material, by Adnyamathanha artist Kristian Coulthard, along with artists Sasha Grbich, Antony Hamilton, Guy Keulemans and Kyoko Hashimoto and John R Walker, and music and sculpture by Dylan and Christopher Crismani (Wiradjuri/European), this exhibition explores the landscape and ecology encompassing the Ikara-Flinders Ranges region. Works will consist of sculpture, sound, painting and video.

The season’s program also includes one of Indonesia’s most revered contemporary artists. FX Harsono will present NAMA (‘names’ in Indonesian) a video installation that reflects on group and personal identities in our rapidly changing world.

Wirltuti Season

11 October to 29 November

Samstag’s Wirltuti Season, Wirltuti meaning spring in Kaurna culture, features two exhibitions in partnership with the Adelaide Film Festival. The museum will present Archie Moore’s major new moving image commission, a fifth iteration of his installation series, Dwelling. Moore will present a large-scale immersive installation drawing on memories of his childhood bedroom. This commission with the Adelaide Film Festival and associated exhibition will follow Moore’s showing at the prestigious 60th Venice Biennale of Art. Upstairs, the presentation of work from the inaugural EXPAND Lab commission with new work by Susan Norrie, Matthew Thorne and Emmaline Zanelli.

Samstag Museum of Art is located at UniSA’s City West campus, an easy 15-minute walk from the city centre. Free city trams operate daily. Samstag is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

Visit the website for more information.

/UniSA Release. View in full here.