What’s on in July: the “sure, you’ve got the winter blues but look, more festivals” edition

This month has been a flurry of activity, creative and otherwise, and OTR’s July edition is not pretending to keep up – but at least we’re honest about it? (Image: Just Not Australian)

By Anisha Pillarisetty | @nishkinsilk

We’ve barely taken our first few gulps of frosty July air and already so much has happened. 

Within a few days of a supposedly new-and-improved social security system being ushered in, the Workforce app has crashed; Australian supply chains continue to crumble; and while many seem distracted by the failings of the US Supreme Court, Australia’s criminal legal system is also in dire need of scrutiny

But, as we noted in last month’s edition, Adelaide artists continue to chip away and OTR’s brief monthly guide of local projects is trying its hardest to keep up. 

There were some fantastic events that ran as part of NAIDOC week; one that I was particularly sad to miss was the UniSA screening of Nunga Screen 2022

Visual Art/Film

But not to fear – if it is incisive imagery you crave, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri writer Dominic Guerrera’s poem “The Humble Middle Ground” can be found on the Jam Factory’s front windows and on their online platform MARMALADE

Speaking of incisive imagery, Artspace Sydney’s Just Not Australian showcases the work of 20 artists from various generations and cultural backgrounds who are “united by their desire to take Australia’s ‘official’ history to task, making space for people and events that have, often wilfully, been sidelined or omitted”. 

As part of a national tour, the exhibition will be showing at Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery until September 4. And if you happen to be in the area on July 31 at 1pm, you can catch a special event at the gallery featuring Tarnanthi Artistic Director Nici Cumpston OAM and Nukunu Elder Lindsay Thomas.

Looking for something closer to the city? The Kerry Packer Civic Gallery’s current show Adaptation is showcasing local artists who attend community mental health organisation Naemi National’s art program. 

Last month’s edition featured Allison Chhorn’s Skin Shade Night Day, a sound and image installation that delves into the everyday routines of the artist’s Cambodian-Australian family (if you haven’t seen it yet, it is on at ACE Open until August 13 and I liked it so much I will find another way to bring it up in next month’s edition). 

The Mercury Cinema will be holding a recurring program featuring films that inspired Chhorn’s solo show, with Part 1 kicking off on Saturday, July 16 at 3.30pm, and Part 2 on July 23. 

If that’s not exciting enough, the SALA (South Australian Living Arts) Festival is around the corner – which not only heralds longer hours of daylight but also creative projects aplenty as we claw our way out of the depths of winter. 

This year’s SALA feature artist is Mark Valenzuela, whose solo show Still Tied to a Tree will open on July 26, and promises to be “spectacular, dizzying and disturbing in equal measures”. Need I say more? 

Talks, performances and workshops

If you’ve been following what’s been happening in West Papua and want to learn more, Amnesty International is hosting a webinar on July 12 at 5pm ACST on why new Papua provinces will exacerbate human rights abuses (at the time of publication this event has ended, but stay tuned for updates on a livestream).

Also, if you missed the panel discussion on the pitfalls, responsibilities and rewards of storytelling, co-hosted by the Australian Refugee Association, the video is now available on the Hawke Centre’s event page

On that storytelling segue, Dr Jared Thomas – author of various novels including Calypso Summer, Songs that sound like blood, and the recently released My Spare Heart – will be delivering a talk at 7pm on July 14 at the Gawler Civic Centre. 

With everything that’s going on, Umbrella Festival – running until July 31 – almost slipped through OTR’s penny-pinching radar. But, after going down our fair share of internet rabbit holes, OTR is here to assure you that if you’re pinching those pennies, there is plenty of free music still on offer in Umbrella’s program

Speaking of free things, Illuminate Adelaide is back and has brought with it a wide array of delights, including Wild Dog. Running from July 15 to August 20 at Tandanya, the immersive exhibition will feature dance, puppetry, film animation, song and interactive installations.

Also part of Illuminate (and yes, also free), you can catch various artists discussing music and collaboration, the present and future forms of voice, and Machine Listening, as part of Unsound Talks at the Queen’s Theatre on July 23 from 12.30pm. 

And finally, for those who want to hone their slam poetry skills, writer and performance poet Chris Best is hosting a workshop in conjunction with Writers SA on July 30 at 10am. 

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