Green Room: ASQ in 2024, gallery closure, artist taskforce

SA arts & culture news in brief: Australian String Quartet reveals its 2024 season – including a weekend of music in the Barossa, prospective members sought for state Artists at Work Taskforce looking into work insecurity and income inequality, and an Adelaide gallery to close its doors.

Nov 24, 2023, updated Nov 24, 2023
ASQ members Michael Dahlenburg, Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew and Christopher Cartlidge. Photo: Jacqui Way / supplied

ASQ members Michael Dahlenburg, Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew and Christopher Cartlidge. Photo: Jacqui Way / supplied

ASQ reveals 2024 season

The Australian String Quartet will present a special Barossa Weekend of Music and embark on two national tours next year, as well travelling overseas for performances in the Netherlands and the United States.

The Adelaide-based ensemble begins its 2024 season in late January / early February with three concerts at the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, before returning to Australia to take part in the Perth Festival as the core of the ensemble for the acclaimed show Ngapa William Cooper, which premiered at this year’s Adelaide Festival. Impermanence, its collaboration with Sydney Dance Company that was part of the 2021 AF program, will have its US premiere at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC in April

For its mid-year national tour Vanguard, ASQ will play works from Beethoven and Korngold alongside a new commission by Australian composer Harry Sdraulig, with Adelaide performances at UKARIA Cultural Centre and Elder Hall. Its second national tour, Aurora, will close out the 2024 season. It will feature works by Haydn, Grieg and Finnish composer Olli Mustonen, and include a concert at the Adelaide Town Hall on November 12.

Other highlights of the season announced this week include the inaugural Barossa Weekend of Music at luxury lodge The Louise in August, for which the ASQ will be joined by guest musicians Mark Simeon Ferguson, Kyrie Anderson, Bonnie Grynchuk and Ciara Ferguson. South Australians will also be able to see the ensemble perform alongside Japanese shamisen virtuoso Noriko Tadano as part of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s She Speaks program in May and in the Elder Conservatorium’s Elder Hall Concert Series, as well as during the University of Adelaide’s 150th birthday celebrations.

“We are delighted to be a part of the University of Adelaide’s 150th celebrations in 2024,” says ASQ CEO Angelina Zucco. “Our role as quartet-in-residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music will include the opening of our rehearsal room to the community as part of a major public installation, ASQ’s Open House, which will take place over a period of two weeks in the second half of the year.”

Farewell to The Main Gallery

Özlem Yeni in The Main Gallery the year it opened. Photo: Angela Skujins

The Main Gallery in Halifax Street is closing its doors, with gallery director Özlem Yeni sharing the update in a newsletter to artists, friends and followers of the contemporary art space.

Yeni ­– a Turkish-born artist, university lecturer and set designer – opened The Main Gallery a year after moving to Adelaide with her husband in 2019. It has presented a range of individual and group exhibitions in the years since, showing work by artists including ceramicist Petrus Spronk, sculptor Georgina Mills, painter Tom Phillips and photographer Alex Frayne.

In the newsletter, Yeni said it was with a mix of emotions – including “nostalgia, gratitude, and anticipation” – that she announced the end of an era.

“As we prepare for a new chapter in our lives, we have made the heartfelt decision to close the doors of The Main Gallery. This decision has not come easily, but circumstances are leading us overseas on a new adventure. While it marks the end of an era for us, we are excited about the creative opportunities that lie ahead.”

The Main Gallery’s current exhibition, QUEER LIVES: ICONS, COMRADES, AND INTIMATES, features work by Chris Beasley. It closes on November 25 and was presented as part of the Feast Festival program.

Artists at Work Taskforce

Arts SA is seeking expressions of interest from people keen to participate in a new taskforce being set up to tackle the work insecurity and income inequality experienced by South Australian artists and arts workers.

The Artists at Work Taskforce will be a state-wide, multi-stakeholder panel of experts that will make recommendations “to address industry-wide challenges as well as the specific needs of South Australian artists and arts workers”, according to the State Government.

“By submitting an expression of interest, you declare that you would like to participate in the taskforce process, drawing upon your arts, culture and creative industry and/or industrial relations knowledge to support the aims of the taskforce,” it says, adding that members will meet regularly over a four-month period.

The taskforce is being set up in conjunction with the development of a long-term state cultural policy, announced in September and expected to be released in mid-2024.

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels acknowledged that artists “often face significant issues including difficulty securing ongoing work and fair pay”.

“That’s why we committed at the election to establish the Artists at Work Taskforce, and I encourage experienced arts workers and artists to apply so we can ensure meaningful improvements for the sector for the future.”

The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on December 14, with further details available here.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

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