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Local Artists Unveil 50th Anniversary Commissions

Tuesday, 30 January 2024
10 min read
1 Jason Sims Portrait Photo by Pippy Mount

Two special art commissions by local artists Jason Sims and Michael Kutschbach have been unveiled at Adelaide Festival Centre to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The artists were commissioned to create an outdoor light sculpture in response to the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th birthday celebrations. The sculptures are featured around the grounds of Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza.

Find out more about the significant works and artists here:

Contemporary Australian artist Jason Sims is known for his sculptural works that explore light and reflection across Adelaide’s CBD. Some of his works can be found outside Her Majesty’s Theatre on Grote Street and Bank Street. Now, Festival Plaza is home to his latest work, Pillar, which was recently installed. 

Pillar is comprised of two hexagonal prisms, one stands upright while the other lies on its side. The top of the forms are cut at a 45-degree angle reflecting the pitch of the roof of Adelaide Festival Centre and the physical position at the North-West intersection of Adelaide city’s grid-like formation.

Jason Sims: "The hexagon is one of the building blocks of life and the most common form in nature. It is a sacred symbol, representing strength and longevity. Similarly, the forms are reminiscent of pillars, which symbolise stability and strength.

They reference Adelaide Festival Centre as a cultural pillar within the community and its history as a dynamic and progressive institution that remains relevant through constant evolution and growth. 

— Jason Sims

"During the day, the sculpture’s strong geometric form and materiality complements the surrounding environment and existing public artworks. At night, the work transforms into a beacon of otherworldly blue and white light.” 

Award-winning visual artist Michael Kutschbach has created aeolidida for Adelaide Festival Centre’s riverdeck outside Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse. Its textured and patterned skin is an accumulation of haptic memories and sensations. For a form made of concrete, it presents itself as relatively lively, free-forming and in a state of flux. Its extrusions, or ‘branches’ are upward and celebratory in gesture, resonating with memories of the very first public performance given in the Festival Theatre. The glowing rhythm played out in these branch forms is a luminescent visual echo derived from the sounds of Beethoven’s Fidelio which was played here 50 years ago. 

Michael Kutschbach: “‘aeolidida’ may not be the easiest of words to pronounce. It’s not a familiar looking word. It’s a bit of a tongue twister but has a nice round sound to it, and it feels good when you write it by hand.

The word offers up abstract and fictional associations, but it also refers to a real-life species of soft bodied sea creatures, more commonly known as Sea Slugs. These creatures, which inhabit all the oceans of the world, often present themselves in the most fantastic, elegant forms and vivid colour patterns.

— Michael Kutschbach

"This is something that they themselves may not be able to appreciate, given that their eyes are so small that can probably only see dark and light tones. They make up for this lack of sight with other more sensitive sensory organs (that of touch, smell and taste). They are hermaphrodites, containing both male and female sexual organs, and most of them can regrow their head if it comes off. Nice.” 

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