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The SALA Festival (South Australian Living Arts Festival) is an annual celebration of local art by established and emerging artists, showcasing their work in diverse spots around the state. With such a great variety of exhibitions and events on offer this year, it was an amazing experience to see some of these striking pieces in the flesh. I had the pleasure of visiting the JamFactory in Adelaide’s CBD to see Catherine Truman’s stunning series: No Surface Holds.
Catherine Truman is one of South Australia’s most renowned artists and jewellers who works with a variety of diverse materials to create captivating and one-of-a-kind pieces. Truman’s solo show incorporates a mix of objects, installation, images and film and a number of new works from her 20 years of research at the nexus of art and science. Truman is inspired by science, and you can instantly see this when gazing at her works that are incredibly fascinating and full of intricate detail.
Her Crab Claw piece is vivid with its distinct appearance and textural qualities, conveying Truman’s adoration for science and the relevance of biology. She brings to life the basic, drawing from the everyday and bringing to light the significance in the mundane. This is also clear from her past works as well, particularly her public art sculptural pieces that are located on the David Jones building, and the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide’s city centre.
Truman almost preserves the natural elements that we come across on a daily basis, but cannot see, or moments in time that are fleeting and can’t be seized. Using a microscopic lens, as well as a scientific approach to her findings, Truman is able to enhance these minute details, while preserving their life. For instance, a variety of her sculptural objects resemble coral, with their bright coated orange exterior – as though a piece has been picked from the depths of the ocean. However, Truman recreates these organic formations, respecting their original state and adding her own personal touch at the same time.
Truman has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and is the co-founder and current partner of Gray Street Workshop, established in 1985 in Adelaide, South Australia.