New bluethumb Award at Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition

In case you haven’t noticed, at bluethumb we really appreciate good art. It doesn’t come easy, though – learning to make art is a gradual process, and it’s much easier with a little bit of help. That’s why we’re big fans of the tertiary initiative between the universities and TAFE of South Australia – the Helpmann Academy. The academy provides emerging artists with opportunities for professional development, such as mentorships, exchanges, and, for the 22nd year in a row, it is also holding a graduate exhibition.

Performance art piece by Tom Borgas & Felicity Boyd

Running from the 17th of February to the 12th of March, the exhibition is now in its 22nd year. “The Exhibition started out in an abandoned warehouse in Synagogue Place in the Adelaide CBD,” says Olivia Power, Helpmann Academy’s marketing and communications manager. “You can still see ‘Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition’ painted on the wall there, completely untouched.”

The show has since moved to its current location, the Drill Hall at the Torren’s Parade Ground, but as Olivia tells us, the new venue is by no means without challenges! “The main challenge is putting on a major exhibition with over 100 works in a non-gallery space. Creating a venue within a venue and presenting works of varying mediums is a huge challenge. Figuring out how to present major installations and hang works from the ceiling is always fun. During this exhibition we have a sculpture so large that we almost couldn’t fit it through the door – and they’re big doors!”

Spaces of Absence (detail) by Kelsey Reynolds, Adelaide College of the Arts

The exhibition features works across a range of creative disciplines, including ceramics, glass, painting, jewellery, photography, printmaking, video, installation and sculpture. The artists are chosen by a panel of industry experts, including curators and directors from the Art Gallery of South Australia and other well-renowned galleries around the state. For the first time ever, this year the show features works by Masters and PhD candidates.

Ed Hartley presenting the award to Jim Jones with Helpmann Academy CEO Jane MacFarlane   Photo: Russell Millard

With many artists from previous graduate exhibitions going on to have further success in their careers and contributing to the pool of Australian artistic talent, bluethumb is thrilled to be founding a new ‘bluethumb Award’, which includes a $1000 cash prize and in-kind support. Co-founder and managing director of bluethumb, Edward Hartley, presented the award at the exhibition’s opening last night to emerging artist Jim Jones.

Jim Jones with his works at the exhibition

“Our relationships with our award partners and donors are so important,” says Olivia, “and we are really excited to be working with bluethumb on an award this year!” With the exhibition set to feature some amazing emerging talent, we absolutely share the same feelings of excitement. If you’re anywhere near the bottom of Australia, this is one to see.

Cover image: Mirjana Dobson, Synthetic Organism (detail of installation)    Photo: Jasmine Van Der Byl.

6 Collectible Artists on bluethumb

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *