One Beer and a Pack of Nuts


Truth be said, the whole arty-farty scene just isn’t me. You might enjoy being in a crowd of champagne-swilling egoists, declaring they can see the embodiment, soul and humanism of an image, whereas I can’t see an image when a crowd of people are over-powering the room. So I had to be alone today to see the art on exhibition, to see what artwork each photographer felt best met the theme the flickrSA group gone with this year.


Consequently what you are about to read is going to sound brutal, yet it has been meticulously thought out, reconstructed several times and kept honest to my opinion. So there is a possibility you feel some form of disagreement. This is not to be discouraged. Healthy discussion leads to improved vocabulary, better public speaking, and an enhanced vision on many facets of life. I’m all for that. Are you? So here goes…


Written on my Apple Touch whilst walking the front-bar at the Austral Tavern, (Rundle Street, Adelaide CBD) I’ve thrown down handfuls of packeted-nuts and swilled Coopers Beer. I’ve just finished perusing the twenty-something photographs displayed by the flickrSA mob for the SALA Festival.

Very few of them truly catch my eye, nor do I see the value declared by the retail-price placed upon them. Which isn’t to say they are bad, just that I wouldn’t spend money to put them on a wall. But maybe that was the intention of some artists. It’s been done in previous years, and it’s possible to have happened again. Sometimes art is not necessarily meant to demonstrate art, but to defile its presence in the society.

Adam Wood’s waving hand seems almost symbolic of all the pieces put together. Waving to passerby’s to keep on walking, there’s nothing to see here. I also say it’s the only one that has the movement set down by their choice of theme.

Whilst an alarm in the pub kitchen beeped in tune with the music (FatBoySlim), I sat amongst the way-too-highly-placed images, trying to see into the eyes of the artists. Heck, I was trying to imagine ANY of these images on the wall of my office.

I had no luck whatsoever. None of them touched me. Wait, I take that back.

Charlie Lawrence’s concert photograph (direct link to image unattainable) was most interesting. Despite it’s unfortunate location in the dark corner, it said everything about all artists displaying their wares at SALA: We’re all enjoying the limelight whilst our art is seen by the general public, yet still reaching up to catch the rewards of being noticed for our expenses, enterprise and efforts.

If I was to choose just one, and I am; Barry Leadbetter gets my vote as the most phenomenal of all. A composition that includes the flow of water out to sea, overlayed with silk patterning, plus the ever-changing horizon across the peninsula, the daily-reshaped sand, plus pelicans symbolising the majestic flight that all South Australian’s enjoy watching.

Next year I will participate. Either as a solo artist, or within this group.

I believe that whilst art is allowed to defy reality, it still should have form, feature, and some semblance of photo-artistry.


These people should go solo, either in a exhibition of their own creation or at next year’s SALA festival.

1. Charlie Lawrence
2. Barry Leadbetter
3. Kelly Bates
4. Adam Wood

Please. I have seen and want to see more of your artwork.

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