What does the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, have in common with internationally renowned Adelaide artist Emma Hack, you might ask? It may seem unlikely, but both share a common cause in helping to expose the talented local artists that South Australia has to offer. This is exactly what they were doing last Saturday evening at Tincat Café for the launch of Light Spectrum of Existence, an exhibition by local artist Leah Grant.
Grant is an emerging artist based in Adelaide with a flair for bright colours and eye-catching pieces that evoke both exhilaration and wonder. You may have seen such works around the place lately, with the Adelaide City Council commissioning Grant to create a series of light boxes on Blyth Street earlier this year. Sound familiar? They are hard to miss! If you haven’t seen them yet, don't worry, you can check them out until September 2015.
Similarly to these pieces, the Light Spectrum of Existence exhibition follows the same theme of bright colours and interesting plays on textures and light. The exhibition is part of SALA Festival 2015, and Grant has used this platform to share an array of pigments and hues. ‘I am fascinated by the use of light by both photographers and traditional painters,’ says Grant, ‘one of my biggest challenges, and also where I find satisfaction, is to express how I perceive light around me.’ It is these perceptions that attracted both Hack and Haese to attend the launch night for the exhibition on Saturday 12th July 2015.
Very familiar with Tincat Café and its art scene, it was Hack who officially opened the exhibition, which seemed only fitting as some of her earliest works were exhibited within the same space. 'It is so important to support Adelaide artists,' Hack said at the opening, 'Plus I absolutely love colour and Leah has done such an amazing job with it!'
The Lord Mayor of Adelaide was also there supporting the Adelaide art scene, and he and his wife, The Lady Mayoress of Adelaide Genevieve Theseira-Haese, were amongst the large crowd who had come to appreciate Grant's work. 'I felt very overwhelmed and just honoured,' says Grant of the attendance of Hack and Haese, 'I didn't expect it and I'm really just so thankful for their support.'
Grant describes herself as a contemporary artist, but feels that she is still in the process of finding her own style and technique. However, she has zoned in on a particular fascination for the Light Spectrum of Existence exhibition. ‘My inspiration comes from the temporary nature of light,’ she says, ‘although it may return, it’s only when light is shining on an object, that in that unique moment, it can be seen in that exact colour.’
This description of Grant’s inspiration for Light Spectrum Of Existence seems to perfectly pull together all the feelings that the exhibition pieces arouse in the viewer. With pops of pigments and the clashing of bold and decadent colours, the pieces seem to do exactly as Grant describes, capturing a unique moment. ‘The light reactions that can often go unnoticed capture my attention,’ she says, ‘when a ray of sun escapes through the clouds or when a street light sheds a beam of brightness towards me, I am mesmerised.’
If you are compiling a list of SALA Festival exhibitions to see this year, be sure to make Light Spectrum of Existence high on your list. With Tincat Cafe offering the cosy and quirky surrounds to Grant's mesmerising work, the entire experience will leave you feeling inspired and enlightened. The exhibition is running from 12th July- 23rd August, however, Grant’s work will also be exhibited at the Norwood Town Hall and at The Adelaide Art Walk event. So you can rest assured- there will be plenty of pigments and colour to go around!
All photos by Rachel Darling