Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide
After being banned from Australia twelve years ago, the Saatchi Gallery has finally arrived at the Art Gallery of South Australia with one hundred and fifty works from forty of the UK’s most exciting young artists, each piece handpicked for the exhibition by Charles Saatchi. M&C Saatchi has created a tiered campaign for the launch, starting with a poster and radio campaign that allowed the audience to visualise individual pieces before seeing them featured on some of the largest poster sites in the country. The new release Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now book brings together the audacious best of contemporary art straight from London’s internationally acclaimed Saatchi Gallery.
Tessa Farmer’s Swarm features a myriad of tiny skeletal fairies made from desiccated insect remains, dried plant roots, and other organic ephemera. Posed in dramatic battle formations, Farmer’s menagerie wages war against garden variety pests; each figure, painstakingly hand crafted and adorned with real insect wings, stands less than 1 cm tall.
Click on the image below to play Tessa Farmer’s video.
Tracey Emin’s controversial My Bed sparked a furore as a Turner Prize nomination in 1999 for its confessional revelations of the artist’s sexual exploits and self-destructive lifestyle and became a signifier for the ‘shock’ strategies of the YBAs. Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she’s as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.
Dick Evans’s sculpture, Black Grape features a giant wave towering over the viewer with an air of monumental sadness. Made from silicone carbide, a material used for grinding rocks and cutting diamonds, Black Grape’s dark swell is a metaphor for existential crisis, desire and grief. Personifying his raw force of nature with fag butts and a beverage can, Evans renders a sense of powerlessness in the face of immense beauty and devastation. The palm tree on the drink logo mirrors the curvaceous composition of the wave. Black Grape is a brand of soda popular in the fringes of London society.
Goshka Macuga’s sculpture Madame Blavatsky features a 19th-century Russian aristocrat and founder of the Theosophical Society, an institution based in occult practices that still exists today. Blavatsky was closely associated with the Russian avant garde, an art movement which was expunged by the practical ideologies of communism. One of the tenants in her writings was that somnambulism – a trance-like condition between waking and sleep or ‘life’ and ‘death’ – was a creative state. Macuga’s sculpture pictures a floating Madame Blavatsky (levitation was one of her many spiritual powers), hovering between two chairs. The illusionary technique used is taken from a book on Victorian parlour tricks. The hands and face of the figure are made from carved and painted wood, and are similar to religious icons of the time. Garbed in purple, the colour of both magic and mourning, Madame Blavatsky’s effigy emits a transcendental aura, channelling the dark art of inspiration from beyond.
The Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide campaign was developed at M&C Saatchi, Sydney, by executive creative director Ben Welsh, senior copywriter Andy Flemming, senior art director Shane Gibson, account directors Nadine Dawood Morgan and Georgia O’Brien. Posters were designed by retoucher Justin Bellchambers and typographer Mick Tonello. Sound was designed by Nigel Crowley at Stellar.