Earlier this year, we sent 8 lucky winners to complete exciting internships in South Australia. Today’s blog comes from one of those winners, Camilla, who worked at The Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, home to one of Australia’s great art collections. Following her placement, Milly chose to stay on and explore Australia further, backpacking around the country.
I was instantly struck by the hotchpotch of architecture they have in South Australia. Flanked with looming glass towers over Victorian brickwork, straight, flat avenues of road are cornered with French-colonial balconies.
I was fortunate enough to live, work and breathe in South Australia’s principal city, Adelaide. A mentee at the Art Gallery of South Australia, I wasn’t disappointed by the breadth of art and style across the city. I arrived just in time to begin work on the ‘Fashion Icons’ exhibition, there was never a dull moment working at the gallery.
My mentor, Mark Horton, was inspiring and supportive, he encouraged me to not only learn about the curatorial side of the museum world, but also management in the arts field. My working holiday has been invaluable, both for my C.V, and for my outlook on life as a whole.
Here are more reasons why:
1. Breathtaking beaches
I have always fancied beachside living. Staying at Grange, I had the luxury of walking past views out to sea every single day. The water, like the light here, is always full of different vivid colours. The sand is soft and the air fresh. Bliss.
2. No worries
I really struggled at first with this – in London you become part of the ant hill, racing around, bumping in to coffee wielding businessmen and furrow browed tourist at every turn. In Adelaide, the vibe is laid back, the outlook easy-going. No one seems to be in a rush, so you can really let the experience of South Oz sink in.
3. Food and wine
The first thing I discovered about Adelaideans was their penchant for coffee. Everywhere you turn, the aromas of roast beans are never far behind you. Glutton that I am, I have sampled everything I can get my mitts on since being out here.
I came out here indifferent to the joys of a well-balanced glass of vino, but Hugh (Yalumba mentee based in the Barossa) soon trained us up on all things wine. Groovy Grape tours and friendly Adelaideans alike, have all instilled in me a love of the good stuff. You can sip your favourite new tipple in a variety of cool places, from trendy wine bars on Peel Street, to dark and cosy hotels surrounding Rundle Mall and the CBD.
4. Natural beauty
Kangaroo Island, McLaren Vale, the Barossa… I can’t stress enough how underrated South Australian countryside is. To whet your appetite, I’d recommend a Groovy Grape tours wine tour on another cloudless Sunday. Throughout the countryside, vineyards were stripped, bulbous hill swelled out of the ground, and sweet place names cropped up – Yakalilla, Lovelock Road, Normanville. These were usually scattered with old fashioned bungalows and full gardens.
5. All things arty!
Wile away a day along the hallowed cultural precinct that is North Terrace, then go on a street-art wander around the city in the afternoon sun. In the AGSA (Art Gallery of South Australia), you can get lost in the fascinatingly curated, diverse works on offer. Stroll east, and see Tandanya’s offerings of contemporary Aboriginal art.
On a Thursday night, the University of South Australia’s Samstaag Gallery is open until late, so you can ponder on art by upcoming Australasian artists, before discussing them in the pub with your mates.
The experience of working in Adelaide has changed my life. I was encouraged to learn about the curatorial side of the museum as well as management in the arts field and it’s been invaluable for my CV. Art world here I come!