Current highlights and projects

Cultural Plan

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Arts and culture play a significant role in fulfilling the lives and identities of a community and contribute to a vibrant and economically viable City. A well-planned and delivered cultural plan can improve our community’s wellbeing and create new connections and experiences.

The Draft Cultural Plan 2021-2026(PDF, 5MB) outlines Council’s commitment to cultural development in our City, critical in shaping a healthy, vital culture and community. It considers current initiatives and future opportunities. 

The Cultural Plan 2021-2026 is now endorsed and will be available to view on Council’s website soon.

SALA in Unley 2021

Joyful Imagining by John Freeman

Artist: John Freeman
Title: Joyful Imagining
Winner: SALA Festival City of Unley Active Ageing Award 2020.

Welcome to 2021 SALA in Unley. We’ve been going for 16 years!

Discover art in a local gallery, shop, business or studio. Discover emerging artists, established artists, community groups, visual art, sculptures, ceramics, photography, mixed media, and much more….

This year’s South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival runs throughout  August, showcasing South Australia's visual artists’ talent and creativity. The SALA Festival celebrates local community and diversity.

In 2021, SALA accepted registrations of physical exhibitions that complied with State Government restrictions & online events (such as online exhibitions, video artist talks, virtual studio tours). 

SALA Festival City of Unley Active Ageing Award

This award is for artists over the age of 60 who are entering this year's SALA festival. This award celebrates the 16th anniversary of the City of Unley’s involvement with SALA and its commitment to promoting and supporting an active ageing approach through Active Ageing Strategy.

Prize consists of $2,000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2022.

This award is open to any resident of South Australia. For more information, please click here.


Artist in Residence Program

St Thomas School Artist in Residence Artwork 1 St Thomas School Artist in Residence Artwork 2

The Artist in Residence program takes place in the alternate year to the biennial All Connections to Unley Art Prize.

Local schools submitted proposals to produce artworks in conjunction with a professional artist. St Thomas Primary School’s proposal, to work with an Indigenous artist, was selected for our inaugural 2020 program.

54 students worked with artist Anna Dowling to produce two large canvases. Each student also produced their own canvas, based on Indigenous iconography chosen by the students and Anna. The two large canvases are on display in the school, creating a lasting legacy of this program. Individual canvases are on display in the school art rooms. Students will take them home at the end of the school year.

Thank you to Carclew, SALA Festival and Adelaide Central School of Art for their guidance and support to deliver this program.

Images Sam Oster/ Silvertrace

Tectonic - King William Road Public Artworks

The City of Unley’s latest public artworks, 'Tectonic', are on King William Road, created by the team of artists comprising Quentin Gore, Gregg Mitchell and Amy Joy Watson. Arising out of the Design King William Road project, the idea of major public artworks on King William Road came about due to the feedback from the co-design and community engagement process, which started in 2018.

The local community identified their desire for art and design that could play a role in creating a unique identify for King William Road and encouraging people to spend more time in the popular precinct.

Tectonic One

Tectonic Two  Tectonic Three

Responding to the written text: ‘Unbuilding Our Home’ from a book titled ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman, artists Gregg Mitchell, Quentin Gore and Amy Joy Watson explore what a world without us might look like through their individual, but linked, sculptural works.  

The artists consider the built environment we live in and place it in the context of the natural world, a subject that will only become more relevant with time. Timeless and elemental materials, granite and steel, which feature in each work, remind us of our place in time and our fragile relationship with planet earth.

With elegance, whimsy and subtlety, the works speak of our inherent connection to nature, time and, by association, the site of King William Road.

'Tectonic' can be found at three locations along the road, on the paved footpath areas in front of 84, 114 and 144 King William Road.

Tectonic One

Quentin Gore

144 King William Road

Tectonic One by Quentin Gore consists of two bulb-like forms made from local black Granite. The larger dimpled adult has sprouted and is heading skywards whilst its younger mate sits quietly alongside observing the passer-bys.

The work was designed to be touched. It speaks of the resilience of the natural world in the face of adversity and our increasingly fragile relationship with planet earth.

Tectonic One - Quentin Gore

Black Granite, Stainless Steel

1@ 300cm x 100cm x 100cm

1@ 100cm x 70cm x 70cm

Tectonic Two

Gregg Mitchell

114 King William Road

Tectonic Two by Gregg Mitchell is a work focused on the balance between nature and the urban environment through time and decay. The elongated table and chair with split granite boulders at the base and precariously nestled above, appear to have been thrust up from the earth below as one in a whimsical way, creating a tension between nature and the built form.

The interpretation of a William Morris wallpaper design sandblasted into the face of the granite infers fossil, while the climbing vine in the garden bed will wrestle with the form to make it home.

Over time the paint will fade, rust spots and stains may appear but the vine will grow, birds may nest and moss may grow on the granite documenting the push and pull between nature and our contemporary ways.

Tectonic Two - Gregg Mitchell

Black Granite, Painted Steel

350cm x 110cm x 110cm

Tectonic Three

Amy Joy Watson

84 King William Road

Inspired by geology and ‘deep time’ Amy Joy Watson has referenced banded rock formations in developing Tectonic Three. The bands or layers of strata speak of time; a significant part of Amy’s practice whose works are often laboriously hand stitched, and are a nod to the thousands of years it has taken for our surrounding landscapes to evolve.

With its bright colours and geometric form it could even be a meteorite that has landed from another world or perhaps a trace of an ancient landscape breaking through the surface of King William Road.

Tectonic Three - Amy Joy Watson

Black Granite, Painted Aluminium.

170cm x 120cm x 100cm

Echo Public Art project

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'Echo' is a permanent public art project for the City of Unley by artist Jason Sims. It is located in Heywood Park, Unley Park, near the southern side intersection of King William Road and Northgate Street.

What is Echo?

Echo is a large-scale geometric sculpture that will use the properties of light and reflection to create a simple illusion of space and form. As described by Jason:
 
"Echo was designed to reflect and respond to its environment, both serving as a vehicle for contemplation and encouraging play. While its dynamic geometric form contrasts with the surrounding natural environment, it also embraces the unique properties of Heywood Park: the work's copper skin transforming in response to the elements, and its mirrored interior reflecting and re-presenting its surrounds."

"Creating a kaleidoscope within, the illusion of space at the core of the work is intended to play with perception and invite interaction."

Purpose of Echo

Echo has a significant presence and impact which has the potential to become an iconic public artwork. It has been designed to reflect the value the Council places on community, heritage and the environment, and thus provide a unique, creative and cultural expression of Unley.
 
The playful, interactive nature of the work ensures it will be accessible and engaging for all age groups and reflects the City's focus on community and the park's role as a communal space designed to support health and wellness.

It will foster connectedness, requiring two or more people, one in the role of player and the other viewer, to enjoy elements of its interactive nature and has the potential to become a 'selfie spot' that becomes iconic to Unley and beloved by locals. Echo will significantly contribute to the park's renewed appeal and vibrancy, as well as increasing awareness and enjoyment of public art.

Echo builds upon a growing amount of high quality and well respected artworks in the public realm commissioned by the City of Unley. It is the most significant and largest artwork Council has commissioned to date.


'Echo' has already been recognised as the most significant large-scale piece of public art in 2019 in South Australia with the award of funding from Arts South Australia. This Major Commission funding is only given for one project per year. 'Echo' is the final public arts commission as part of Council's five year Involve Unley: Public Arts Strategy.

Getting involved in arts 

If you are an artist, performer or community organisation interested in arts and culture in your local community, please contact Cultural Development Officer Matthew Ives on (08) 8372 5134 or email mives@unley.sa.gov.au