Wonder and awe at the Magic Object exhibition

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Over the last month, the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace has held a major exhibition titled Magic Object. Attracting both tourists and locals alike, the exhibition included the work of 25 South Australian artists.

Similarly to all forms of artwork, the work allowed viewers to give their own interpretation of the work. According to the Art Gallery of South Australia website, the exhibition is said to portray ‘art that arouses our curiosity to speak to contemporary concerns’, such as industrial issues. I have always loved art and the meaning behind why the artist created the work. For me, the Magic Object seemed to blur the lines between nature and human civilisation, perhaps also merging them together. Multiple displays and shelves on the grey walls were filled with handmade glass creatures with human-like qualities: fish has noses, sharks were on trucks and even plants had faces.

Moving through the exhibition, this noticeable trend constantly appeared as viewers made their way through the gallery. An animated video was also presented for viewers to sit and watch that presented people dancing around a garden with various animals strolling in the background; some of the people themselves were also given animal faces.

By this point, I imagined the meaning of the thematic work was perhaps how though humans are indeed above animals in the food chain or theory of the Chain of Being, we all share the common trait of being animals of nature. An alternate interpretation could also be the impact the industrial human society has had on nature; the production of gas powered cars negatively impacting the environment’s air or the pollution of human waste into water.

Everything Adelaide found the Magic Object to be an intriguing and educational exhibition that is friendly for people of all ages. The event seemed to attract vast amounts of people to the gallery and generate publicity towards the featured artists, which is a great opportunity for South Australian art talents.Being a free event would’ve also welcomed families, students and mature aged visitors to the gallery.

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