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Perusing Adelaide Showgrounds' Bowerbird Bazaar

Design, history and world-class theatre – Arts in May

From exhibitions to film festivals; concerts to fairs, this month’s arts menu is looking particularly appetising.


Despite South Australia’s increasingly chilly temperatures, May’s arts scene has ignited with a smorgasbord of events for the creatively-inclined. From exhibitions to film festivals; concerts to fairs, this month’s arts menu is looking particularly appetising.

2016 Biennial of Australian Art, “Magic Object”: 27 February – 15 May

The 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is a Pandora’s Box of obscure creations displayed in multiple galleries throughout South Australia. The theme of this year’s Biennial is “Magic Object”, with works inspired by the mysterious and unknown. Themes include riddle, cultural practices, meanings and manifestations, with a focus on “Wunderkammer” – a room or cabinet used to display magical and talismanic objects.

Exhibitions are showing in the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum, JamFactory, Carrick Hill, Santos Museum of Economic Botany and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Though now at its tail end, there are still some fantastic Biennial events running at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Keep the kids entertained with Cabinet of Curiosities, join a mystery tour or kick-on into the night at Magic Object up Late!

For more information, see the Magic Object website.

Komodo no Hi Festival: 01 May

The Komodo no Hi Festival is Adelaide’s biggest and best Japanese festival, held on 01 May at Cowandilla Primary School.

Last year, the festival attracted more than 5000 attendees. This year you can expect even more Japanese food, activities, performances and exhibitions. Festival highlights include a classic Japanese car display, a large range of antiques, collectables and imported goods, kimonos, street food, martial arts and origami.|

For more information, see the Japan Australia Friendship Association website.

No.58 Cellar Door and Gallery, featuring in Tasting Australia

No.58 Cellar Door and Gallery, featuring in Tasting Australia.

Tasting Australia: 01 May – 08 May

Believe it or not, South Australia’s week-long foray into all things food isn’t just about eating. Throughout the week, you’ll find multiple Tasting Australia events that combine food and culture for an extra tasty experience.

When Australian cooking legend Maggie Beer lends her name to an event, you know it’s going to be good. Add world-renowned chef Simon Bryant, South Australian wine expert Paul Henry and a cocktail of international and local food celebrities, and you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for success.

Tasting Australia is one of the country’s most anticipated culinary festivals; since its beginnings in 1997, it has grown rapidly in popularity, so much so that it is now major event on the South Australian gastronomic calendar.

For more information, see the Tasting Australia website.

South Australia’s History Festival: 01 May – 31 May

Delve into South Australia’s past during May at the SA History Festival 2016. Throughout our State you’ll find over 600 historical events, presented by 340 different organisers.

This is one of South Australia’s largest, most immersive community festivals. Discover some of the State’s best collections, travel to historic locations, and listen to stories of Australia’s past. This year’s highlights include an historic Coorong Station tour, Crime in the Archives talk, Seacliff historic talk, Cummins House tour, Z Ward Ghost and Dark History Tour, Hahndorf “Prussia” Tour and Adelaide Gaol Tour.

For more information and detailed event descriptions, see the South Australian History Festival website.

Adelaide's Festival Centre, lit up

Adelaide's Festival Centre, lit up.

Gorgon, performed by State Theatre Company: 03 May – 07 May

Showing from 03 May to 07 May at the Adelaide Festival Centre, Gorgon is a State Theatre Company produced play exploring the intricacies of young adulthood, the dividing line between friendship and love and the difference between anger and grief.

Already praised by critics as a “deeply impressive debut by a playwright who clearly has much to offer”, Gorgon is written by State Theatre Company on-stage favourite, Elena Carapetis.

Ticket prices start at $38; for more information, see the Adelaide Festival Centre website.

Spanish Film Festival: 04 May – 22 May

The vibrant Spanish Film Festival comes to Adelaide this May from the 4th till the 22nd at the Palace Nova cinema.

This year’s programme includes a fantastic range of award-winning films celebrating Spain’s multicultural landscape and colourful culture. Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela, is a proud Spaniard and hopes the Festival will promote “new and exciting ways to experience and celebrate our cultural and social differences.”

For session times, more information and tickets, see the Spanish Film Festival website.

Bowerbird Bazaar: 06 May – 08 May

The Bowerbird Bazaar is a buzzing design-savvy market running from 2pm – 9pm on Friday 06 May and 10am – 5pm Saturday 07 and Sunday 08 May at The Adelaide Showground.

The Bowerbird Bazaar sells wares from some of Australia’s best designers, makers and artists. Peruse unique, specialty clothing and textiles, furniture, lighting and garden-ware, homewares, jewellery, stationary and prints, artwork and accessories.

Meet the makers, have a chat and pick up one-off pieces, sure to make your friends envious.

For more information and a list of participating designers, see the Bowerbird Bazaar website.

Exploring the beautiful South Australian Museum

Exploring the beautiful South Australian Museum.

Night Lab at the South Australian Museum: 06 May

Don your lab coat and goggles for the South Australian Museum’s Night Lab. Venture to the museum for a night of science, culture and curiosity. Armed with wine and canapes, depart on a journey into the unknown.

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director, David Sefton, will lead a conversation with world-renowned polar explorer and author, Tim Jarvis. Sefton and Jarvis will discuss polar exploration, survival and ponder the big question: what’s left to be explored? Hang out in the Museum’s expansive foyer, mix, mingle and explore exhibits cloaked in darkness.

For more information about Night Lab see the South Australian Museum website.

Gumeracha Medieval Fair: 07 May – 08 May

Those with a penchant for Vikings, knights and pagan tomfoolery will be right at home at this year’s Gumeracha Medieval Fair, held from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 07 May and 10am – 4pm on Sunday 08 May at Gumeracha’s Federation Park.

The Fair’s resident Oracle has predicted that this year’s event will be even bigger and better than last year’s, which attracted over 11,000 magical maidens, princes and peasants.

Wondering what to expect? After further consultation with the Oracle, we can promise a grand parade, solid wooden trebuchet (medieval slingshot), the Kings Horses Equestrian Group (featuring jousting), a combat arena, Viking encampment and medieval music featuring Gawler Irish dancers, Saffron Tribal Bellydancers and Scott’s Highland Dancers.

And it doesn’t stop there. There’s a costume competition, sword-making workshop, native animal nursery and a range of medieval food trucks…well, carts, to be period-correct.

For more information, see the Gumeracha Medieval Fair website.

Fuse Glass Prize: 12 May – 13 May

The Fuse Glass Prize presented by JamFactory is a biennial prize of $20,000, awarded to Australian and New Zealand glass artists. Winners of the prestigious prize will be announced on Thursday 12 May, with finalists’ work displayed at JamFactory on 13 May.

For more information, see the Fuse Glass Prize website.

Swan Lake performed by The Australian Ballet: 26 May – 30 May

See Tchaikovsky’s spellbinding Swan Lake, performed by The Australian Ballet, at Adelaide’s Festival Centre from 26 May till 30 May.

Timeless and mesmerising, Swan Lake beckons audiences into another world. Produced by Stephen Baynes in 2012 for The Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary, it’s a grand-scale production with magnificent set design, costumes and world-class performers.

Tickets begin at $40; for more information see the Adelaide Festival Centre website.
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