Meet the Artists of ACE’s ‘Studios: 2022’ (Part 1) – CityMag – CityMag | Ad On Picture

The five artists selected for Adelaide Contemporary Experimental’s year-long residency program are now exhibiting their work, so we asked Dani Reynolds, Ash Tower and Chelsea Farquhar how their time at the arts institution has influenced their practice.

Adelaide Contemporary Experimental’s annual artist residency returned in 2022, with work by the five artists selected by guest curator Megan Robson now on display at the gallery.

Called Studios: 2022The exhibition features artists Dani Reynolds, Ash Tower, Chelsea Farquhar, Shaye Dương and Cecilia Tizard whose artistic practices include photography, sculpture, installation, printmaking, performance and most notably wig making.

Now that the public can see the results of the year-long residency program, we caught up with some of the artists to find out how their time at ACE has shaped their practice and careers.

We’ll be doing this in two installments, so read on to hear from Dani, Ash and Chelsea.


Daniel Reynolds

Describe the work you created for the Studios: 2022 exhibition.
The widest wig work in the world
started publicly with an event on November 12th where I attempted to win the Guinness World Records title of Widest Wig. The record was held by Drew Barrymore, who won the title live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2017.

This event was structured by Guinness World Records’ strict and comprehensive evidentiary requirements. I presented and modeled the wig for the first time in a public space where selected officials (a surveyor, a special investigator and a wig specialist) observed the registered record attempt and judged the hairpiece for its manufacture, materiality and width.

In accordance with the guidelines, the entire record attempt was documented in detail by video and photography; This documentation, along with testimonies from the independent witness and expert and a comprehensive list of required evidence, will be compiled and sent to GWR for formal consideration.

After the record attempt and for the remainder of the exhibition, the wig is placed on a specially designed large wig stand and accompanied by video documentation of the attempt.

How has the ACE residency influenced your work?
A dedicated studio space was fundamental to my ability to create this work. The opportunity to work with guest curator Megan Robson, as well as the opportunity to exhibit my work in the ACE gallery, drove me to pursue an ambitious project, knowing that the momentum created by this opportunity will be direct for the next few years could affect my career for the better. Access to an incredible exhibition coordinator like Brad Lay has also expanded the potential to deliver the kind of installation presentations I want to present with confidence and ease.

How has your practice developed during your time at ACE?
The “professional” aspect of my practice – i.e. the business of being an artist – is probably what has been put to the test and developed further over the course of the year. Meeting curators, working with an author and working closely with a curator to achieve an exhibition result was all new to me.

Did the other artists on the program influence you during the residency?
Working with others in a studio and incubator-like program means it’s nearly impossible not to influence and be influenced by each other. We all have significantly different practices and approaches, but so much care and investment has gone into each other and into our projects. From providing advice on choosing a specific key colour, borrowing a sewing machine, recommending people for my creative team, debriefing a difficult moment or sharing a meal, the other studio artists all contributed to my residency and thesis experience.

What’s next for you?
Exciting to be able to answer that question as I am traveling to Clermont-Ferrand, France for the Artistes en résidence 100 day residency program followed by further research on the Guinness World Records project in Denmark and London! This upcoming six month period dedicated solely to my practice feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity for which I am incredibly grateful and looking forward to it.


ash tower

Describe the work you created for the Studios: 2022 exhibition.
The work I did for Studios: 2022 draws on a range of historical references from architecture, archeology and technology. I have researched the history of nuclear technology and integrated this research into objects typically associated with funerary architecture – tombs, mausoleums and rooms containing religious relics. The resulting sculptures and drawings synthesize some of the religious references recognizable in churches or cathedrals along with some of the aesthetics we associate with technology and modernity.

How has your ACE residency influenced your work?
The ACE residency has given me plenty of time and space to reflect on this new work and opportunities for feedback as it has been produced. My work often begins with long periods of research, and meeting other artists and curators through the ACE Studio program has deepened the work through discussions and other opportunities.

How has your practice developed during your time at ACE?
Since starting my time at ACE, I have felt much more comfortable in my practice and look forward to spending more time on the projects I have started here. The situatedness I feel at ACE has allowed me to reflect on my practice for a longer period of time, which has encouraged me to continue iterating and refining the work. It was also a great experience to see how a nationally important institution like ACE works and to get a taste of this higher level of institutional art practice.

Did the other artists on the program influence you during the residency?
Sharing a studio with the other artists has broadened my understanding of different practices and approaches. I benefited from watching the other artists solve problems, make decisions and offer advice (and it was great to get to know them as people, too). While everyone’s practice is very different, I believe in the work Studios: 2022 will have interesting conversations throughout the gallery space.

What’s next for you?
I look forward to continuing to develop this work that began at ACE. With some of the relationships I’ve built over the year, I’m looking to refine my work even further.


Chelsea Farqhar

Describe the work you created for the Studios: 2022 exhibition.
I have created an ambitious collection of objects dealing with risk and theatrics. Inspired by the glamor and danger of the early 20th century circus, these works are playfully absurd and melancholy.

How has your ACE residency influenced your work?
This body of work is the most ambitious work I have ever done. I have advanced my technical skills in casting large body parts, making many intricate beads and textiles, and making large and detailed lead lights.

How has your practice developed during your time at ACE?
I honed my skills, reconsidered what my practice might look like, and created work that would not have been possible without the studio and support of the ACE team.

Did the other artists on the program influence you during the residency?
The other studio artists have been so generous with their support, advice and knowledge. I feel very fortunate to have shared this opportunity with all of you.

What’s next for you?
I’m going to take a little break and then jump back in with a few group shows interstate and locally in 2023.


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