Gallery Profile ⟶ The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre (SA) — Experimenta

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Last week we opened Experimenta Life Forms on Boandik land at The Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre. We’re very excited to share the exhibition with audiences along South Australia’s Limestone Coast, so we sat down and had a chat with Diana Warnes, manager of the Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre.

Q: Thanks for having us Diana! What about the Experimenta Life Forms exhibition do you think will be of most interest to your audiences?

This exhibition is a great opportunity to show the diversity of contemporary artistic practice in Australia, and further afield. We recently had an exhibition by a local artist, Luke Pellen, whose work is centred on the potential of AI – it was really popular, so we’re looking to build on that interest for audiences by hosting Life Forms. Work that plays with philosophical viewpoints is always going to spark curiosity and provocation, and it’s our hope that Life Forms will encourage bold conversations and new ways of looking.

The nightly Cave Garden/Thugi evening light show at The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre

Q: The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre hosts a number of collections and exhibitions at the same time – tell us about some of the other exciting programs happening over February and March.

Every evening the Riddoch displays a light and projection show which takes place in the nearby heritage listed Cave Gardens/Thugi, sharing the Boandik story of Mah the Cockatoo, along with historical footage from the region. The Riddoch also features a theatrette, which showcases a twice-daily screening of Volcano, an hour-long film that explores the geological history of the southeast. 

Q: The gallery has such a great group of supporters that help champion exhibitions like ours – tell us more about your volunteers and the tours you offer.  

The Riddoch offers monthly tours, which are led by our staff. We do have a terrific group of dedicated volunteers, who assist with our exhibition changeovers. Two of our volunteers, Judy (pictured below) and Roger, spent a couple of days to transforming our white walled gallery into a black box.

Judy with a drill
Riddoch volunteer Judy
Local life forms: sea urchins

Q: Are there any life forms native to the Mount Gambier area that you want to share with us?

Port MacDonnell is just a 20 minute drive away and there are plenty of rugged beaches to go beachcombing on – or even spot a seal! Most Sunday afternoons my cousin and I find sea urchins washed up on the beach. Closer to Mount Gambier is Mount Schank, which has kangaroo grass and bluebells flowering on the volcanic rim, while nestled in amongst the trees is an abundance of bird life – once we spotted a golden whistler. Within Mount Gambier, it’s great to take a lap around the beautiful Blue Lake/Warwar where you can spot plenty of blue wrens and red browed finches – and of course magpies!

Local life forms: a seal
Local life forms: kangaroo grass

Experimenta Life Forms: International Triennial of Media Art explores the changing notions of life by 26 contemporary artists. Presenting at The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre, Mount Gambier (SA) 4 February – 12 March 2023