In the wake of Fontanelle gallery and studio's expanding from Bowden to Port Adelaide, a new gallery has taken it's place. Sister Gallery, supported by Fontanelle, and run by Ashleigh D'Antonio and Mia van den Bos, officially opened it's doors on Saturday night hosting it's first group show "Optimal Prime Time" and "In the Garden".
Ashleigh D'Antonio is an emerging artist, curator and Co-Director of Sister Gallery. She is curentlly undertaking her final months of Honours at the University of South Australia. Her most recent body of work critiques the male gaze and is heavily influenced by feminist film theory. D'Antonio was awarded the Linda Lou Murphy scholarship in 2016 and has been honoured on the Chancellor's Letter of Commendation. As well as Co-Directing Sister, she has worked across Adelaide for the Samstag Museum, Jam Factory and the AEAF as a gallery installation technician. D'Antonio has exhibited with the Adelaide Council as part of Format Festival at Fontanelle Gallery and Format System Inc.
Mia van den Bos is an emerging artist, curator and the Co-Director of Sister Gallery. She graduated from the South Australian School of Art, UniSA, in 2016 with First Class Honours. Van den Bos’ recent work scrutinises patterns of surveillance, ownership and exploitation on the internet, particularly within corporate social media platforms, such as Facebook. During her studies, van den Bos was awarded the Linda Lou Murphy Scholarship and has exhibited at Fontanelle, FELTspace, Format Systems Inc. and Prospect Gallery. Mia is currently studying Arts Management and is committed to developing a synergistic practice as an arts worker, curator and artist.
Keeping the original Fontanelle Gallery layout, the work for this inaugural show was divided into two spaces. Gallery 0 featured sculpture, installation and wall-based video work, while gallery 1 was dedicated to Gilbert Kemp Attrill's virtual reality piece, In the Garden.
Based on the curatorial rationale of 'Nowness', the Curators Mia and Ashleigh have built the exhibition on the question; in what new ways has our time allowed us to explore the contemporaneity of aesthetics? The artists they have included, Nerissa Kyle, Grace Marlow, Alex Perisic, Alex DeGaris, Isabella Mahoney, Madison Bycroft and Gilbert Kemp Attrill, use a variety of media - experimental play - to respond to this question.
Perhaphs this is most evident in Nerissa Kyle's copper "paintings". Kyle, having recently moved away from traditional absract painting, experiments with painting in the expanded field by mimicking line or a brushstroke in raw copper. Elements of line weight can also be seen in the way the copper has oxidised to Kyle's touch.
The particular interest of this exhibition in emergent technologies is manifest in Alex DeGaris's digital video works. In these works DeGaris explores the duality between our physical existence and online presence, this is developed by creating nebulous, three-dimensional digital sculptures.
Similarly Alex Perisic assemblage focuses on the construction of contemporary identity. Intent on highlighting constructed gender, Perisic presents a conceptual approach to visual puns.
Grace Marlow has also taken the opportunity presented in this exhibition to examine the “bounds between human body and other matter.” In engaging with familiar materials, such as paper mache, Marlow experiments with creating an abstract life-sized form.
Madison Bycroft's work playfully engages with dystopian attitudes through donning the biblical character of Noah. Bycroft explores Judeo-Christian creation narrative in contrast with renewed climate awareness.
Isabella Mahoney makes use of environmental elements in her work, Pure Shores, in which she maps a portion of ocean, translating it to the gallery floor and wall space. Mahoney's work comments on our media driven age by sizing the work to fit the Instagram photographic format.
In the back gallery, Gilbert Kemp Attrill's work, In the Garden, makes use of the relatively new medium of digital virtual reality. The playful exploration of an alternate reality blurs the lines between personal bodily perception and film. Disjointed bodies and appendages allow the viewer to interact with an alternate and ambiguous space. The jarring contrast between virtual and everyday reality is no more evident than when one removes the head set, leaving a black space only to be thrust into the bright light of the white cube gallery.
Opening night at Sister gallery saw people flood the spaces, and enjoy the realisation of Mia and Ashleigh's innovative new concept. Sister has opened its doors with a bold exhibition, that hints at exciting things to come. Fontanelle has continuously championed new and innovative projects in this space, meaning this little Sister has big shoes to fill.
Fontanelle Gallery and Studios retains its premise at Bowden as well as opening its new site at Port Adelaide. Sister Gallery is a Fontanelle supported project.
 M. van den Bos, 2017, Optimal Prime Time, catalogue.