Top of Torrens Gallery officially open colourful SALA Festival exhibit

The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival is off to a fabulous start at the Top of the Torrens Gallery in Birdwood with 30 talented members displaying their outstanding work.

Birdwood High School deputy principal Mary-Lou Michael opened the exhibition entitled 'Happy Mediums' on Sunday, July 14and commended the artists for their unique work including paintings in all mediums, photography, woodwork, jewellery, textiles, pottery, prints, bags, art cards and much more.

Talia Dawson was on hand to demonstrate her skills in the making of lino prints, which visitors found very fascinating.

Mary Michelmore has a magnificent range of bronze sculptured animals and some delicate miniature cats made from recycled brass and a vast array of silver jewellery.

Rosie Trenerry has some stylish linen bags with hand stippled patterns.

Viv Liddicoat has a passion for Black Cockatoos and has featured their brilliant tail feathers in her watercolours.

Marie Hume's creativity knows no bounds with her embroidered pictures of the bush and Jenny Anderson's 'Purple and Pink' watercolour of flowers is translucent.

Laurie Barber has emphasised the careful balance maintained by the Sioux Indians, when they hunted the buffalos but only took what they needed for their immediate needs, in his 'Buffalo Hunt, which is alive with movement.

Julie Hayes has captured the rare beauty of the saltbush country in her pastel, which contrasts with Nancy Nieuwenhoven's vision of the 'Colours of the Outback'.

Charles Mace has great talent in depicting the human form in his beach scene acrylics and Barbara Howe certainly captures the need for protection with her roaring waves in 'Lifeguard Hut No 1'.

Ice-creams have made a fascinating subject for Sarah Fawcett's lino cuts and Alison Carter's windswept abstracts are outstanding.

Children have not been forgotten with Ann Davenport's cute little knitted animal characters, while Shirley Klose has grown up children in mind with her octopi in Crows and Port Power colours.

She is also showing a magnificent mohair jacket in black with blotches of pink.

Zena Birtles has captured that elusive misty scene of cows in a clump of trees with her photography, whilst Jan Worden has gone for a more mundane subject to great effect with her 'Coffee and Suds' photo.

Carol Scholick's 'Snuggling Elephants' are outstanding and Alice Shore once again demonstrates her love of animals with her cute little 'Stag safe now in a New Zealand Sanctuary'.

Anne O'Loughlin's 'As Time Goes By' must be one of the most imaginative pictures ever, made up from numerous old time pieces and her 'Whispering Moon' on a circular board and made out of resin is very eye catching.

Joe Denis's pastel of the main street of Birdwood is very apt and her tiny little pottery tea cups go so very well with Shirley Klose's imaginative, pictorial tea cosies.

John Ragless's decorative turned platters and bowls would make a welcome gift and Leon Holmes is presenting his 'Memories of Kangaroo Island' in an acrylic abstract.

Rosemary Rowe's pen drawings of doorways on old buildings draw you in and Rosene Kotz's black and white acrylics Charlie Chaplin bring back happy memories.

They make a good contrast for Annette Dawson's very serious detailed pencil drawing of a very wrinkled and wise looking old gentleman, which contrasts with her delicate coloured lino print of wrens on a native fushia stem.

Master Weaver, Katharina Urban is showing four small pieces with the same subject but different colourings that make a delightful group.

Kylie Mancini has two perfectly symmetrical and colourful mandalas of dots on a black background and Alana Prees is presenting three pieces of wearable art in merino wool, silk, upcycled fabrics and beads that would make anyone wearing them feel like a million dollars.

Talking about merinos, Mike Painter (aptly named) has an acrylic of four merino faces that are so lifelike that one expects to hear them baa.

Make sure that you put the Top of the Torrens Gallery on your list of 'must visit' when you are doing the rounds of the SALA Festival this August.

The gallery is located on Shannon Street, Birdwood.