It Came from the Harbour’, a Port Adelaide Artists Forum (PAAF) exhibition will be officially opened by Mike Bossley on 16 May at Gallery Yampu in Port Adelaide. The exhibition is the culmination of a 3-month long community art and citizen science project involving over 200 people designed to celebrate and raise community awareness of the marine and coastal flora and fauna of the Port (of Adelaide) River.
Gallery Yampu, which ironically sits on the river’s edge, has been transformed into an incredible underwater wonderland featuring artistic interpretation, stunning photographs and amazing video footage of the Port River region – much of which – particularly the underwater vision, is rarely seen.
Thanks to the creativity of award-winning Community Artists Bob Daly and Kalyna Micenko visitors will enter a world of exquisitely painted silk banners, papier-maché mangrove sculptures and an 18 metre applique backdrop saturated with colour and creatures. The sense of absorption is completed with a painted floor to reflect the hues and diversity of the flora and fauna of the Port River and ambient underwater soundtrack.
Bob and Kalyna led the community art component of the exhibition whilst Citizen Scientists Dan Monceaux and Emma Monceaux of Force of Nature accompanied members of the public on a Garden Island snorkel excursion to capture the fabulous photos on which the entire exhibition is based. They include many scientifically significant sightings, ranging from tiny sea slugs to large fishes whilst the stunning underwater video vision captured by Dan and Emma gives the public the rare opportunity to glimpse life below the surface and brings to life many more of the Port’s hidden natural wonders, including some nocturnal creatures.
Of the almost one thousand images taken, The Monceaux’ had the unenviable task of selecting twenty for display however the remaining photos were not lost. The iNaturalist.org database to which they were uploaded was utilized by Bob and Kalyna during their work with the community and school students as inspiration to create the wonderful art pieces that, along with the photos and video, give visitors a total sense of immersion into the incredible underwater world of the Port River.
Throughout the three-month long duration, by way of community snorkeling expeditions and dozens of community art workshops in schools and at Gallery Yampu, PAAF members, local school students, naturalists, underwater photographers and interested members of the public have learned via the opportunity to become involved in this incredible project, about the diversity of native and introduced species in the Port River environments. For many for whom this was a first, they also realised they can create magnificent art or take wonderful photos.
As artists, we want to celebrate the less familiar wonders of the Port River environment and encourage people to respond to it with their own creativity and curiosity.
There is so much more in the Port (Adelaide) River than most people are aware. Exploring the underwater world of the river has become more attractive recently as pollution inputs have reduced and mangroves and sea grass meadows show signs of regeneration – Dan Monceaux.
Website: Port Adelaide Artist Forum