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What happened to the Video Art?

When you visit an exhibition touted as 'the only one of its kind' one expects the main attraction to make an appearance. Unfortunately this wasn't the case when I visited an exhibition by Arts North, based in the City of Playford, Adelaide, South Australia.

I read about this exhibition in two different local newspapers. Both articles talked up the exhibition, particularly the centre piece, a collection of short films created by children as well as 'video art'.

Quotes from one article implied a significantly more substantial display. For example Arts North President, Marissa Dunn, said of the exhibition, "I'm very happy, especially with showing the diversity of the artwork that comes from our society." Further to that the article goes on to say "a wide cross-section of people have been involved in the exhibition - children as young as five up to 85 year olds have all shared their creativity."

Not with standing that no actual figures, in terms of the number of artists exhibiting, were mentioned I was disappointed to find that the display filled only one wall and a small glass cabinet at the venue. All up I'd estimate twenty five to thirty artworks (not much more than can be seen in the photo displayed with this post). To make matters worse, many of the catalog numbers had either fallen off or been removed. There was no way of matching the artists to some of the works (save for trying to match signatures to names).

The biggest disappointment was the Video Art and Children's Short films. The screen (which can be seen in the photo) was still in place but there was no sign of a projector. Only the recess where it once stood, along with an empty power board gave clues as to its expected location. No explanation was given as to why it wasn't present nor who to ask to discover its where abouts. Given that I was specifically visiting this exhibition for the video component, its complete absence reflected badly on my enjoyment and appreciation of the art that remained.

One could perhaps surmise the exhibition was in the process of being taken down? The newspaper articles I read said the display would be on until the end of April. Though, it only being the 26th of April, the 'end of April' was still a few days away.

I tried my best to appreciate the art that remained but, to be honest, the majority of artworks reflected your typical cross section of local community art. Nothing you can't see in any 'art society' exhibition anywhere in Australia. That's not to say there weren't one or two stand outs but overall, not nearly as inspiring as it might have been with the video component operational.

Overall a disappointing experience that would make me think twice about viewing an Arts North exhibition in the future.

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