From the very opening, Tender Napalm twists like a bite to the lips. Within this play, both beauty and brutality lie close to one another. Love and hate, violence and tenderness, are the shared blade of a doubled-edged knife.
The players of Tender Napalm are an unnamed man and woman, played by Mark Healy and Carol Lawton respectively. Outside of the immediate narrative, much of the backdrop of the relationship history of these characters is left unspoken. Instead, it simmers under the surface tension of the push-and-pull of their power dynamics. The aftermath of tragedy lies underfoot as love, sexual desire, and violence play out between the characters. Their histories are gestured at but largely remain unspoken; even at the end, you do not know the precise details of what has happened to them. Healy and Lawton carry this tension in an incredibly dynamic, believable performance. There is a real feeling of deep connection between them, both of love and resentment. Their chemistry is such that, at times, the audience is like an eye through a keyhole; transgressively voyeuristic.
The tension of this play is masterfully maintained; the interplay of love and violence depicted is adversarial and uplifting at turns – but never boring. Just when the characters seem to have plumbed the depths of animosity, something softens. Similarly, tenderness is turned to confrontation in moments. Raw emotion is tempered with biting humour. 80 minutes goes swiftly. There is a tangible sense that Healy and Lawton sunk their teeth into the meat of their roles, and it is a delight to watch. Lawton brings a pleasingly vicious delight to moments of savagery that have men in the audience crossing their legs. Healy especially impresses; the honesty of his acting during some of the play’s quieter and more emotional moments is riveting to behold.
At times Tender Napalm is uncomfortably, unflinchingly vivid, in others it is tenderly, poetically beautiful, but it is gripping in all moments. The play closes the way it opened, on a man and a woman in a quiet embrace. This is what it means love, to hold, to hate; “a bullet between the lips… without breaking a single tooth”.
Some Days is the debut memoir of Lucy Moffatt, which focuses on the friendship between her and Chelsea. It is a part coming-of-age story, an attempt to come to terms with grief, third wave feminist manifesto, and an exploration of the human heart. This book was a comfort to read, to have experiences which were so close to my own on the page: the struggle to fit in, grappling with mental health, and the assurance that being fifteen was a bad time for everyone.
Moffat’s “one last long, winding chat with the memory of her best friend,” Chelsea, entreats us to the private memories, personal feelings and her process of piecing herself back together after the devastating loss of her best friend. Entwining Chelsea’s blog posts throughout the memoir transforms it from being purely Lucy’s story into both Chelsea and Lucy’s story, spanning from their first meeting as five-year-olds to their last conversation.
Gut-wrenching and uplifting at the same time Some Days reminds the reader that tragedy can strike at any moment. While there may never be that picture-perfect sense of closure we long for, Moffatt is a shining example that the human heart is stronger than we think.
The book was sometimes a struggle to read due to the depth of emotion, as with non-ficiton there is no ability to remind myself that this didn’t actually happen, that no one is feeling this amount of anger, depression and sadness. However, Some Days is an important read. It is not just a book about death but about growing up and finding your identity amidst a world which portrays female friendship as either gossiping over cocktails or fighting for male attention, rather than the complex relationships that they are. Moffatt makes it clear that she seeks to break those stereotypes and highlight the positive impacts of female friendship through her memoir.
While I occasionally struggled to get a clear picture of Chelsea in my head, I saw the strength of their friendship, through the beautifully written recollections of memories. Reading it, I knew that I had access to the most vulnerable side of the author and an intimate view into her heart at a time of extreme grief.
This memoir speaks to the universal experiences of love, loss, and growing up. It is a must read for everyone, written by a local author who truly encapsulates what the Adelaide arts have to offer.
South Australia is quickly becoming the prime location for those looking for employment in the STEM fields. For those who are uncertain, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. These fields currently offer diverse career opportunities, from medical advancements to the Australian Space Agency. However, there is one a vital component to STEM fields: Arts.
Arts and STEM have been inspiring each other for years, from Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics to the hard-scientific facts which make Andy Weir’s The Martian more realistic. This combination of STEM and the Arts is better known by professionals as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). STEAM has already been making itself known in South Australia, appearing at arts festivals and used to show off new locally developed technology.
In the 2017/2018 budget, the state government invested $250 million into Education to deliver more STEM topics to primary and secondary schools. Flinders University’s Tonsley Campus and its Innovation Hub, alongside the Medical Research and Science Centre (the cheese grater on North Terrace) are some STEM-focused buildings which now make up part of the Adelaide skyline.
It is expected STEM funding will increase with the new budget due in September. In 2018 the Adelaide Fringe generated $16.6 million at the box office and added $29.5 million to the state economy, as set out in their annual report. It is also the highest earning arts festival in Australia, generating a total of 39% of all multi-category ticket sales in the country. These figures show there is money in both STEM and the Arts in South Australia. Combined, they will make a far bigger impact on the local culture and economy than they do separately. Including Arts in STEM education will learning more interactive and fun while STEM in festivals like the Fringe more engaging and interactive.
Modern technology has been heavily influenced by the arts. Many hardware and software engineers/programmers have long been inspired by technology in science fiction. One example of this is the Adelaide based company Voxon Photonics. Their technology, the Voxon VX1, is a 3D volumetric engine that was inspired by science fiction, more specifically Dejarik in Star Wars: A New Hope. For it to work, they required the aid of the STEM fields, especially engineering and mathematics (key components in hardware and software design). They create games to demonstrate their technology’s power. The VX1 was showcased in the Indie Games Room at AVCon 2018, allowing the public to interact with their exciting new technology. While the VX1 can do other things like medical imaging, art shows its power off in a more engaging way. Voxon Photonics has advertised pushing to get more local games developed for the VX1, showing it off at Game Plus (a co-working digital games space on Pirie Street) in June 2018.
Recent advances in science and technology have influenced the Adelaide arts scene. One example is the University of South Australia’s Museum of Discovery (MOD). Opened in 2018, MOD on North Terrace is where visitors can engage with science and technology through art (STEAM). Their current displays are a showcase on the future STEAM can bring. One example being the genetic modification of children, if they’re to survive on Earth from choices made today. This allows visitors to witness these changes first hand. For more on MOD, check out our review here.
In terms of festivals, 2017’s OzAsia Festival saw an international example of STEAM. This was Keiichiro Shibuya’s The End, starring Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku. Unlike a traditional opera, The End is entirely virtual, containing only Miku and showcases the relationship between art and technology. This also is a reflection on the term vocaloid itself, as Miku is actually nothing more than computer software herself. Another example of STEAM is coming to 2018’s OzAsia. Called War Sum Up, it is a 21st-century electronic opera that is summed up in three words “Music. Manga. Machines.” This unique blend will be showcasing technology working alongside Japanese Noh theatre.
The South Australian Government should be pushing STEAM rather than just STEM. It is already happening around Adelaide, and if given that extra boost, can help make Adelaide stand out against other Australian cities. STEAM can help bring more young people to Adelaide and benefit other fields like tourism and education. A STEAM revolution has the potential to completely reinvent Adelaide, making it a younger, more vibrant city.
What are your thoughts? Should South Australia be aiming towards a STEAM future rather than a STEM one? Leave your comments below.
Words by Cameron Lowe
Cameron Lowe is a horror and sci-fi writer, editor and student. He’s had fiction and articles featured in Speakeasy Zine and Empire Times. He loves to read, play video games, and drink green tea. He’s one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times. He tweets at @cloweshadowking.
The Jade has long been a staple of Adelaide’s music scene and nightlife. It’s seen live music aplenty, creative readings, album launches, weddings, birthdays, and plenty of other varied events besides. Recently, Liam McNally sat down with Jade owner Zac Coligan to talk about the Jade’s history, it’s unique style, and even the establishment’s year-long absence as they moved venue.
You’ve been here for a while now. How much has the business changed over that time?
A fair bit. When we first moved in, we were expecting the older model of 95% live music and so we’ve set this room up, double insulated the roof. We do get lots of live music still but a lot of it is special occasions. I think some younger bands are a bit intimidated by this room. We get a lot of CD launches and things like that. In saying that, we’ve got a bunch of gigs happening. But what it’s morphed into is a lot more of a café culture here as well.
And perhaps more of an events space as well?
Yeah. People start to hear about us – and for us, it’s always word-of-mouth. We get a lot of different theatre shows, and seminars, and Music SA have done a lot of things here with guest speakers. We’ve got much more diverse events here which has been great.
This space is here to be used and it’s really quite a good space for all sorts of things. Especially quieter events.
How different is it to the old venue? (The Jade Monkey, on Twin Street).
When we initially started it (the Twin Street venue), we didn’t realise when we got our licence, we could only open from 9pm. We got an extension after a few years. It was a night time thing. And it was all about gigs. Every week there was two or three gigs on.
We’re mixing it up a lot more here because the space is a bit more flexible, whereas the old Jade was about the live music scene fundamentally.
Was there a conscious choice in changing the nature of the venue? You call it the Jade now rather than the Jade Monkey.
To be honest, we dropped the ‘monkey’ because my lovely wife Naomi hated that for years.
It was an interesting decision when we set up this place because we wanted to make it bright, and maybe ‘prettier’, if you will. It’s interesting as when you do a place like that, it kind of evokes the style of clientele you have. We get a good range here. Most people feel comfortable. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious shift but at the same time we wanted to entertain everything. And that’s the way it’s rolled, to be honest.
We made a real effort with this space. It’s a great spot for bands and it sounds wonderful in here.
Where did the name come from?
Initially it was because it was hidden little space and there’s that whole thing behind finding the jade monkey which is also a Simpsons joke.
How did bringing the food van, Phat Buddha Rolls, in change things?
It’s made a huge difference. We do everything ourselves, Naomi and I. There aren’t many places when it’s just two people running a venue, particularly of this size. We did food at first and it was very time consuming and difficult to get the numbers out quick. We did it for a little while and then went, ‘you know what? Let’s just outsource it’. We decided to approach Fork on the Road and get a food truck. It’s been really, really good.
It’s been about bringing people here to sit down and have a coffee, for us. And to bring people to sit down in the afternoon, to have a café culture, you need food.
What kind of difference has the location had?
[The proximity to] Rundle Mall didn’t have any advantage to us at all at the old Jade. We were only really open after 9pm as well. I feel that with this place because we’re lucky enough to have a really nice garden, and we’re set back from the road, people are often a bit confused about what’s going on. We’re not fans of putting a big ‘$10 parmi’ sign on the front. Every day we get someone who comes in and says they’ve walked past the place 50 times and now they’ve come in the door. Once we get them in the door we usually get them back.
Having a garden makes a huge difference. People love hanging out here. In summer, it’s just wonderful. A good space to be.
There are more separated spaces here than there were at the old place.
And that’s a huge difference for me. When you were part of the old Jade, you were part of the gig. If the gig bombed, you felt that. If the gig went off, you felt that. Now because [the bar is] separate [to the performance space] you still feel it but it’s a different thing.
It’s really good in that respect because you can have the front bar open all the time. People can just drop by for a drink any time they like but also you can have your own space here where everyone’s here to see the band.
How did that changeover period between the Twin Street venue and here go?
It took us a year. A lot of the problems were finding a space but also a year before we started looking at this place, a club called Heaven had been started here and terrorised the neighbourhood. They ended up in court and then they did a runner. We still saw some bills coming in that weren’t for us.
The neighbours didn’t want us here. I reckon there were about six months of roundtable discussions with liquor licencing. It was us against the residents, the church, and an architecture firm across the road.
We just persisted and they gave up in the end because we made a good case but they were trying to wait us out to get us to not do what we were doing.
People ask me about that time, did I think it was going to happen again? I had no doubts it was going to happen again. I didn’t know when.
The last weekend of the old Jade was a big event.
We did a big final weekend. I just handpicked all the bands I wanted to play. It was good. It was a really fun weekend. My manager here now, Josh, played on the Thursday night with his band, the Funky Scum Rumour. I got some rock bands like BTA and indie bands like Steering by Stars and my band, The Sea Thieves, played on the Sunday. It was a good way to see it out.
Considering your neighbours in the St Paul’s Creative Space, does that have an impact in who tends to come here?
We’ve done a lot of good things with those guys. And they’ll come over and say they want to do something and we go yeah. We’ve got a really good relationship with them. It’s funny because lots of people I’ve known for years in the music industry are working next door.
As far as neigbours go, couldn’t be any better.
They take up the lion’s share of the building so we wouldn’t have moved in without something like that next door. You don’t want someone starting a club there. Not that they’d be able to. There’s no way anyone’s going to do that ever again because they’ll end up in court before they start.
Did you get to have such a diversity of events at the old place – like spoken word events?
We did, but to be honest, the old place was all about the local music scene. So that’s what we had going on. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, we had gigs. We did have some spoken word nights though. We were 100% reliant on the event to make our money for the night. We still are to a certain degree here but we’re already open every Thursday and Friday night regardless of whether we’ve got something on or not. You can take a bit more of a punt as well. Some band gets in touch with us and says they’ve never done a gig before and they want to go a gig. We can go ‘sure, maybe a Thursday night, see how it goes and go from there.’ It’s even better for us here because we don’t have to concern ourselves whether they bring 300 people or ten. It obviously helps but it makes it a bit easier to entertain that.
We definitely had to rethink the nights we gave people at the old place because that’s 100% what we were about [there]. Bands brought people, we made money, they didn’t, we made no money.
We’re separate rent, separate tenancy – everyone thought we’re on some government-funded thing which was quite annoying because we are not at all. It’s all down to us.
Walking into Fanny Adams Vintage the first thing I noticed was how entrenched in 80s and 90s pop culture it was, with the walls of the staircase covered in movie posters. Stepping into the kitchen area, murals by different artists covering the walls, my eyes were drawn to the enchanting replication of a large tree – its blue, purple and green hues gave it a mystical element. In the adjoining room racks full of denim, t-shirts and pants sat ready for purchase, all of which had their own original and personal flair, customised to maintain originality. Fanny Adams Vintage is also home to Project Awesome, a collection of colourful, pop-culture influenced, customised denim by local Adelaide artists, with each design being unique and never again to be replicated.
I sat down with Tiphany (owner of Fanny Adams Vintage) in the kitchen area, parallel to the television which played Dirty Dancing, while Blondie’s Atomic played in the background.
When did you initially set up the store and what did you envision it would become?
It started off as being online and then a pop-up store at the Fringe which was located just on Pirrie Street. I always wanted it to be a physical location. Online, [it] was just easier to start that way but I always just wanted my own space. The pop-up store went quite well. I was supposed to stay there for a little bit longer, four weeks of the Fringe and then the option to stay on but at the last minute it was offered to a big chain store, so I had to bump out the last day of the Fringe – that was a bit of a panic. This place popped up within the next week which was lucky. It just snowballed into that and so now in this premise because it’s a little bit bigger we can do events and stuff.
When Fanny Adams first started it was just vintage clothes as that was my first passion. I personally like vintage clothes because they’re unique, nobody else has got it… I don’t like looking like everyone else with what I wear. I like having things no one else can have. I started seeing all this customised denim on Instagram and it didn’t seem fair that only models get customised denim jackets. I want one as well. And I know I can’t make one but I can definitely get hold of jackets and I know people who can make one. That’s how Project Awesome started. I just found five artists that were willing to come on board and give it a try. And I was working at another vintage store at the time so I stocked the jackets through the store as well as on Etsy just to sort of test the market and to see how well they would actually sell in Adelaide and they did really well so that was the beginning of 2017 and the by mid-year I did a second run of denim jackets and then by the end of the year I was gearing up to do the pop up store at the Fringe so I had twenty artists on board by the end of the year.
I just kept going with it. People seem to like it. It’s a popular concept and that grew again because all of the artists involved kept saying how much they would like to connect with other artists and that it can feel quite isolating working as an artist you don’t really get that often a chance to connect to other people and to talk about contacts and processes. So we had a catch up drinks and that went really well.
The Project Awesome crew – or the Fanny Pack as I like to call them – they’ve grown into quite a little artist collective. Everything that is stocked in the shop now that’s all ‘Pack’ merchandise.
Now we’ve got the events as well. We had a music gig last Saturday, [the 28th of July]. Again, the musician was one of my artists.
Have there been any changes to the original vision?
Yes, definitely. It just keeps growing. I didn’t set out with the intention of being an artist collection. And I certainly didn’t set out with the intention to do events either. That’s all just sort of formed from the response from the artists. They’ve just been so wonderful to work with I just wanted to help the artists themselves and [offer] different ways of getting them out to a further audience than to what they would do on their own. I have no idea what’s coming next but that’s part of the fun.
Where did the name Fanny Adams come from?
I wanted a name that was like an old school saying you’d hear your grandparents but wanted a name that wasn’t as typical as a lot of the names around at the time. I liked the fact that it broke down to FA the beloved Aussie slang ‘fuck all’. Fanny Adams was one of the first things that popped into my head and it kind of just stuck. It was catchy and a little bit risqué on some levels.
What do you want your customers to feel when they enter the store? What experience do you want them to have?
I would love Fanny Adams to be seen as the ultimate safe space for self-expression and creativity. I want them to feel happy and comfortable and inspired which seems to be happening and seems to be the feedback I’m getting from a lot of people which is great. With the clothing in particular I’ve always had the mindset that it’s not male or female. It’s unisex. It all should be unisex. I want anyone that comes in that is on any kind of journey of self-expression or self-discovery to feel free to be able to try anything on. If you put it on and it feels good and it fits then wear it. It’s not ‘oh I can’t because that’s a girl thing’. I want to try and cultivate that kind of mindset, to help be more inclusive.
What do you feel sets Fanny Adams out from other stores?
I think it’s the combination of the product offering. I try to keep the stock quite specialised to 80s and 90s but Project Awesome really is the standout and that’s really what I want the focus to be on helping Adelaide and the Adelaide artist crew. The jackets are such unique pieces, having a specific collection from a group of so many different people, so many diverse styles, in one direct spot.
What project have you been most proud of?
The jackets and the fact that the artists have got together so beautifully and that has become a collective has become incredibly rewarding and that definitely has become a driver for me and I’ve realised that what I really want to do is not just have a shop but the real joy comes from working with these amazing, creative, talented people of so many different backgrounds and all of them have been a delight to work with and so willing to participate.
If you could tell your customers one thing before they entered the store what would it be?
Just to not be shy. Come in and experience all of it. Don’t be afraid to try something different, to find the inner you, to let it come out whether that be through art or clothes or whether that’s through your choice of music. I’m a lover of pop culture because I believe it is a reflection of our time and can be a reflection of yourself and that’s really important to discover and be true to.
Could you please explain your involvement with SALA and what do customers and festival attendees have to look forward too?
We have a registered SALA event and is called ‘Radelaide on Denim’, which does have a hashtag and does have an Instagram page as well. It is a collection of 15 of my artists involved. There will be a hung exhibition of their artwork. We are launching on 11th of August which is our opening night and on that night, we will also be holding a little mini fashion parade, showcasing all of the jackets and we will have all of the hair and makeup done by Colour Cosmetica.
The exhibition will remain hung until the 31st of August. All artworks will be available for sale. The shop will be trading as normal. Kick off at 6 o’clock. Doors open at 6, parade at 7 and we’ll be going through until 10. It’s a free event as well.
Are there any future projects we can look forward too?
During Feast Festival we are hosting an installation by Danny Jarrett, who’s one of my artists. He will be commandeering this kitchen space into what I believe will be called ‘Queerzone’. We will definitely have a launch night for that and are looking into booking a second event to tie in with the Feast Festival.
I’ve wanted to start aiming for an event a month, so we’re probably going to try and do some more music gigs.
Can’t wait for Fringe, God knows what we’re going to do.
I personally cannot wait to see what Fanny Adams will create next. Not only are the clothes on offer original, fantastic and vintage, it has become a refuge for artists and a place where art can flourish. Adelaide’s local artist scene plays such an important role in a unique local business, making it a business to definitely look out for and support.
The Helpmann Academy is an important part of Adelaide’s cultural sphere – and it is a name that will surely be familiar to any artists starting their careers in this city. Their offerings of grants and learning opportunities – including masterclasses, seminars, and mentorships – are used by many local artists to get a start in their vocations. For people less actively engaged in the arts scene, they could be an organisation you are unfamiliar with but could well have played a crucial part in the nascent career of a local artist you know.
Behind all this, is a small and dedicated team of individuals working to help offer opportunities to Adelaide’s artists. To discover more about what goes into reaching the results the Helpmann Academy has achieved, Tulpa recently sat down with Jane MacFarlane, the Academy’s CEO.
Helpmann Academy is one of a number of organisations providing support and opportunities for artists. We began by asking who the Academy is geared towards helping. Jane said that they ‘only support emerging artists’, people who are ‘graduates in the first five years of their career’. One of the things she says is important is that prospective Helpmann grantees know ‘they’re not competing against mid-career artists.’ It’s made very clear that for all the significance of Helpmann – that may make it seem imposing to the less experienced artists – it is just for these artists that the Academy exists. ‘A lot of people don’t apply because they don’t feel they’re established enough or they’re not good enough but everyone who applies through Helpmann is starting out in their careers,’ Jane explains.
The process of grant-writing is not one many artists relish but it is a fixture of the artist’s life – particularly in their earlier years. On this matter, though, Jane explains that they are engaged in ‘helping artists as much as we can in their grant applications so we offer to read grants, [and] give feedback. Part of it, for us, is not just in [them] receiving the grant but [also] artists learning skills in grant applications that will hopefully help them in the long term.’ So an artist writing a grant application to the Helpmann Academy will likely receive helpful feedback to get them a step closer to their next application being a successful one.
As to what advice she would have for someone considering applying for a Helpmann grant, Jane says a successful grant is often marked by an approach showing both ‘head and heart’ – the writer of the grant must try to ensure the reader gets a ‘sense of the artist, what they’re doing, and why it’s so important to them.’
The Helpmann Academy has sent artists all over the world – from Iceland to Antarctica. That very morning before the interview, Jane had two artists in to the Academy ‘who just came back from Amsterdam and are living in New York.’ The Academy, she tells Tulpa, judges most importantly ‘what the best thing for that artist is, and what’s going to help them in their career’. Whether the proposal is ‘something very practical and Adelaide-based or something that is quite different and [that] we’ve never seen before’ doesn’t matter so much, according to Jane, rather, it ‘really comes down to the artist and what’s going to be the best thing for them.’
Considering the broad and significant work the Helpmann Academy does for the careers of young and emerging Adelaide artists, there is one important question. What would be the ultimate goal for the Academy? What would it look like with absolute success? Perhaps as one ought to expect, Jane answers, ‘not to exist.’ She elaborates: ‘we want to see artists truly valued and be successful both financially and in terms of their aspirations’. Those who work at Helpmann ‘want to see artists live their dreams and be able to do what they do without having to juggle four or five jobs on top of their practice’.
Asked why the arts are not often more broadly valued, Jane explained she considered it to be the result of a number of factors. One factor being that socially, we tend most to hold sportspeople up and another being that other social infrastructure such as hospitals take precedence for decision-makers. She notes that, according to studies, ‘artists are the most educated profession in the country – and yet they’re the least paid.’
Looking to the shorter-term goals of the Helpmann Academy, Jane says they are trying to look at ‘two main approaches’. One is to continue to open up their masterclasses and seminars up to as many artists as possible. The other approach is to look at ‘ways we can fund larger scale projects and opportunities for artists as well’. In looking to Helpmann’s future, one can also look to their past, as the past three years have seen quite a bit of growth – Jane says they have doubled the amount of support.
As the conversation turns to the state of the arts in Adelaide, Jane explains one of the city’s arts scene’s strongest points is ‘how connected it is’. ‘Compared to other places,’ she says, ‘it is a lot easier to connect industry and organisations and people’. This element directly benefits Helpmann as they ‘have partnerships with lots of other arts organisations and work together with them very successfully.’ As an example of the Adelaide art scene’s ability to connect, Jane puts forward that Adelaide is now UNESCO’s first City of Music. ‘I think that is the music industry coming together really successfully.’ Adelaide’s artistic sphere has clearly been noticed from the outside and its successes rewarded. Embedded in this connectedness of Adelaide’s arts, is Helpmann, and they are well and truly doing their part to connect people, to upskill the city’s creatives, and to provide learning opportunities.
All in all, Jane MacFarlane paints a picture of a city with a lot going for it in its creative industries. There may be more to be done, hence the Academy’s existence, but Adelaide is a city well on its way to greater successes – aided by organisations such as the Helpmann Academy.
Words by Liam McNally
Feature image property of the Helpmann Academy.
Thanks to Jane MacFarlane and the Helpmann Academy