January 39°C (102°F). We sit in the cool of the front veranda breathing the crisp dry air of a South Australian heatwave. We watch the front garden micro-activity on the dust-bowl patch of earth that passes for lawn in winter.
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Kendrea Rhodes’ SALA 2022 exhibition comes to you online from an Adelaide Hills kitchen. This exhibition focuses on the analysis of place through art via themes of memory, emotions, disruption, community and connections. It’s about space, place, and people. It’s about living in the Adelaide Hills, in all the transitory places called home: real and unreal, digital, abstract and philosophical.
Artworks are framed and for sale for the duration of SALA throughout August. SALA is the South Australian Living Artist Festival, meaning artists are alive and painting; if you are in the Adelaide Hills, and would like to see this exhibition in person, please click the contact link below.
(Please note, digital artwork and representations may differ from original artworks. Digital art can be printed and purchased upon request)
Centuries of footfall pile up in my mind as I quick march to the hairdresser. I’m running late as usual. I look at my feet. Each step, heal first for maximum pace. Slap the toes down and lift again. The other heal connects. Heal. Slap. Heal. Slap. Rhythmic reverberations of an all too familiar beat. Trekking. Wandering. Walking on a footpath steeped in memories and history. Pathways enduring and adjusting over time — likely before ‘centuries’ too, when it was a well travelled track along the valley floor. Long before gravel, bitumen, concrete and bricks.
Twenty years of memories drip from my mind, splattering onto the paper in front of me. Images. Voices. Saturating the Mindful Mill. Liquefied memories seep into the fibre of the weighty paper; stories spanning 170 years, rendezvousing effortlessly with impulsive strokes. Watercolour. Ink. Rich-pigment chalk pastel. Welcome to another Lobethal Woollen Mill artwork. A liquidation. The downloading of an obsession with place.
Kendrea Rhodes’ SALA 2022 exhibition comes to you online from an Adelaide Hills kitchen. This exhibition focuses on alternative methods of studying place and community through art praxis, focusing on themes of place, memory, emotions history, representation, and art sociology.
“Emerging”1 is a Lobethal Woollen Mill study (number 20) in mixed media on wood, 400mm²—painted and exhibited during SALA 2021. The painting represents creativity and the awakening of the community from the dream-like state of 2020, 2021. It also portrays my personal experience of re-emergence into everyday activities beyond the walls of my home. Beyond FaceTime, Zoom and Netflix, and into familiar (some might say old-fashioned) social connections and activities. This is my creative emerging.
Firefighter’s Delight developed over a long period of contemplation on the dynamics of natural relationships and how to write about them. Specifically on bushfire, human endeavour and luck after the Cudlee Creek bushfires in 2019.
Firefighter’s Delight is a reminder of perpetual change—unintentionally embodied in its naming irresolution (luck? Y/N). The crimson haze of Firefighter’s Delight represents the pink retardant dropped near the Lobethal Woollen Mill from the Boeing 737 water-bomber aircraft. While the crazed texture portrays the turbulence of wildfire and the diverse reactions of flora, fauna, and humankind.
SALA 2021 was a bit different for me, with happenstance making an appearance and rearranging the mindful space reserved for planning. The only constants were the paintings, their purpose and theory of place.
>Click images below for links to artist statements
My 2021 SALA venues fell through due to COVID restrictions and lockdowns, so the only thing for it was lateral thinking. That led me to my humble, adaptable, accommodating, ready-made exhibition spaces: this website and my family kitchen.
Trepidation followed. Was I ready to show the world the inner hub of the family; the place where ideas, homework, art, nutrition, arguments, education, connections, conversation, laughter, card games, and life happens? Was I ready to practice theory of place at my place?
So visitors were invited to view and discuss the artwork, on my website space and in person, at my place.
For those visiting my kitchen in person, the realities of physically being somewhere (after COVID lockdowns took away access to many places), resulted in delight. It was a place where place was the real and abstract topic of conversation. Something to do with a multitude of connections and cups of tea—indulgence in creative vittles.