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The Violet Ballet details

The Violet Ballet pictures

The Violet Ballet description

If you love or you’re yet to encounter the work of world-renowned, South Australian-born artist Sally Smart, you must see this newest work, commissioned by ACE Open for the 2019 Adelaide Festival. The use of collage is a constant in her art, but this installation’s uniqueness lies in its almost choreographic focus on dynamic space and group composition. How many visual artists count Martha Graham and Pina Bausch as key influencers?

The Violet Ballet extends on Smart’s distinctive practice, examining the extraordinary legacy of Diaghilev’s visually arresting Chout, performed by the Ballets Russes in 1921. Smart responds to this hybrid fairytale with recreations of the original costume and set designs, using embroidered and patchworked textiles. She also considers aspects of its macabre story (seven buffoons who murder their wives believing a promise of magical resurrection) together with Indonesian Wayang to create a fascinating study of the legacies of colonialism and orientalism.

Don’t miss this new work by an extraordinary artist.

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Curator’s Tour
Sat 10 Mar, 11am-11.30am

Free, bookings required

Join Liz Nowell, ACE Open CEO and curator of The Violet Ballet, in an insightful 30-minute tour of the exhibition. Gain a greater insight into acclaimed artist Sally Smart’s practice and learn more about the works on display in this free tour open to all.


Auslan Tour

Sun 11 Mar, 12pm-1pm
Free, bookings required

Auslan users are invited to attend an Auslan interpreted tour of ACE Open’s Adelaide Festival exhibition, The Violet Ballet by acclaimed artist Sally Smart.


Along with the strong visual impact of the imagery in Sally Smart’s work, it is the richness of implication, triggering an array of conscious and subconscious associations, that gives her work its poetic resonance, depth and potency.

Marina Warner, No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, lulling and making mock

Smart is just as interested in keeping a tradition of aesthetics alive as she is in breaking down the boundaries that dictate what contemporary art can be.

Art Guide Australia

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