New Art for New Walls – SALA exhibition

A celebration of identity

Adelaide Hills families are moving on, and many have moved in to new homes built to replace those lost in the 2019 Cudlee Creek bushfires.

In our shared conversations, families expressed that even in these new spaces, there are few reminders of their former lives. Artworks, family photographs and familiar aspects of their identity are missing.

In workshops with Hills artist Deb Twining of Twining Arts, families created shared painted artworks that respond to the theme Museum of Us, focusing on the cherished aspects of each family’s unique identity; in particular, those things that make them smile.

Each artwork has been photographed and printed as large scale colour posters for this exhibition. The original paintings have now been sent home with each family, ready to hang on new walls.

Starting at Fabrik with a large scale map, this exhibition is spread along a trail of nine outdoor locations throughout Lobethal’s main street, each site sharing a different family’s artwork.

Our Lobethal Main Street businesses are proud partners of this project, kindly sharing their windows and hosting these very special artworks.

Please read on to see each family’s artist statement along with an image of detail from their artwork.

Artist Statements

Flower artwork closeup

Located at Lobethal Bierhaus
3A Main Street, Lobethal.
Artwork by Steve, Ngari & Children

From 6 to 60, Steve, Ngari and the seven children have their own space to highlight what brings them joy as part of this family.

The single gum highlighted in this painting, stands proud on our property, giving hope that it too, will find life again following the devastation of the black Saturday bushfires.

The phoenix is symbolic as our rebuild has begun with our new home to be known as ‘The Phoenix Pavilions’ having risen from the ashes.

Bird artwork close up

Located at Amberlight Motorcycle Café
9 Main Street, Lobethal
Artwork by Broughton-Janek family

Floating Down Stream
It may be that when our family was faced with the canvas, we forgot all about how it was meant to be about things we love or our family, and just began doing for the fun of the materials, creating a wonderful mess and enjoying paint. But maybe that’s one of the things we love about each other, that we are all messily creative and playful.
Even so, there are a lot of things on here that we love: water, nature, land, the bush, birds, fish, aeroplanes, the sun, music, people, stitchery, sand, even a mountain with snow on it (even if it is upside down and vaguely reminiscent of something else), and marks from the hands of at least some of those we love.
The stick figures are all of the immediate family, including grandkids, deceased adult son, and the hairy dog that lived with us when the middle generation was young.

Artwork close up

Located at Moonburn Brewing
14 Main Street , Lobethal
Artwork by Juliet and Bethany Schultz

Dancing caterpillars in the sky
This is very special to us because it reminds us of our property before the bushfire. Tall trees, a creek, bright flowers, birds and koalas. We now enjoy the return of birds and exploring once again on our property. We are a creative, loud, imaginative family which is represented by the colours and shapes. The subtle white pattern in the background represents the new fresh wind that blows life and hope. Let the wind blow.

Artwork closeup

Located at Klose’s Head Office
24 Main Street Lobethal
Artwork by Maddie and Nell Ward

Space For Dreaming
Maddie: “The painting was about our garden. It had lots of birds because I like birds and Mum likes birds. It had special things in it, and animals that were special to us too. Painting makes me feel relaxed.”
Nell: “After the fires a very wise friend suggested that “home” was still there – all the things I loved most about where we live; the big gums, the birdsong, the bunnies, the frogs.. the natural world was still there (or would return)
During the long, slow re-build, coming out to our Haven on the Hill to garden, and feed the chooks, and wander the property kept me connected to a sense of “home” We rebuilt so that the light would still fall the same, so that I could still sit and watch the birds from my kitchen table, and watch the sunset through the tall gums. Habitat for Humanity came and helped fix/plant gardens and wonderful friends donated plants and muscle-power to replant.
This painting was a great evening of fun, sharing some creative time with my youngest child, but it also has little hidden treasures:
A bangle a friend gave me in the tough days following the fire has the words “and still we rise” I wear it on the days I need reminding of that! I like too that a circle reminds us of our circle of support – friends, family and community that surrounded us.
I’ve always loved the quote “hope is the thing with wings” – special friends gave me a “hope” rock which I often carried in my pocket on tough days. We also bought a few new chickens and I called one of them “Hope” – so Hope really is the thing with wings!
The fairy wrens are my favourite birds – we had a resident fairy wren called Wilbert, who was in love with his own reflection. He and his 3 little brown ladies often visited and he would tap on the glass at the kitchen door. I’m delighted to tell you that Wilbert is back, and now he likes to tap at my craft room door.
The frog is for my Mum and Dad, who live on a frog-filled hill in rural Queensland – they are desperate to come and visit now that we are in the new house, and I think of them when I hear our own frogs in the pond.
The dragonfly is a symbol of friendship and loss/remembrance in my family, it remembers the 7 people we loved and lost in the days and months after the fire.
That space in the middle – that is because I think all of us need to leave space for dreaming.”

Artwork closeup

Located at Green Heart Therapies
31 Main Street, Lobethal

Artwork by Tina, Sopa and Zoe

Sharing thoughts, concerns, appreciations and what is most important to our family after losing the house in the Cudlee Creek bush fires has been a joyful and healing experience. We reflected on what makes us a family and puts a smile on our faces. This picture is the future.

Artwork closeup

Located at Lobethal Hair Studio

Artwork by Castle-Schmidt family

As life brings important learnings and transitions, our painting is filled with moments and elements that bring us joy and happiness. The painting is divided, on a darker side and a bright happy filled side. The happy side details many important elements to the whole family that bring great joy on a daily basis.

Artwork closeup

Located at Family Feast Café & Takeaway
31 Main Street, Lobethal

Artwork by Eileen

My life has always been surrounded by places with high mountains and the ocean. I love to contemplate both and as a family we enjoy being able to visit spectacular venues of mountains and seaside locations. These places provide adventure, breathtaking views while also providing peace and calm. In the painting, the far right side is depicted by storming clouds, and the left shows calm and majestic mountains and fields, while the viewer sits on the beach (bottom right) warmed by a beach fire, looking onto the unfolding nature. Nature is unpredictable, and we can get caught in the maelstrom, yet can always resurface, more humbled and hopefully stronger.

Located at Emma & Ivy
47 Main Street, Lobethal
Artwork by The Cretts’

We are connected. To each other, to our home, to our land. Our land completes us. Completes our lives our dreams and our future. The fires took it all but only for a moment in time.

Artwork closeup

Located at Lobethal Bakery
80 Main Street, Lobethal
Artwork by Sierra and Koah

Koah and I both gain immense pleasure and rejuvenation from spending time in nature. We used this as a basis for our artwork journey, to represent the joy we both feel when surrounded by natural wonder.

This project is supported by Wellbeing SA’s Connected Communities Grant Program and in partnership with the CAMHS Bushfire Response Team.