Published on 31 July 2023

SALA Festival down south

The annual South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival returns on Tuesday for the month of August, and there are dozens of exhibitions on show in the City of Onkaparinga.

Onkaparinga’s galleries, schools, wineries, cafes, restaurants, businesses, studios, breweries, clubs and centres will come alive with visual arts, highlighting the many talented and creative artists in the region.

You can find all the exhibitions on show within the City of Onkaparinga by visiting the interactive map on the SALA website, but we’ve pulled out a few highlights below.

Port Noarlunga Arts Precinct

As always, Port Noarlunga’s Sauerbier House and the Arts Centre will be a hive of activity during SALA, with three exhibitions on offer.

Desire Lines is a mixed-group exhibition curated by Sarah Northcott and featuring the work of Jingwei Bu, Gus Clutterbuck, Sam Howie, Heidi Kenyon and Georgina Willoughby.

The exhibition brings together artists making connections between locations, ideas, and their environments; and giving form to their desired ways of arriving at a destination. It’ll be on display at Sauerbier House from 5 August to 16 September, while a map-making workshop will be hosted by Sam Howie on Saturday 12 August (bookings required, tickets $20).

Jingwei Bu is a finalist in The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award 2023, and you can also see her work in the finalist exhibition at Adelaide’s Keith Murdoch House. Sarah Northcott was the winner of the SALA/City of Onkaparinga Contemporary Curator Award in 2022. Sarah is the fourth curator to be awarded this partnership opportunity.

At the Arts Centre, two shows are being held during SALA. You can experience Creative Embrace—an exhibition featuring the work of the ceramic enthusiasts and award-winning sculptors from the Aldinga Community Centre Pottery Group (11 August to 11 September)—and an exhibition featuring the work of the Noarlunga and Southern District Camera Club (4 August to 4 September).

Youth exhibitions

Aldinga’s Studio 20 Youth Centre is hosting an open studio on Saturday 5 August (11am to 2pm), allowing you to check out the work of the centre’s two current artists in residence, Zuzanna Juszczynska and Iris Rogers

Zuzanna is a local emerging artist with a focus on character-based illustrations drawn primarily on Procreate (a digital illustration app). Some of her recent work explores mental health and how communities and individuals interact with art in everyday ways.

Iris describes her artwork as “a utopian desert of mixed realities guarded by dragon fire, where the shifting sands are eclipsed”. Her art represents her childhood experiences and imagination, inspired by childhood movies such as Doctor Sleep and DUNE.

Learn more about the artists, and how to apply for your chance to become a Studio 20 Artist in Residence (applications close Monday 21 August) at council's website.

Three youth exhibitions are also being held as part of Onkaparinga Youth’s SALA Mentorship Program, which nurtures and supports young local emerging artists to present their work during SALA.

Sage Dawn’s exhibition, From My Hands, will be on show at Aldinga’s Delicia Acai Bar and Café from 1–31 August; Charlotte Balmforth’s exhibition, When words aren’t enough, will be on show at Christies Beach’s Onkaparinga Youth Enterprise Hub from 1–31 August; while Charlotte Searle’s, Australiana, will be on show at Woodstock Wine Estate on Friday 25 August (12–4pm).

The SALA Mentorship Program is now in its fourth year and has supported 13 young Onkaparinga artists to exhibit their artwork and develop their practice.

Community centres and halls

There are several exhibitions happening at City of Onkaparinga community centres and halls for residents and visitors to enjoy.

At Reynella Neighbourhood Centre you can see a range of artworks created by the centre’s talented young artists in the Creative Crew and Extraordinary Teen Art (ETA) Students exhibition from 3–31 August.

At the Maslin Beach Community Hall, you can enjoy an exhibition featuring the work of the suburb’s many talented artists from 12–20 August.

Looking for more local exhibitions to catch in Onkaparinga during SALA? Head to the SALA Festival’s interactive map, which includes dozens of other events in the region (many of which have been supported by the City of Onkaparinga with a SALA Artist Registration Fee Subsidy). Check out the Onkaparinga Arts Facebook or Instagram pages for more details.


Top to bottom: Part of a painting by Iris Rogers; Gus Clutterbuck, Curly Sticks (Floating Clouds and Birds of Good Fortune (in situ). Photo John Neiddu, Ceramics, Dimensions Variable; some of the works from the Aldinga Community Centre Pottery Group; a photograph from the Noarlunga and Southern District Camera Club; Zuzanna Juszczynska in studio; a drawing from Sage Dawn; Charlotte Balmforth, Untitled, Painting 22 x 30cm; Charlotte Searle, Avocado at dawn, Painting, variable; Lily Gregg, Malformations (Anencephalus, Thoracopagus, Janiceps), Painting, 60 x 60cm


An illustrated woman wearing a blue and yellow headscarf with a dragon-like red mouth and large teeth.