Published on 12 August 2020

Artists set to Shimmer

See some of the world’s best photography on display during the Shimmer Festival.

The biennial Shimmer Festival of Photography comes alive again this year from 11 September to 11 October, celebrating the creative talents of exhibiting photographers and showcasing the region’s unique mix of art, food and wine.

The Shimmer Festival demonstrates photography as a compelling mechanism for storytelling. The festival is open to photographers of all competencies from anywhere in the world and attracts an array of local artists. Current photographic trends are displayed in conjunction with traditional technologies to celebrate the capture of the ‘perfect shot’.

Exhibitions, workshops and a range of free events are offered across the city with a particular focus on Port Noarlunga and McLaren Vale.

Everyone, not just those interested in art and photography, will find something to fascinate them during the month of Shimmer.

The festival program has traditionally been designed for people to enjoy by driving from venue to venue, bringing visitors to the Onkaparinga region and encouraging locals to explore their own backyard.

To allow for the tentative nature of coronavirus-related restrictions being lifted and venues slowly reopening to the public, all elements of this year’s program will have some online presence.

A reference panel of industry professionals selected 13 photographers for this year’s event, including two highlighted local artists, namely, Hayden (Rich) Richards, of Sarips, and Tony Kearney.

Tony Kearney is a self-described amateur with a raft of awards to his name. Tony produces large-format portraits using old film in older cameras. His exhibition titled Artist[s]—to be held at the Stump Hill Gallery in the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre—will feature a series of intimate and revealing portraits of local, national and international artists taken backstage at Adelaide festivals.

Rich Richards captures images of the rugged coastal landscape of South Australia often from within the impact zone of the surf. Regularly shooting for days, Rich’s art reflects colour, power and locational geometry in a manifesto of waves, cliffs and close-up photographs of great white sharks.

The showcase of Rich’s work in The Onkaparinga Gallery at the Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga is his first solo public exhibition, having only presented his work in print and online prior to being chosen for Shimmer.

To celebrate and promote the Shimmer Festival, a satellite installation titled Shimmer Across the City has been created throughout the Onkaparinga region featuring paste-ups of works selected from submissions by photographers from around the world.

“Photographers of all ages and from all walks of life responded to the call through social media for images to be included in the exhibition,” says festival coordinator Jaynie Langford.

The chosen images have been printed on vinyl along with links to the Shimmer website and details relating to the photographer and the camera and settings used to take the selected image.

“People can have fun finding the paste-ups installed across the City of Onkaparinga,” Jaynie says.

The Shimmer Festival program will be launched at the Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga on 11 September from 6pm to 8.30pm. The launch will feature the official opening of the Sarips exhibition alongside works by photographers Glen O’Malley, from Queensland, and South Australian Cameron Longshaw.

The Open Exposure Photo Forum, a free but ticketed industry and educational event, will be hosted at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre on 12 September, featuring artist talks and creative responses by key exhibitors. Following the forum, Tony Kearney’s exhibition will be officially launched.

Visit for information on the program, participating artists, and to book events and workshops.

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Shimmer Festival