Artist Laith McGregor is calling on members of the public to contribute their own ‘message in a bottle’ for one of his most ambitious large-scale installations to date as part of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State.
For the 2022 Adelaide Biennial, McGregor’s new work Strange Days will feature more than a thousand bottles fixed to the walls of the Art Gallery of South Australia spelling out S.O.S and filled with messages from participants.
McGregor is one of twenty-five Australian artists assembled in the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/ State by curator Sebastian Goldspink, an exhibition that will challenge histories and art forms, and offer reflections on an era of multi-faceted global upheaval.
McGregor sees the sealed vessels as holding the potential for universal communication and as being representative of hope in a time when we need it most. “At some stage over the last three years, we have all felt like a castaway stuck on an island reaching out to loved ones with our own messages in a bottle,” he said.
“However, even in times of distress – as poet John Donne once wrote – ‘No man is an island’ and this work reflects our collective state of being during these strange times…”
“I invite participants to engage with the work and create a message in a bottle, expressing everything from their fears, concerns, feelings, notes to self, messages to loved ones; anything that they feel like they want to share, get off their chest or simply play with,” said McGregor.
The Adelaide Biennial is the nation’s longest-running curated survey of contemporary Australian art. Since 1990, as part of the Adelaide Festival, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art has created career-defining opportunities for close to 500 artists and has been experienced by more than one million visitors.
The 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State will be presented throughout from 4 March to 5 June 2022 as part of the 2022 Adelaide Festival. For more information and how to submit a message in a bottle, visit: www.agsa.sa.gov.au for details.
Image: Laith McGregor, born 1977, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Strange Days, 2021-22, Byron Bay, New South Wales and Adelaide, pencil, paper, miscellaneous objects, bottles, dimensions variable; Courtesy the artist, STATION Gallery, Australia and Starkwhite, New Zealand