The countdown to next year’s Adelaide Fringe is officially underway with the unveiling of the 2022 Poster Design – awarded to the youngest ever winner and first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist in the festival’s 62-year history.
Titled A Whimsical World, the winning poster – designed by emerging 22-year-old Arabana and Kokatha visual artist Mali Isabel and revealed this morning at the APY Lands Gallery in Adelaide – incorporates dot design in a beautiful array of rainbow colours.
Ms Isabel said her magical landscape was inspired by the Adelaide CBD and its key locations including the River Torrens, the city’s East End and Botanical Gardens, capturing the magic, connection and equality that the Fringe reflects. “The scattered symbols and dots throughout the painting hold meanings that will shift in the eye of the beholder,” she said.
“They represent the hundreds of gatherings, performances, venues and exhibitions that take place across the city throughout Adelaide Fringe, highlighting the many unique and fulfilling experiences available.”
“Each colour used to create the piece represents something different: red symbolises adventure, orange is excitement, pink is creativity, yellow is positivity, green is life, brown is diversity, blue is imagination, purple is spirituality, silver is magic, gold is connection, and white is joy. The combination of these colours celebrates the spirit of the Adelaide Fringe and all it has to offer.”
Ms Isabel – who was recently awarded the 2021 Our Mob Trevor Nickolls Art Prize – said entering the competition had always been a goal. “I have been going to Adelaide Fringe for as long as I can remember, it’s one of my favourite times of the year,” she said.
“Winning the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Poster Competition is an absolute dream come true. I’m not only the youngest poster winner ever, but also the first Aboriginal poster winner for the Festival, which makes me feel so incredibly proud, humbled and excited for my community. I can’t wait for my artwork to be seen across the city,” said Ms Isabel.
In keeping with tradition, the Adelaide Fringe poster was selected from hundreds of other entries from all around the world with the winning artist taking out the prize of $3,000, plus free event registration and support to present their own exhibition as part of the 2022 festival.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said this year’s competition attracted 360 entries from 11 different countries, with Ms Isabel’s design a standout to the judging panel and a runaway favourite in the public vote.
“Thank you to the hundreds of competition entrants this year. We are honoured to be revealing the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander poster winner in Fringe’s history,” she said.
“We are grateful that Mali decided to enter the poster design competition to share her incredible talent with Fringe and the world,” said Ms Croall.
BankSA State General Manager, Consumer, Ben Owen said the countdown was on for the Fringe festival to transform Adelaide with the 2022 poster now officially unveiled.
“BankSA is proud to continue its support of the Fringe, and we’re thrilled for Mali and her winning Whimsical World poster design – it’s really set the scene for what is already shaping up to be another truly memorable and exciting 2022 Adelaide Fringe festival,” he said.
Adelaide Fringe is the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Fringe 2022 will run from 18 February until 20 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.
Image: Mali Isabel with her winning design – A Whimsical World – for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Poster – photo by Fumika Takagi