Adelaide Fringe 2017 Exhibition Review: Bay the Artist’s ‘Mind Maps’

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-53-48-pm‘Splash’

What: ‘Mind Maps’ by Bay the Artist

Where: Hughes Gallery, Fullarton

When: Until the 12th March

How much: Free

If you’re looking for something peaceful amid all the chaos that comes with Mad March, look no further than ‘Mind Maps’, an Adelaide Fringe art show and the first solo exhibition by emerging South Australian abstract artist, Bay the Artist.

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-52-27-pm

Tucked in the Fullerton Community Centre, the intimate Hughes Gallery is the ideal location to showcase the iridescent art works by Bay, who comes from Anglo and Tongan stock. Her mixed background is evident in her works, with a compilation of structured lines, colours, and loose contours of maps that highlight the Polynesian islands.

A finalist of last year’s SALA Festival Advertiser Contemporary Art Award, Bay’s struggle with her mental health is incorporated into her canvasses through her marbling of acrylic paints with gel mediums to emphasise the capricious nature of her anxiety. The honesty and vulnerability of her works are a welcome departure from stereotypical melancholic works that use excessive amounts of black and grey.

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-50-52-pmThe Tapa cloth that has been in Bay’s family since 1932

‘Splash’, one of ‘Mind Maps’ most striking works, is a personal favourite. Looking at it is like staring into the nebula, with it’s cloudy patches and celestial colours. Complimenting ‘Splash’ and Bay’s other works are a Tongan Tapa cloth that has been in her family since 1932, as well as folk-ish and mellow Polynesian music that play in the gallery. These accompaniments add an element of homeliness, and similar to the artworks on the wall, are displayed proudly by Bay as being part of her kaleidoscopic identity.

4 out of 5 stars

Masya Zabidi

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