Curated by Gillian Brown with Erica Green

Friday 3 March - Thursday 13 April 2017

The Pacific Ocean is rich with the history of human passage but marred by our misuse of the marine environment. Through painting, video, sculpture, installation and photography, eight artists with ties to the region tease apart the complex history linked to these waters that both isolate us from - and connect us to - the rest of the world. Presented for the 2017 Adelaide Festival, Countercurrents responds to the global concerns of the concurrent exhibition, The Ocean After Nature, and features works by: Daniel Boyd; Baden Pailthorpe; Alex Seton; Fiona Tan; Angela Tiatia; James Tylor; and Ken + Julia Yonetani.

A Samstag Museum of Art exhibition for the 2017 Adelaide Festival, curated by Gillian Brown with Erica Green, and generously assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Public Programs

Thursday 2 March 2017, 9 - 10.30am 

Food: A Social and Cultural Practice | Workshop with artist James Tylor (SA)

James Tylor is an Aboriginal – Maori – Anglo photomedia artist. James’ artistic practice examines concepts around cultural identity in Australian contemporary society and social history. He explores Australian cultural representations through his multi-cultural heritage, which comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Iberian and Norwegian) Australian ancestry. James’ work focuses largely on the 19th century history of Australia and its continual effect on present day issues surrounding cultural identity in Australia.


Thursday 2 March 2017, 11am - 12.15pm

Countercurrents curator Gillian Brown in conversation with artists Alex Seton (NSW), Angela Tiatia (NSW) and James Tylor (SA)

There is growing interest in a socially engaged art practice as more artists focus their work on making an impact on social issues, and perhaps a desire to move beyond existing definitions of both art and the political.


Thursday 2 March 2017, 1 - 2pm

Alex Seton (NSW) in conversation with Gillian Brown (SA)

Alex Seton’s artistic practice incorporates photography, video, sculpture and installation to investigate the complex relationship between form and substance. He is best known for his beguiling marble carving, applying his refined craftsmanship to unexpected forms. Blankets, hoodies, inflatables and national flags are rendered in stone, invoking a somatic paradox. By infusing the rich heritage of Classical statuary with contemporary concerns, Seton gives weight to the issues we face here and now.


Thursday 2 March 2017, 2.15 - 3.30pm

Group Rituals | Workshop with Angela Tiatia (NSW)

Social practice through synchronisation and repetition. Angela Tiatia opened this workshop with a Sāmoan ‘ava (kava) ceremony which is held at important gatherings. Following the ceremony, experiment with sound using simple actions as vehicles for individual and collective focus through Sāmoan body percussion techniques.

As a multimedia artist, Angela Tiatia explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place. As a multimedia artist, Tiatia explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place. Her work has been exhibited in Cologne, Singapore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Mexico City, Honolulu, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington.


The Adelaide Review: Samstag Goes Off The Deep End

Artlink: Countercurrents | The Ocean After Nature