Ant inspired artwork to open festival

ANTS: Namibian artist Kirsten Wechslberger has been given the opportunity to present a piece of her artwork at Port Augusta Arid Lands Festival in Port Augusta this Saturday, September 13.

ANTS: Namibian artist Kirsten Wechslberger has been given the opportunity to present a piece of her artwork at Port Augusta Arid Lands Festival in Port Augusta this Saturday, September 13.

Namibian artist Kirsten Wechslberger has been given the opportunity to present a piece of her artwork in rural South Australia.

As part of an artist residency program, Kirsten was selected to come to Whyalla to stay with host family Melanie and Vic Sarantou and create a masterpiece.

Mrs Sarantou said Kirsten's residency was part of an arts collaboration with Namibian partners which instigates art collaborations between Australia and Namibia.

"The program started last year, the first namibian artist came over to South Australia last year and had an artist residency in Adelaide and in Port Augusta," she said.

"This is the second year the program was running and Kirsten is the second Namibian artist coming over and she is being invited by Tanderra."

Tanderra provided Kirsten with adequate space to create a piece of artwork that will then be presented at the opening of the Arid Lands Festival in Port Augusta Saturday, September 13.

Until the opening, Kirsten is working around the clock to create 94 ants from bioplastic materials that can be found around the home.

"She is using starch, vinegar, glycerin, sand, water then she casts them in latex molds that she has made, then dries it in the sand," Mrs Sarantou said.

Kirsten said the theme of her art piece was 'life on the edge' to which the life of a colony of ants inspired her.

After the opening, Kirsten will return to Whyalla to hold art workshops with students at Whyalla Stuart Primary School.

Kirsten has already been invited back to Australia next year by the Nexus Multicultural Art Centre in Adelaide, where she will have the opportunity to work with South Australian artist Meg Wilson.