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In the Garden - the Deck

‘I can think of two very different concert venues which were unforgettable experiences for me as a pianist. The first is the UKARIA Cultural Centre, in Australia’s Adelaide Hills. The concert stage is completely surrounded by glass and while playing, one can see far over the beautiful hills and valleys of South Australia. I have never felt more close to nature, the essence of art, while performing.’ – Ammiel Bushakevitz

The garden bed below the deck is the last area to experience before entering the foyer. It complements the colour scheme and aesthetics of the hall, and foregrounds the distant views from within it, its beauty revealing itself to those who take the time to quietly soak it in during performances.

The more colourful elements are nestled shyly amongst the more voluminous foliage of conifers. In autumn, our Japanese Maples, sitting on both sides of the stairway to the main entrance, become crimson testaments to transience.

Embedded into the landscape, off to the left of the main path, is the last sculpture you will encounter: Jan-Olav Hinz’s Listening / Radiating. When it was installed on Thursday 9 November 2017 – just days before we launched our 2018 Season – it was impossible to ignore the powerful symbolism the object exuded.

‘To make something for a specific site is like a puzzle,’ Jan-Olav says. ‘You have to have an idea of what the place should do, what Ulrike has created here – the hopes, the visions. I then have to look to the hall itself, I have to hear a concert, and look out. I see the colours of the landscape – green, red, brown, black. I needed to find a stone that takes these colours in, so Gustav [Meincke] and I went to Wallaroo to find this stone.’

Indeed, one of the most striking aspects of this monolithic block of harlequin granite is the way its appearance changes with the rhythms of nature, refracting the morning sunlight like a silver lake, and glistening after summer rain like the scales on a fish.

‘But when music is the centre of this place, I also have to think about sound,’ Jan-Olav continues. ‘How can I visualise that? A drop on the surface of water makes waves – that’s what you can see. But maybe these aren’t really water waves – they’re waves that go from the centre, to the world. And Ulrike’s idea was to have a spot, and from a spot, put something out into the world. I made the waves go farther out than the piece itself, so it goes more into the world than what you can see.’

As rainbow lorikeets pruned the bottlebrush, we toasted the installation of the sculpture with sparkling wine and a delicious home made lemon tart, and looked out towards the Mount Barker Summit, dreaming of the years to come. Listening / Radiating speaks to the vision that lies on the perimeter of consciousness – a realm of possibilities that feels endless.