Westside Stories - Little Galleries

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South Australia's History Festival - 1-31 May (exhibition until end July 2022)

THEME* - Food and Beverage Production in the City of West Torrens

From backyard growers to production factories, corner stores, baked goods and iconic brands, the City of West Torrens area has a fascinating history and important story to tell around the food and drinks we have grown to know and love in South Australia.  This exhibition will take you on a nostalgic journey and probably make you a little hungry. 

*Theme Inspired by West Torrens Historical Society exhibition From Wadni to Whisky.

Available for viewing at Kandahar Historic House - 327 Marion Rd, North Plympton

Mon 23 May 10am-3pm & 6-8pm

Tues 24 May 10am - 3pm

For more information visit www.westtorrenshistory.org

Little Galleries

Little Galleries are exactly what they claim to be.  A small space - 500 x 600mm gallery - for exhibitions of small art created by amazing artists. Lovingly hand made by the talented team at the Camden Men's Shed.

Check out the Little Galleries map to help you find all eight locations.

HINT: They're hard to miss with their bright pink roofs drawing your attention.

Please enjoy these beautiful diverse Westside Stories artworks in the Little Galleries exhibitions whilst exploring the City of West Torrens.

 

 

1. Hamra Library - Front Garden Bed, Hilton

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Artist - Katie Kitchen is a writer who draws and paints, finding inspiration in the everyday—quirks of the suburbs, the way the sun looks in autumn, well-made coffee and the goofy things her cats do. She can see West Torrens Council from the sidewalk in front of her house. You can find her commuting on her bike or, if that fails, look her up on Instagram: @ktkitschen

BREAD IS BREAD IS BREAD looks between the lines of the newspapers to find a story of the West Torrens District Council clerk and the loaves of Maltina Bakery bread that he thought were ‘simply underweight’. The matter proved far more complicated, and over nine months in 1937, rose from the Richmond Magistrates Court to the state Supreme Court, as a magistrate, lawyers, a health inspector, a chemical analyst, two justices and others sought an answer to the question: what is bread?

All enquires on Instagram @ ktkitschen

Asked to participate in the ‘food and beverage’ round of West Side Stories, I turned to the National Library of Australia’s online resource Trove to find out what I could about iconic local brands, like Maltina Breadcrumbs with its distinct blue and orange box. Although I was initially hoping to learn more about the familiar little figure decorating those boxes, I discovered an interesting story: Maltina bread had been the subject of a legal dispute back in 1937. “WHAT IS BREAD” shouted one headline, with subheadlines “Hears long legal argument” and “Tricky point”.

The case began in April that year in the Richmond Police Court, when the West Torrens District Council Clerk, Vernon Shephard, made a complaint that the Maltina bread made by master baker Arthur Cashmore was underweight. The counsel for the baker, Mr L Whitington, notes the case’s “many legal technicalities…should be considered by a paid magistrate” and one can almost imagine his tone as he perhaps tried to gain the sympathy of the poor, overworked justices of the police court: “It was not fair that justices acting in an honorary capacity should be called on to deal with such matters.”

Similarly perhaps a reader might detect surprise when reading of Shephard’s insistence that “the case was simply a matter of the weight of the bread”.

The two honorary justices adjourned for a hearing in Adelaide in June, by a magistrate (apparently paid).

Whitington was correct about the legal technicalities, which arose from the South Australian Parliament. When amending the Bread Act in 1936, the Parliamentarians deleted the clause defining ‘bread’, leaving an apparent loophole.

One wonders if both Shephard and Whitington would have persisted that day, had they known the case would drag on for months, through the Licensing Court on to the Magistrates Court and finally a full sitting of the state Supreme Court.

I enjoyed the time-travel through the news stories, particularly in some amusing exchanges between the main players as inserted by the anonymous newspaper reporters of the time. Some of these have found their way into the comics integrated into the display Bread Is Bread Is Bread, including the exchange between Vernon Shephard and Special Magistrate Halcombe that led me to choose that title:

“What is bread?” Mr. Halcombe, S.M., asked in a special magistrate's court in Adelaide today, while hearing a short-weight bread charge.

“All bread that is commonly known as bread is bread,” said the clerk of the West Torrens District Council (Mr. Vernon S. Shephard), who was prosecuting for his council. "Whatever it is called it is still bread, and I contend that there is no legal authority other than it must be of standard weight."

Mr. Halcombe: What do you think you are getting when you buy a sausage?

Mr. Shephard: l would not hazard a guess.

Mr. Halcombe: I have heard them called bags of mystery.

Although I included those lines verbatim, in trying to capture the spirit of the story between the lines, I have taken some liberties -- thought bubbles added, tone of voice imagined. The biggest change regards Mr Shephard. Reading his words, I thought of the Monopoly Man -- the plucky little guy with the moustache making his way round a boardgame of rules and regulations -- and so I adopted this guise for Vernon Shephard.

In reality, I discovered through further reading, he was probably in his late 30s or early 40s at the time of the Bread Case, probably a lot taller than I’ve made him out to be, and perhaps a lot more sure of himself as well. In the Supreme Court, when one of the Justices asks “Who brought these charges?”  the lawyer for the defence responds, “The Tsar of West Torrens” (ie Mr Shephard).

Throughout the Bread Case, Shephard clings stubbornly to the belief that he is right.

After many months, many loaves displayed in courtrooms, and many hours of expert witness testimony, Council’s final appeal failed in the Supreme Court and was dismissed with more than £100 in costs, with Justice Napier particularly emphatic in his opinions: “This is a persecution, not a prosecution,” The Advertiser reported.

 A followup article on the council proceedings found a disheartened Council commenting at its meeting that “It was rather hard that a judge should have said that the council was out to ‘persecute’ a citizen”

The Council Clerk however, stuck to his line, telling the meeting “that he could not estimate what the council's costs in the appeal would be. He suggested … to approach the Government before the next session of Parliament, and ask that definite legislation be introduced to provide that all 'bread should conform to fixed standards of weight’.”

Memorial Gardens, Hilton

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ARTIST - Helen Panagopoulos

Helen calls herself a Designer/Maker with a "twist"!

"I like combining "bits'n'pieces" with various and traditional techniques and elevating a concept into another dimension"

Backyard-O-poulos

My story is depicted as a "Still Life in Crochet"...A homage to all the Greek backyards. Every inch of earth is utilised to produce food.

The Greeks brought with them traditions of wine making, pickling olives, olive oil, to name a few. This all came from the backyard and surprise, the front also!

Food that was grown, fed the family and the whole street! The Greek Community has always been in the area with Fish'n'Chip Shops, Cafes, Cake Shops and an Olive Oil Factory in Thebarton.

An Uncle of mine once quoted "If you can't eat from it, don't grow it!"...and yes - my parents still grow their own in their backyard.

They have lived here for 50 years...Kali Orexi!

3. Mellor Park - Playground Path, Lockleys

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ARTIST - Sarah Northcott has worked as a researcher, lecturer, and curator, and arts administrator. Recently her research in the field of art and health has focused on how spaces in the community for arts can promote wellbeing through ‘connectedness’.

FOOD PREMISES - This is a story about buildings in which food has at one time been produced or prepared; how they look from certain angles, at a certain moment in time. To this end, real estate websites are an excellent repository of images of the history of sites and their uses, once vacated.  Using these as a source, premises, including a Henley Beach Road Barnacle Bill’s, and sandwich shop, are the subject of consideration. A food premise or an idea.

This artwork is For Sale - POA : contact artist directly on Instagram @sarahnorthlee

4. Weigall Reserve Playground, Plympton

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ARTIST - Jan Finlayson is an ex-teacher who now dedicates her time to artmaking - drawing, painting, printmaking with a dabbling in clay modelling and ceramics.  She attended Adelaide Central School of Art and has continued to hone her skills through personal exploration and interaction with other creatives. Her art making is grounded in drawing; she responds emotionally and intellectually to the world around her.

THE STAFF OF LIFE - As a home baker the history of bakeries and their produce fascinates me. The earliest bakeries in the City of West Torrens in the 1850’s and 1860’s were family run and these continued to develop into the twentieth century and beyond. Some of these family bakeries were so successful they were taken over by larger bakeries. For example W. Menz & Co., which was a household name in its day (1867-1962) was sold to Arnotts which still bakes some of the iconic biscuits of yesteryear.

Because bakery produce is mixed and baked, I chose to represent some of these traditional goodies in clay, which is in some way similarly modelled and fired.

All enquires on Instagram @jannfin

5. Holland St/Winwood, Thebarton

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ARTIST - Bernadette Woods is an Arts Administrator and Visual Artist who has studied a Bachelor of Design and a Bachelor Degree in Cultural Tourism. Bernadette has an intense curiosity for culture, history, food, design and the world around her. She explores these through a range of mediums: water colour, acrylic, collage, stitch, and sculpture, all incorporating a generous measure of humour.

THE SWEET CITY - This work is a nod to the many food producers, especially bakeries, that have existed throughout the history of the City of West Torrens, from its early beginnings right through to the present day. Gibbs Bakery, Adelaide Cake COY., Bensons, to name a few, and FH Faulding & Co., who produced flavorings and essences. It has been fascinating to explore this rich past, and imagine the sweets and cakes on offer, interpreted here through soft sculptures, to the hungry residents of this diverse and historic municipality.

All enquires on Instagram @bernbabyburn

6. LoveOn Café, Mile End

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ARTIST - Con Polychronis is an Oil Painter whose current focus is on people and their stories.

THE LOVEON CAFÉ site dates back as far as 1909 when it was a residence and store, run by Jas Stobie.   It has had many transformations across the century, and this exhibit highlights the transition from what was called The Terrace Continental Deli to Loveon Café. It was the vision of Rasheed that created a place that exudes positive energy.

When COVID-19 hit and Adelaide went into its first lockdown, the survival of the store was challenged. It needed to transform. Rohitt (Chef and new co-owner with Raju), dug deep into his culinary history and created a new take-away menu which included an assortment of curry pies. These quickly became popular in the West Torrens area and are now part of the main menu. If you look carefully at both images, you will observe that what connects them to each other is the production and provision of the ‘humble pie’ in the West Torrens area.

7. Linear Park Trail/Main St, Lockleys

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ARTIST - Richard Parton - I have a love of cooking, history and art so this project was a perfect fit for me, and I was very keen to be involved. I am a keen amateur artist with the majority of my work being figure drawing so working in 3D using different materials was an exciting challenge that I enjoyed taking on.

FOOD LINES - My artwork attempts to capture the story of food production and preparation on that small part of the Adelaide plains which is the Western suburbs. The tree and the river represent the broad sweep of the plains' history prior to the arrival of humans. The fire and the smoke represent the sweep and scope of human interaction with, and, management of the land they are on.

This artwork is For Sale - POA : contact artist directly at richard.parton58@gmail.com

8. Apex Park - West Beach

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ARTIST – Niccy Pallant is a craftswoman with specialities in printmaking and ceramics. After 30 years as an Arts Educator, Niccy runs projects particularly in regional areas due to her penchant for being on the road. She has a keen interest in building community such as with the Duck n Weave Artist Collective  www.studioxxvi.com.

Local Bouquet – Quirky Australiana Series Food packaging is a great way to explore history. I found Fauldings in my Grandmother’s kit of elixirs and remedies!

The Salts tin adds to a collection of Vegemite jars, and Sauce bottles. Landmarks of our unique childhood growing up in Oz. Also capturing local native flora such as the Silver Banksia and Bluebells.

ARTIST – Jonathan Holmes is a Woodville High teenager with emerging skills in Ceramics. Jonathan creates quirky food related sculpture and other humorous artefacts.

Baked goods Sculpture  Food is a work of art and our loved bakeries are celebrated in these miniature recreations to tempt your memories of a pie with sauce for lunch.

All enquires on Instagram @studio26artisan #inspiredartisticwandering

9. Admella Place - Thebarton

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ARTIST - Cheryl Evans is an Art and Design teacher, who has been teaching for 28 years. At work she enjoys creating community exhibitions and creative events, as well as focusing on contemporary practice and techniques with her students.

Through a variety of 2 and 3 dimensional materials, Cheryl explores self-reflection as well as visual and literal moments of quiet that can be achieved in the creative process.

Architectural Echoes - This West Side Story is informed by factories for food and beverage production in the West Torrens Council area. Reminded of childhood experiences exploring the Balfours factory, the architecture of the Haighs and Fauldings buildings stood out for their carefully restored structures. This led to exploration of other sites, most of which have now disappeared. Derived from the simple forms in these buildings, parts of this work are a nod to this lost history while the rest celebrates what can still be enjoyed.

Want to know more stories of the City of West Torrens?

The West Torrens Historical Society has compiled an amazing breadth of diverse and fascinating stories that will add many layers of new meaning to the streets, parks, shops and areas that you know and love.

Keep an eye out for future Westside Stories, Little Galleries exhibitions.

For all enquiries contact Di Caught.