While the Adelaide Fringe (my favourite time of the year in South Australia) may still be a good 4 months away, the excitement never stops in the Fringe realm. The latest news that has made the rounds across local publications and newspapers is the brand-spanking-new poster that was revealed early yesterday (September 6) for Adelaide Fringe 2019!
Holding annual competitions for highlighting the Fringe season’s official poster, Matthew Clarke‘s successful and winning poster submission has instantly won the hearts of Adelaide Fringe lovers, with a vibrant and colorful self-portrait as a Fringe performer. This year’s competition received 357 entries from around the world.
“I like using bold, bright colours so it attracts people and makes them feel happy about art.” – Matthew Clarke
Hailing from Warnambool, Clarke is a painter by trade, who identifies as one with an intellectual disability and has been creating impeccable works of art since 2005. His talents are primarily focused on using acrylic on linen
“For me, painting is about wanting to express my happiness to others. I like using bold, bright colours so it attracts people and makes them feel happy about art” – Matthew Clarke.
With his mega win with the Adelaide Fringe competition, Clarke has a number of exciting events to look forward to, such as being a part of the Adelaide Fringe marketing campaign on the Adelaide trams, after creating paintings for the Melbourne Art Trams project in 2017.
“I’ve got a disability, so I’m quite proud to show there’s no barriers between that and making artwork.” – Matthew Clarke
Clarke’s poster submission presents with a dynamic and unique shift from the classic and traditional designs that were used in past Fringe posters, where a level of abstract and iconic themes that brought back the art of painters into the spotlight.
“We chose Matthew’s entry because of the striking, fiery brush strokes that convey a sense of risk-taking and adventure and the vibrant colours that encapsulate the energy of Fringe. It all comes together to create a stunning self-portrait of the artist putting on a Fringe show. We love the story behind the poster and the way it celebrates the performer in all of us,” Heather Croall (Adelaide Fringe director + CEO)
Upon attending the Adelaide Fringe last year, I had inquired about disability-friendly shows and venues that may have been a part of the program. While the selection was fairly limited at the time, I was promised that there would be an initiative put into place to have a larger space and an increased level of inclusivity and accessibility available to the public in 2019. With Clarke’s success and background as an individual with a disability, we are more than hopeful that this promise will be delivered to an already fun and fabulous event that connects locals and tourists alike for a jam-packed month of festivities in the arts capital of Australia!
“We’re an open access festival, so it comes with the territory that we want everyone to be able to join in on the wonderful artistic experience our Fringe has to offer. To achieve this, Adelaide Fringe is constantly looking for ways to cater for all artists and audience members – everything from detailed venue information to initiatives like audio tours for the visually impaired. We’re looking forward to introducing new measures to make the 2019 Adelaide Fringe our most accessible festival yet so everyone can come along for the ride.” – Heather Croall (Adelaide Fringe director + CEO)
Street art enthusiasts – listen up! There is a large scale reproduction of the poster design that you can go and visit NOW on Union Street (East End) – just off Rundle Street. As part of The Adelaide Fringe Street Art Explosion movement, Clarke’s brilliant work is available to the public for viewing as a beautiful mural that brings a level of happiness, wonderment, and even a sense of calm!
Look out for the full line-up of shows, acts, and events that will be coloring the streets of Adelaide and South Australia in all its Fringe-y glory in December!
Adelaide Fringe 2019: Feb 15 – Mar 17
Matthew Clarke – connect with him on social media
Watch Matthew Clarke’s art in the making here.