FELICIA 2011

IAN NORTH
FELICIA, 1973
HEARTLAND | ART GALLERY OF SA


2011

EXHIBITION TEXTS

Felicia, 1973 [exhibited in Heartland at Art Gallery of South Australia 2014]

In using the word ‘felicia’ (happiness) for this portfolio I am taking after the reforming premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan, who employed it as the title of his memoirs. His principal period in government, the much-fêted ‘Dunstan decade’, spanned the years in which I took these photographs. Dunstan had in turn adopted the term from the English moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who proposed it as a name for an ideal colony to early-nineteenth-century promoters of a planned settlement in South Australia.

—Ian North, 2011

I have heard a very particular sound here (which I have similarly heard in Perth and in various other far-flung locations around Australia) which might be deciphered as the sound of isolation, manifesting in a strange melancholy beauty which at times envelops everything here in the great south … art is and can be made here [in Adelaide] from endless layers of inexplicable low humming anxiety. Perhaps those that feel this anxiety most deeply are the ones that have made their way here from elsewhere. Outsiders (but is not that all of us?) redemptively mark time by making a space (perhaps a negative space; perhaps even a void) in which the ever-present Adelaide silence may be heard rising from the micro-grids of suburban streets, trapped between the twin macro-expanses of southern ocean and inland desert.

—Domenico de Clario, 2011