(detail) Venere, dio del sesso, perché il mio corpo non può essere rispettato? (Venus, god of sex, why can’t my body be respected?), Ella-Maude Wilson

Foyer Exhibition


EXHIBITION DATES: Friday 6 November 2020 – Wednesday 27 January 2021
WHERE: Carclew Foyer & Ballroom Galleries

CURATOR | Christina Massolino
ARTISTS | Gemma Rose Brook, Nicole Clift, Kienan McKay

Relaxing Tensions, curated by Christina Massolino, seeks to unfold the complex experiences of the 2020 Carclew resident artists Gemma Rose Brook and Nicole Clift and writer Kienan McKay faced during this year, represented through their deeply reflective yet diverse works. 


Join artist Gemma Brook on a tour of Relaxing Tensions, as she delves into the moments and memories that inspired her.

WHERE: Carclew House, 11 Jeffcott St, North Adelaide
WHEN: 7:30PM on Wednesday 13 January


Join Carclew’s Inaugural Writer in Residence, Kienan McKay, for a live reading and exploration of his series Laundry.

WHERE: Carclew House, 11 Jeffcott St, North Adelaide
WHEN: 6:30PM on Thursday 21 January

Relaxing Tensions spreads across our Foyer Gallery and Ballroom. As the Ballroom space is sometimes occupied for other purposes, we recommend that you call ahead to ensure you will have access to the whole exhibition. Call 08 8267 5111.


A difficult year, to say the least, has been had by all, with the pandemic making the residents’ experiences as artists even more valued than ever. We turn to their persistent willingness to create through unprecedented times, as representations of our shared intrinsic need to not only survive, but to survive creatively and wholly. Relaxing Tensions is a collection of works that symbolise the mutual qualities of the artists to adapt, move fluidly, and story-tell honestly, openly and with great conviction.

Gemma Rose Brook’s deep connection to nature, painted warmly and richly through her distinctive plein-air Australian landscapes is all too telling of the very shared desire to escape, adventure, relax and reconnect; made evidently stronger due to this years’ seemingly inescapable occurrences.

Brook’s works draw a parallel to Nicole Clift’s, where a shining creative moment occurs when one slows down, observes and captures a peaceful moment amongst the ever-changing chaos. Clift achieves this through her delicate organza ‘nebulas’ placed thoughtfully in beams of sunlight within the Carclew Ballroom, collapsing the moment and space within each photograph.

Resident writer Kienan McKay has similarly utilised his time this year to create a series of deeply reflective works, discussing the human condition at its core through a series of short stories set in rural Australia. McKay’s installation approach, featuring an iconic hills hoist to present the written works, advocates for the ‘importance of connection within our communities,’ summarising the artists’ shared experience of needing to connect to a place, a moment, an experience through such a period of immense tension.


Contact Details

Braidee Otto
Arts & Events Coordinator, Arts Programs
(08) 8230 1117