Contemporary Collectors play a vital role in supporting the acquisition of contemporary art for the Art Gallery of South Australia's permanent collection.

Since its inception in 2003, funds generated by Contemporary Collectors has resulted in more than 300 new works of contemporary art for the Gallery's collection.

Tracey Moffatt
First Jobs, 2008

Through the generous benefaction of an anonymous donor, the Gallery has recently acquired Tracey Moffatt’s First Jobs series. The series of twelve photographs were made by Moffatt in 2008 when she was living in New York. As with much of her work, Moffatt draws on her own autobiography to create works that address wider issues in Australia and more globally.

Quoting from the high-key hand tinted images found in magazines from the nineteen seventies, Tracey Moffatt traces her inauspicious past employment. With nostalgia and humour, Moffatt inserts herself into each scene – making a cameo appearance in her own history. The colour is reminiscent of a vintage tourism campaign, ironic given the mediocrity of the environments depicted.

Moffatt said the following about the series in the year it was made,

"But I remember the good things about the factory floor. Walking into work everyday and saying hi to people you knew, there was a camaraderie. The work was mindless but it didn’t mean that your mind couldn’t go places. Then there was knock-off time. The bell would ring and you would be out the door with a wad of cash in your hand and not a care in the world.

In being a full-time artist there never is any knock-off time. There’s always a nagging, miserable voice of ideas in your head and you MUST get up off the sofa and produce work. The bell never rings and you never know where your next buck is coming from. Your mind is constantly wound up. You’re never really physically tired not like when you had a real honest job. But would I go back to working in a factory just to get good a night’s sleep? Ha, um, no."

Yann Gerstberger, France, born 1983, Y-6, 2019, Mexico City, tapestry, 280.0 x 250.0 cm; Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Courtesy of Yann Gerstberger and OMR, Mexico City.

Yann Gertsberger
Y-6, 2019

Y-6 (2019) is a new large-scale tapestry created by Yann Gerstberger in Mexico City. Like all of Gerstberger’s tapestries, it has been created through a unique technique developed by the artist during his time at the Dar Al Ma’ Mun residency in Marrakesh in 2012. Gerstberger’s labour-intensive process involves collecting string from mop-heads, which are dyed by hand using a mixture of natural and industrial dyes and then glued and stitched to a vinyl board.

The lively composition on a yellow backdrop depicts masks and birds inspired by Aztec symbology, and a winged angel drawn from post-colonial Mexican folk art imagery. Gerstberger has also been heavily influenced by Fabulas Panicas, or Panic Fables, a weekly comic strip created in the 1968 by Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for the Mexican newspaper El Heraldo de México. The French artist takes his cue from Jodorowsky’s graphic novels and is as wildly experimental and unapologetically bombastic in his surreal and fantastic post-graffiti landscapes.

Born in 1983 in Cagnes sur Mer, France, Yann Gerstberger relocated his studio to Mexico City in 2012. He graduated from the Beaux Arts de Nantes, France in 2005 and completed his Master of Art at Beaux Arts de Marseille, France in 2007. He exhibits regularly in North and South America and Europe and was recently included in Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study at ACCA: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia, curated by Chris Sharp. Gerstberger’s work is held in collections at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, London; Alumnos 47, Mexico City; Fundación Calosa, Irapuato, Mexico; and Collection Mario Testino, Lima, Peru.

installation view: Ramsay Art Prize 2019 featuring Ride to church by Pierre Mukeba, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, brush pen, synthetic polymer paint and applique on canvas, 320.0 x 424.0 cm; Courtesy the artist and GAGPROJECTS | Greenaway Art Gallery, photo: Saul Steed

Pierre Mukeba
Ride to Church, 2018

Pierre Mukeba’s first drawings and paintings were made on bed sheets with indelible brush pens and pencils. Within a few months of commencing an art practice, the Congolese-born artist started to incorporate fabrics sourced from Africa. He works on thin unstretched canvas, on a small table in his bedroom, and yet from such a restricted space he can produce works up to five metres high. His drawn lines are often sewn over while large areas of canvas are left raw.

Mukeba was born in Bukavu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Moving to South Australia with his family in 2006, he began to paint the extraordinary experiences and people from his childhood. Sometimes themes of brutality, violence, political and economic exploitation emerge and at other times memories of family proliferate.

At just 24 years of age, Mukeba was the youngest finalist selected for this year’s Ramsay Art Prize. His four-metre-long painting uses drawing and fabric collage to capture a memory of a ride to church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ride to Church was selected as the winner of the Ramsay Art Prize 2019 Lipman Karas People's Choice award.

Tom Moore, Australia, born 1971, Mirror King, 2018, Adelaide, hot joined blown and solid glass, silver leaf, mirror, 72.0 x 42.5 x 19.0 cm; Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide, © Tom Moore, photo: Grant Handcok.

Tom Moore
Daphne, 2017, Mirror King, 2018, Teeth Totem, 2018 and Radioactive Potato Goblet, 2017

Tom Moore has established a singular identity as an artist who draws upon and subverts the Venetian glass traditions to explore identity and ecology. His humorous vessels explore the history of glass and the history of representation with a particular focus on zoomorphism and anthropomorphism. His recent doctoral studies have sharpened his interest in hybridity and wonder and his most recent body of work, including the four works proposed for acquisition, embody his ultimate desire to animate the inanimate. These works commenced their life as drawings and have drawn upon the rich history of the cabinet of curiosities and the Wunderkammer as a site of metamorphic transformation.

Tom Moore graduated from Canberra School of Art Glass workshop in 1994 and then relocated to Adelaide to train in production techniques at Jam Factory until 1997. He worked as the production manager at Jam Factory from 1999 to 2014 and recently submitted his PhD for examination at the University of South Australia. As a recipient of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Japan/South Australia Award he also trained in glass blowing in Japan and is represented in international collections including The Corning Museum of Glass in New York, the Museum of American Glass in New Jersey, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Museum of Applied Sciences (formerly the Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney.

In 2020 he will be the subject of a major survey exhibition at the JamFactory.