Joel Allen and Ruby Chew – Talking Cabaret Life Drawing • Glam Adelaide


Sip and Paint experiments have become extremely popular in recent years. The premise is simple: spend an hour or two with an art teacher who will guide you through tips and tricks for creating your own masterpiece while enjoying a glass of wine or two. These events are perfect for date nights, hen nights, social gatherings and family events. This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival has its own sip and paint experience, but like all things cabaret, there will be some unique twists.

Recently, I met Joel Allen, assistant producer of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and Ruby Chew, South African artist and art teacher for Cabaret Life Drawing.

Each year, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival puts on a brilliant line-up of shows and events. I asked Joël what the process was each year to finalize the selection of shows offered.

“It usually starts with the artistic director and his vision of what he wants his festival to be. We start with their vision statement for the festival, and from there we discover the works and artists that relate to this theme. This year, Tina Arena was very keen to explore what we summarize as “places and spaces”. She spoke a lot about COVID and being trapped in isolation and how the festival can therefore be a vehicle to transport people to different times and places around the world. So that was really the support on how we put together this year’s program. I think we’ve been successful in finding shows that transport people to a new place.

Cabaret Life Drawing is a brilliant twist on “Sip and Paint” events, combining an art class immersed in the world of cabaret with live music. I asked Joel how Cabaret Life Drawing is part of the Cabaret Festival.

“When we were brainstorming and looking at how Tina Arena’s vision fit into a cabaret festival and I was looking at her Instagram, I noticed she was a Dior partner and started thinking about how whose fashion is always at the forefront of Tina. She is always in beautiful dresses and always looks stunning. So, I started working on how I could bring her love for fashion into a cabaret environment. From there, we started thinking about all the costumes that have been used in theater over the years, and then we evolved to look at these ‘paint and sip’ events that people go to. So , what if there was an event where people could sit in a cabaret environment with these beautiful life models wearing beautiful costumes from shows past and present and you could sit there and draw in charcoal on a wine, while sitting in the beautiful Spiegeltent and it turned into this event: Cabaret Life Drawing.

Local Adelaide artist Ruby Chew will be the art instructor for Cabaret Life Drawing.

“I’m a visual artist and studied at Adelaide Central School of Art, and that’s the connection here, because Adelaide Cabaret Festival has a partnership with them. I also studied abroad in London. I have a practice here in Adelaide. I’m mainly a painter and draftsman, but I’m also an animator at Adelaide Central School and a few other places.

Ruby was easily lured into participating in Cabaret Life Drawingand she assures me that you don’t have to be the next Picasso to participate.

“I was drawn to this project because I really liked the idea of ​​exploring cabaret through the lens of an artist. I think that’s what people will get – they can come and enjoy and experience cabaret, but in a different way.

“It will be accessible to everyone. You don’t need to have previous drawing experience. We just want people to come and sit down and be immersed in the world of cabaret and fashion, while learning and learning new drawing techniques. There will also be live music, which I think is such an important aspect of this as well in terms of connecting to the cabaret. I’ll walk you through a range of different drawing techniques, resulting in a mini portfolio of fashion-focused sketches. It will be very immersive. All we ask is that people come and be willing to try. I think people are going to be surprised with their results. Some of the drawing techniques I’m going to cover will be a bit more traditional, but some will be free and experimental. Everyone will get something out of it. »

Cabaret Life Drawing will take place each weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in The Famous Spiegeltent. Saturday 11, 18 and 25 June at 3 p.m. and Sunday 12 & 19 June at 5 p.m.

Joel assures me that this will be an event that everyone will love.

“It’s going to be one of those really great events. You can come on a date night, a hen party. It’s that kind of environment where you can come alone, as a couple or in a group, and everyone everyone will have a great time.”

Tickets can be purchased from the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website.

Interviewed by Ben Stefanoff

Photo credit: Rosina Possingham

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