Step inside the personal spaces of people who exude creativity and discover what inspires them in their everyday lives.
Kirsten Siddle & Scott Maidment
The city balcony at Kirsten Siddle and Scott Maidment’s East Terrace home is a place not only for quiet contemplation, but late-night parties.
As the freshness of the new year wears off and Adelaide’s festival season kicks into gear, any quiet time makes way for the soirees, with the balcony’s view right into The Garden of Unearthly Delights over the road.
It’s the very reason Scott, The Garden’s director, purchased the property in 2007 – the year the Adelaide Fringe first became an annual event.
Scott has been making shows for, and in, Adelaide for more than 35 years. Currently, he’s the director of production company Strut & Fret, while Kirsten is director of Broad Encounters Productions.
“We love our own space, being able to cook a meal and make a cocktail at home,” Kirsten says. “When our work onsite at the Fringe is finished, we can kick back on the balcony in the glow of The Garden’s lights, hearing the roar of audience laughter and applause,” Kirsten says.
“Being here at festival time is one very valued constant in our nomadic touring lives. It’s an inspiring and exhausting start to every year and we love it so much.”
Being in Adelaide during “Mad March” is the constant for Scott and Kirsten every year, who are otherwise jetting all over the country for their shows – they also own a place in Melbourne, but have only spent about 20 days there over the past three years – so they always know that come the beginning of the year, they get three solid months in Adelaide; no more living out of a suitcase.
“You can’t do something like The Garden with so much energy, if you haven’t got something to ground you,” Scott says.
When they touch down, they can do their shopping and really settle in, visiting their favourite spots. They always take international artists to Est Pizzeria on East Terrace, or make their way over to East End Cellars.
This time spent in Adelaide is also when they get to premiere their new productions – this year, Scott brought The Party to The Garden for the first time and it was Kirsten’s third year showcasing Maho Magic Bar.
When Scott and Kirsten are away, their home has been known to host a range of creatives, from ballet dancers and cabaret artists to people in the film industry.
“Rent is a bottle of Champagne, so we always come back to something good in the fridge.”
So, what’s their favourite time of day when here in Adelaide? Kirsten is certain about that.
“Margarita time! Nothing beats the South Australian sunset. The twilight hour is truly the magical hour for both of us and it’s a time when everything opens up and feels expansive – it feels like anything is possible.”
Visual artist Emmaline Zanelli describes her studio as chaotic. But it’s among that chaos, that inspiration is born.
The studio is a shed in her Maslin Beach back yard that’s been fitted out for her purposes.
“This is the first time I’ve had an official studio at home, but I’ve always definitely felt most inspired or most free when I’m at home,” Emmaline says.
Emmaline, winner of the 2022 Churchie Emerging Art Prize, moved into the home in 2021 with her partner, who has since moved overseas to study.
“I’ve been by myself here since October and I’ve been finding that suddenly I’m in the studio until midnight. You’re accountable just to yourself and sometimes I love that, but sometimes the energy to keep yourself on track can be a little bit draining.”
Having her own readily-accessible space has been agame-changer.
“I felt like I could invest in better gear and now I can work creatively until I have no juice left in the tank – then I can just leave it all and come back in the morning. If I was working in another space, I would calculate how much I’d have to backtrack to clean up according to how deep I was going.”
Some of the things Emmaline loves about the studio are the same things she hates.
“It’s pretty rough and ready. It’s unlined corrugated iron so it gets really hot and really cold, but I love that it’s rough because I can ruin the floor with paint and it doesn’t matter.”
Emmaline says a day in the studio begins with a few solid hours of procrastination, a bit of cleaning, then she’ll put on music – she’s been listening to her boyfriend’s favourites to feel as though there’s someone else around – and then once it starts to get late, the real work comes out.
The artist is slightly overstating things when she says the studio is chaos. Everything seems to have its place, although there are a lot of things. There are fabric backgrounds, photography gear and a seemingly odd collection of items that have no relation to each other, aside from being the quirky props in Emmaline’s work.
Every step up the path to Jonathon Oxlade’s home brings with it a stripping away of the city streets that surround it.
The inner-Adelaide abode sits in the thick of city life, just without the hustle, bustle and noise pollution.
Jonathon, who is the Windmill Theatre Company’s resident designer, bought the home at the beginning of 2020, renovated it and then moved in, in July that year.
“It was pretty ’90s,” Jonathon says. “It was like a rabbit warren interior. It was built in the late 1970s – basically it’s as old as I am – but the interior had been done in the ’90s.”
He enlisted builders from his industry to give him a hand during the beginning of the Covid pandemic and together, they modified walls, put in new floorboards and installed a new kitchen.
“The entire place had a makeover and it was great to be able to give some mates some work,” Jonathon says.
Jonathon and his mates turned the space into a vibrant home dominated by primary colours and pops of interest everywhere you look. The Dulux Picture Book Green laundry with arched doorway is the area that draws you in first, then the spiral staircase leading to the loft bedroom.
Conversation pieces are scattered everywhere, from the bright red Daniel – Emma chair in one corner, to Jonathon’s own art in another. There are wood carvings, weavings, pottery and other pieces that have been gifted from friends. “One of the best things about being an artist is sharing your art with other artists. The shape of the house is so interesting and very simple – it’s an L-shape that overlooks a courtyard. Everything points to the garden, so when it’s all open, it feels like it’s very connected to the outdoors.
“Being built in the late ’70s by an Austrian designer, it has a chalet-like feel. The roofline creates a dynamic shape and also helps cool the house during summer.”
Jonathon’s dining table is an ideal spot to sit and sketch away at costumes, which he often finds himself doing.
“Deceptively, the house is tucked away in a little green pocket that’s filled with birds and is super quiet. It’s like an oasis in the centre of town. Walk outside and it’s minutes to the Central Market.”
This article first appeared in the March 2023 issue of SALIFE magazine.
including free delivery to your door.