Whimsical World of Adelaide Fringe Captured in 2022 Winning Poster Design

Mon, Oct 11 2021
The countdown to next year’s Adelaide Fringe is officially underway from today, with the unveiling of the 2022 Poster Design – awarded to the first Aboriginal artist in the festival’s 62-year history.
Mali Isabel sits on a table with her winning poster design.
Mali Isabel poster winner for 2022
Poster Competition winner Mali Isabel. Photo: Fumika Takagi, 2022

The countdown to next year’s Adelaide Fringe is officially underway from today, with the unveiling of the 2022 Poster Design – awarded to the first Aboriginal artist in the festival’s 62-year history.

Titled A Whimsical World, the winning poster – designed by emerging 22-year-old Arabana and Kokatha visual artist Mali Isabel and revealed this morning at the APY Lands Gallery in Adelaide – incorporates dot design in a beautiful array of rainbow colours.

Ms Isabel said her magical landscape was inspired by the Adelaide CBD and its key locations including the River Torrens, the city’s East End and Botanical Gardens, capturing the magic, connection and equality that the Fringe reflects.

“The scattered symbols and dots throughout the painting hold meanings that will shift in the eye of the beholder,” Ms Isabel said. “They represent the hundreds of gatherings, performances, venues and exhibitions that take place across the city throughout Adelaide Fringe, highlighting the many unique and fulfilling experiences available.

“Each colour used to create the piece represents something different: red symbolises adventure, orange is excitement, pink is creativity, yellow is positivity, green is life, brown is diversity, blue is imagination, purple is spirituality, silver is magic, gold is connection, and white is joy. The combination of these colours celebrates the spirit of the Adelaide Fringe and all it has to offer.”

Ms Isabel – who was recently awarded the 2021 Our Mob Trevor Nickolls Art Prize – said entering the competition had always been a goal.

“I have been going to Adelaide Fringe for as long as I can remember, it’s one of my favourite times of the year,” she said. “Winning the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Poster Competition is an absolute dream come true.
“I’m (...) the first Aboriginal poster winner for the Festival, which makes me feel so incredibly proud, humbled and excited for my community. I can’t wait for my artwork to be seen across the city.”

In keeping with tradition, the Adelaide Fringe poster was selected from hundreds of other entries from all around the world with the winning artist taking out the prize of $3,000, plus free event registration and support to present their own exhibition as part of the 2022 festival.

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said this year’s competition attracted 360 entries from 11 different countries, with Ms Isabel’s design a standout to the judging panel and a runaway favourite in the public vote.

“Thank you to the hundreds of competition entrants this year. We are honoured to be revealing the first Aboriginal poster winner in Fringe’s history. We are grateful that Mali decided to enter the poster design competition to share her incredible talent with Fringe and the world,” Ms Croall said.

BankSA State General Manager, Consumer, Ben Owen said the countdown was on for the Fringe festival to transform Adelaide with the 2022 poster now officially unveiled.

“BankSA is proud to continue its support of the Fringe, and we’re thrilled for Mali and her winning Whimsical World poster design – it’s really set the scene for what is already shaping up to be another truly memorable and exciting 2022 Adelaide Fringe festival,” he said.

Adelaide Fringe is the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Fringe 2022 will run from 18 February until 20 March.

About the artist – Mali Isabel
  • Mali Isabel is a 22-year-old emerging Arabana and Kokatha visual artist born in Port Augusta.
  • When Mali finished high school, she dabbled in art, experimenting with dot painting, and found creating art helped her mental health. It soon became a flourishing passion.
  • Mali’s art first appeared in the Carclew Emerging Curators Exhibition at the Adelaide Town Hall in 2018 and subsequently in the Our Mob Exhibition at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2019.
  • While she went on to study Education at university and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Aboriginal Studies in the primary sector, art was still a deep love.
  • Finishing university in 2020, Mali decided to take a break and focus on developing her artistic style, applying for the Carclew Share House Program, which provides a studio for the winning entry for a year. She concludes this in February 2022.
For more information about Mali's winning artwork visit here