New exhibition a celebration of wine history

ARTISTY ON SHOW: The Message on a Bottle exhibition features 70 wine labels by 10 leading wine label design studios. Picture: Supplied

A celebration of the South Australian wine industry’s creativity and innovation will be showcased at the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre through December and January.

Message on a Bottle is an exhibition by the University of South Australia’s creative unit and the City of Mount Gambier celebrating the relationships between label designers, grape growers, wine producers and sales marketers.

UniSA Bachelor of Illustration and Animation program director and exhibition team member David Blaiklock said memorable and successful wine labels had seen SA designers and studios gain international prominence in the last 70 years.

“Prior to the 1960s wine labels were just pieces of paper with handwritten titles stuck to the bottle,” he said.

“Prolific designers such as Wyatt Moro, Barrie Tucker, Ian Kidd and John Newland have gone on to reimagine wine labels and bring them to life.

“Wine label design now has a significant influence on purchasing decisions of buyers as well as on the economic, social, and cultural capital of SA.”

The exhibition will feature 70 wine labels by 10 leading wine label design studios and some of SA’s most prolific wine brands including Gemtree Wines, S.C Pannell, Hugh Hamilton, Sevenhill Cellars, The Other Wine Co, d’Arenberg, Tapanappa and Samuel’s Gorge.

Riddoch director Ashleigh Whatling said the exhibition would attract both graphic design lovers and wine enthusiasts.

“The artistry and innovation of the wine label has come a long way in recent years – once upon a time we might sheepishly admit to picking a bottle based on the label, but this exhibition celebrates the way an artist can convert a label into an opportunity to tell a story about people, place and most importantly, ignite our imagination and sense by visually conveying the flavour and experience contained within a bottle,” she said.

On display from December 2, there will be an official opening on Friday, December 8, from 6pm, with the show running until January 29, 2024