An exhibition depicting one of Adelaide's devastating shipwreck stories has opened at the South Australian Maritime Museum.
Titled Dark Things in Dark Places, the exhibition explores the story of the Star of Greece ship.
The ship left Port Adelaide at 6pm on July 12, 1888. Squally weather quickly set in, causing it to drift off course and veer too close to the shore. A massive wave then hammered the vessel against the reef off Port Willunga, breaking it in two. Of the 28 crew on board, only 11 survived.
Curators at the History Trust have worked with South Australian artist Christobel Kelly to create an exhibition that explores the story of the Star of Greece through art and objects, and the impact on the community of what is still today widely regarded as one of South Australia's worst maritime disasters.
Artist and accomplished writer Christobel Kelly spent her childhood in Aldinga near the site of the wreck, living in the old Temperance Hotel. Growing up, she was surrounded by stories of tragedy. The oil paintings in the exhibition are her emotional response to, and imaginings of, that tragic event.
"Stories of tragedy) seeped into the landscape, and haunted the buildings, pine trees and sand dunes, so that the areas of Port Willunga and Aldinga remain ghosted and whispering places," Ms Kelly said.
The exhibition is rich in stories, memories and personal reflections. Christobel's soft-hued works with silhouettes and brooding skies beautifully capture the darkness of the event and the way the story soaked into her childhood at Aldinga.
Ten artworks will be on display alongside artefacts from the wreck, now held in the South Australian Maritime Museum collection, as well as artefacts from the South Australian Museum and the Port Willunga Historical Trust. Some of these include: the Star of Greece figurehead, fragments of a canon that was on board, various notes, poems and certificates and other significant relics.
Dr Adam Paterson, Manager of Curatorial at the History Trust of South Australia, says the Star of Greece continues to be an important story to tell.
"Christobel's paintings have a luminous and ethereal quality linking the tragic wrecking of the Star of Greece to enduring landscapes and community memory. It's a moving and beautiful way to tell a story riddled with maladministration, and impotent heroism as attempts by onlookers to rescue the sailors were thwarted by heavy surf."
Dark Things in Darks Places is at the South Australian Maritime Museum, 126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, 08 8207 6255 and closes on December 9, 2022.
Click here for more information.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.