An artist has put himself in the spotlight to create the winning design for the 2019 Adelaide Fringe’s official poster.

Created by Warnambool painter Matthew Clarke, the poster is a self-portrait of himself as a Fringe performer.

Clarke, who identifies as having an intellectual disability, started creating art in 2005 and works with acrylic on linen.

“For me, painting is about wanting to express my happiness to others. I like using bold, bright colours so it attracts people and makes them feel happy about art,” he said. “I have a disability, so I’m quite proud to show there’s no barriers between that and making artwork.”

 “I’m excited to see my poster displayed all over Adelaide. It really means a lot to me,” he said.

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said this year’s poster design was a move away from the graphic prints of recent years and a nod to some of the iconic Fringe posters created by painters in the past.

“We chose Matthew’s entry because of the striking, fiery brush strokes that convey a sense of risk-taking and adventure and the vibrant colours that encapsulate the energy of Fringe. It all comes together to create a stunning self-portrait of the artist putting on a Fringe show. We love the story behind the poster and the way it celebrates the performer in all of us,” Ms Croall said.


Ms Croall said the fact the winner is an artist with a disability complemented the Fringe’s growing number of initiatives to improve the festival’s accessibility and inclusivity.

 “We’re looking forward to introducing new measures to make the 2019 Adelaide Fringe our most accessible festival yet so everyone can come along for the ride.”

This year saw 357 entries submitted. The winning design will start to appear around Adelaide as anticipation for next year’s Fringe builds. A full 2019 Adelaide Fringe program will be released in December.