Project Summary

Step back 100 years ago to find out what life was like on the streets of Adelaide during the First World War, discover who the Cheer Up Society were and why violets are significant to SA in a spectacular 90 minute son et lumier on the Torrens Parade Ground Barracks, that runs twice nightly on the Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th July.

Bring your chair and thermos, dress warmly and enjoy the outdoor midwinter experience of a narrative projection onto the Barracks. The event is free, ideal for all ages and interests. The show will play at 6pm and 8pm each night. Food vendors will be on site on Friday and Saturday. As it is an all weather event, it will only be cancelled in the event of extreme weather conditions so come prepared, bring your raincoat or umbrella.

The story commemorates the women and volunteers who established the Cheer Up Society and other volunteer organisations. They not only provided support to men on the front, but also provided ongoing support to wounded and shellshocked men, and to bereaved mothers and families. The Cheer Up Society raised funds to build a soldiers’ clubhouse by selling violets around South Australia on the 2nd July 1915, including one bunch that sold at auction in Burra for 384 Pounds. The Cheer Up Society predated the RSL and was a uniquely South Australian response to the war involving primarily women; and the Violet Day fundraiser they established continued for nearly 60 years. This spectacular project will illuminate and and transfigure the architecture of the Torrens Parade Ground building over three nights, coinciding with the centenary of the first Violet Day.

This project has involved collaboration with artists from Albany WA during the making of The Departure (presented ANZAC 2015) and has been supported by Arts SA, History SA, Channel Nine and Mosaic AV.

Other Info


Find out everything you need to know about the Violet Verses event in 2015 at


Project Team

  • Cindi Drennan, Artistic Director
  • Andy Petrusevics, Animation / Story
  • Zero, Animation
  • Helen Bock, Associate Producer
  • Michael Mills, Performance / Story
  • Allison Russell, Senior Curator, History SA
  • Tash Rolfe, Associate Producer
  • Christeen Schoepf, Research Consultant
  • Katherine Annear, Research Consultant
  • Nicholas Filsell, Production Manager
  • Brodie Green, Sound Design
  • Craig Williams, Projection Design