Guildhouse is South Australia’s leading organisation for visual artists, craftspeople and designers.
Our vision is for creative practitioners to have sustainable careers and to be recognised and valued by our community. Guildhouse is a dynamic for-purpose organisation with a 54 year history, supporting a thriving visual arts, craft and design ecology through working directly with practitioners to develop their practice and work with ambition.
We have over 980 members across diverse areas of contemporary visual arts practice at all career stages, as well as arts organisations, businesses and guilds.
With a clear focus on creating opportunities for artists and leading sector development, Guildhouse engages and supports artists with creative and career development programs such as residencies, mentorships, one-on-one advice, tailored business skill development, network development and opportunities to create new work.
Guildhouse has developed a diversified business model, with a growing network of philanthropic supporters and a burgeoning social enterprise that is creating new forms of revenue for the creative industries.
Guildhouse is comprised of a dynamic team, supporting a growing membership base and presents a thriving annual program of events and initiatives in partnership with South Australia’s leading cultural and corporate partners.
We are located in Adelaide’s vibrant west end, in the Lion Arts Centre.
Explore our Folio platform to see a portfolio of a selection of our members.
Andrew Cohen (Chair)
Director – Cohen Group of Companies
Andrew is Director of a leading Australian retail property management, investment and developer – The Cohen Group of Companies. Former CEO of the Cohen Group from 2000 to 2017, Andrew oversaw the sustained expansion and success of the Cohen Group’s signature Burnside Village shopping centre, their Commercial & Industrial property portfolio expansion and the Group’s organisational restructure.
A family business at its core, Andrew continues to sit on the Board’s – Risk & Audit Committee, Finance Committee and Development Committee.
Andrew is a two-time graduate of Harvard Business School and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Andrew holds a diploma in Hospitality Management from the Regency International School of Food and is a Member of the Property Council of SA.
He has extensive governance and business experience as Director of Cohen Group of Companies, Director of Hutt Street Centre and a former member of the Lot Fourteen Steering Committee.
Andrew’s arts interests are varied. He Chairs the Burnside Village Foundation, is a passionate South Australian arts collector and has sourced Art installations worldwide for Burnside Village.
Clare Belfrage (Deputy Chair)
Born in Melbourne and based in Adelaide, artist Clare Belfrage has maintained a distinguished practice for over 30 years. Her detailed and complex glass drawings on blown glass forms reflect the high-level skill and mastery of her craft that makes her one of the country’s most renowned artists in this medium. Inspired by nature and its various rhythms and energies, Belfrage’s exquisite sculptural objects express her fine attention to detail and interest in the minutiae of the natural world. Belfrage has received several prestigious awards including the inaugural JamFactory FUSE Glass Prize in 2016 and the Tom Malone Glass Prize, Art Gallery of Western Australia in 2005 and 2011. She was the featured artist for the 2018 SALA Festival and celebrated as one of South Australia’s most influential artists working in a craft medium through JamFactory’s Icon series, presenting a solo exhibition, A Measure of Time for a 3 year national tour. She has held a number of influential industry roles, including Creative Director of Canberra Glassworks from 2009 to 2013. Her involvement in the education sector has seen her teach at universities in both Australia and the US and she has taught workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand, the US and Japan. She is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia. Belfrage continues to exhibit extensively and is represented in major public collections throughout Australia, the US and Europe including the National Gallery of Australia, the Corning Museum of Glass, USA and Ebeltoft Glass Museum, Denmark.
Born 1949, Tehran, Iran. Lives and works Adelaide, South Australia.
Hossein Valamanesh emigrated from Iran to Australia in 1973. Valamanesh works with different media from installation to sculpture, painting, collage and video . Inspired by personal experiences and memories, he uses ordinary objects and natural materials to create visual poetry that reflects on his life in Australia and his experiences of his birthplace, Iran.
He has completed a number of major public art commissions with artist Angela Valamanesh including Ginkgo Gate, a new western entrance to the Botanic Gardens, Adelaide (2011); 14 Pieces on North Terrace, Adelaide (2005); and An Gorta Mor, a memorial to the Great Irish Famine at Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney (1999).
Selected solo exhibitions include, Hossein Valamanesh and Angela Valamanesh , GAGPROJECTS Adelaide (2020): Angela & Hossein Valamanesh, Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne (2017):Char Soo Samstag Museum of Art University of SA (2015}: Selected Works 1992 – 2013, Grey Noise Gallery Dubai UAE (2013): Breath, Rose Issa Projects London UK (2013): Hossein Valamanesh, AMA Gallery Helsinki Finland (2009): Hossein Valamanesh, Sherman Galleries, Sydney (2006): Tracing the Shadow, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney(2002}: Hossein Valamanesh: A Survey, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2001).
Director/Owner, Sarah Mountain Journeys Pty Ltd
Katie Sarah currently owns and manages Sarah Mountain Journeys Pty Ltd.
Her experience and education have developed skills in a variety of industries and roles. She has worked in roles ranging from a national organisation to family business, in technical, sales, and managerial roles.
Her business experience combined with field experience in extreme conditions and environments has led to the acquisition of skills in project management, working with third world business partners, logistics, and risk management in high pressure situations. Working both as a member of a team, and in leadership and managerial roles has given her a wide range of experience and expertise.
Katie’s first climbing experience at altitude was a successful summit of a 6542m peak in Bolivia in 2006. Katie was the first Australian woman to summit Mt Himlung, Nepal (7126m) in 2009, and participated in an expedition that pioneered a new route on Mt Vinson in Antarctica in 2008.
In 2010, Katie summited Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8848m, becoming the first South Australian (and sixth Australian) woman to do so.
As of June 2013, she was one of the few Australian women to have completed the 7 Summits – the highest peak on each of the seven continents.
As of January 2018, she is the only woman in the world – one of approximately 9 people – to have completed both the 7 Summits and the 7 Volcanic Summits. Having successfully skied the Last Degree to the South Pole, with a similar expedition to the North Pole to be undertaken in April 2019, she will add the Explorers’ Grand Slam to these achievements, becoming not only the first woman in the world to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam plus 7 Volcanic Summits, but one of only approximately 4 people in the world to have ever successfully completed this goal.
On a professional level over recent years Katie has also taken ownership and control of Sarah Mountain Journeys, to turn it into a successful niche business operating in extreme and adventure travel.
Katie is married with three adult sons. She counts herself fortunate enough to be able to combine work with a passion for the outdoors, spending as much time as can be spared from home and family pursuing outdoor hobbies such as rock climbing, mountaineering and training for Ironman triathlons as well as maintaining an active interest in several not for profit organisations. Katie is Chairperson for Holiday Explorers, Board Member of Guide Dogs SA/NT and Patron of Nature Play SA, as well as an active volunteer for the Leukaemia Foundation and Meals on Wheels. She is also associated with brilliant SA organisations such as Catherine House, SAHMRI and Sight For All.
Director, JL Lawyers
Talia is a corporate and tax lawyer with close to 20 years’ experience, including the last 5 years as an owner and director of boutique law firm, JL Lawyers.
An honours graduate of the University of Melbourne, Talia initially honed her legal skills at a top ten national law firm in Melbourne before returning to her much loved home state of South Australia.
Talia has prior experience in the not for profit sector in both professional advisory and governance roles.
She is also an Associate member of the Tax Institute and currently holds a position on the Risk and Finance Committee of Sensei Product Solutions, which advises to the Board of this national IT company.
Talia has a keen and broad interest in the Arts and in supporting the growth of the sector in South Australia (albeit little artistic credentials herself…).
Christian Hall is a studio-based contemporary artist working in the field of object art and design. Initially trained in jewellery and metal techniques, his practice has evolved across the production of jewellery, everyday objects, sculpture and installation. The foundation of his practice has been an ongoing curiosity and experimentation with object making via a research-led, solo exhibition practice. He also works across production and commissioned works, teaching, mentoring and other areas of professional engagement.
Hall has exhibited and been engaged in projects nationally and internationally, held teaching positions in TAFE and universtities and worked as the Creative Director for JamFactory’s Jewellery and Metal Studio. He is a mid-career artist currently engaged in practice-based PhD research. His belief in the visual arts as a form of research has pushed his practice to continually develop into new areas, technically, conceptually and across a topology of object-based practice. This contribution has been recognised via regular funding support from state, federal and overseas agencies since 2003.
Hall has a particular focus on skills-based and material-led practice and has predominantly practiced in the area of metals. He gained introduction to the field by training at Sydney College of the Arts with preeminent visual artists, the late Margaret West, and silver smith Helge Larsenfrom 1994-1998. He acheved Masters under the supervision of Dr Marl Edgoose and Dr Karin Findeis in 2003. From these antecedents he has gained both a technical and critical perspective upon practice. Hall believes in the artists role as one that challenges the normative conventions of their area of practice and the broader social context. He seeks to nurture this criticality in ever aspect of his work in the visual arts.
Chief Executive Officer
Emma is an experienced leader, drawing from experience in the arts, higher education and not-for-profit sectors. Emma’s diverse professional practice lends itself to a strategic approach to advocacy, partnerships, business development and community engagement.
Over the course of the last fifteen years Emma has brought her corporate experience to bear in the arts, driving an ambitious development agenda for the Art Gallery of South Australia and now as CEO of Guildhouse.
Since 2017, Emma has led a period of effective advocacy and increased engagement with the artistic community and audiences; growing cultural, corporate and government partnerships, and increasing capacity through philanthropy and social enterprise.
Emma holds a Graduate Diploma in Art History from the University of Adelaide and a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) from the University of South Australia.
She is a previous board member of No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability and is currently co-Deputy Chair of Community Bridging Services, South Australia’s leading Disability Service Provider.
Emma is committed to the diverse, eclectic world of art for everyone.
Originally from Western Australia, Emma has extensive operational and administrative experience and holds a bachelor degree in Dramatic Art (Production).
In her career to date, she has held management positions at key Australian performing arts organisations including the new Light Cultural Foundation, Adelaide Fringe, Erth Visual and Physical, and Performance Space (Carriageworks).
Emma is a practicing, professional Audio Describer with Access2Arts, demonstrating a longstanding commitment to inclusion and accessibility.
Artistic Programs Manager
Debbie Pryor is an artist, curator, writer and producer based on Kaurna land in Adelaide.
Debbie has led galleries and programs at some of Australia’s leading visual arts, craft and design institutions, including Guildhouse and JamFactory in Adelaide, Australian Design Centre, Powerhouse Museum and Firstdraft in Sydney, and Craft Victoria in Melbourne.
Her advocacy for Australian artists and makers is evident through her curatorial and programming practice, which creates innovative and accessible outcomes for artists and audiences.
Trained in ceramics and glass, Debbie’s creative practice centres around domestic objects – particularly ceramics and jewellery. Her work spans multiple mediums and experiments with domestic production and commercial construction materials. Her work is stocked in shops and boutiques across Australia.
Debbie’s writing has been commissioned by or published in Sydney Living Museums, Verge Gallery, CraftACT, inside magazine, and more.
She is past President of Bluestone Collection and past Vice President of Northcity4 in Melbourne, and is currently an Australian Board member of the Worlds Crafts Council Australia.
Heidi Kenyon is a contemporary visual artist based on Kaurna land in Adelaide. Her practice seeks to encourage viewers to find meaning and magic in everyday spaces, objects and rituals through sculpture, installation, sound-based work and public art.
Since 2005 Heidi has exhibited and participated in residencies, mentorships and workshops inter/nationally. She holds a Master of Visual Arts from the University of South Australia, and has a breadth of experience in the arts including project management, teaching roles and post-graduate research. Heidi has worked for institutions including Flinders University City Gallery, Carclew, the University of South Australia and Hahndorf Academy. She brings a wealth of sector knowledge, networks and project coordination skills to the coordination and delivery of Guildhouse programs.
Program Administration Officer
Polly Dymond is a contemporary jeweller, maker, writer and coordinator from Melbourne. Moving to Adelaide at the beginning of 2020, she is based on Kaurna land as a Jewellery and Metal Associate at JamFactory.
With a background in marketing and communications she has a Bachelor of Arts from Swinburne University, and held diverse roles in teaching, cinema exhibition, visual arts, marketing and event management before her lifelong preoccupation with making grew too strong to ignore. Prior to her move to Adelaide, Polly worked in public programs for the National Gallery of Victoria and marketing for the Jewish International Film Festival.
Her creative practice is driven by a deep love of the natural and elemental combined with despair over the loss of craftsmanship and disposability of contemporary objects and materials. A finalist of the DIA GOTYA Awards (Jewellery) and a recipient of the NMH Metalworks Prize for Smithing she completed and Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design at Melbourne Polytechnic in 2019.
ART WORKS Emerging Curator 2021
Ann-Marie is a qualified Interior Designer who has worked extensively as a designer and design educator in NSW. She holds a Master of Museum and Curatorial Studies from the University of Adelaide, and a Master of Art and Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Art and Design NSW.
Her recent studies in the Museum and Curatorial Studies program inspired an interest in community-focused art projects and provided a new direction for her art, design and curatorial projects.
Since completing her studies, she has worked with OSCA, The City of Marion, The City of West Torrens, Hutt Street Traders, and SALA.
Ann-Marie currently lives in Adelaide. She will be based at Guildhouse for 1 day per week throughout 2021 and will be liaising closely with the 2021 ART WORKS Artists in Residence and Writer in Residence.
Ann-Marie will be curating three exhibitions of South Australian artists that will be presented at the Adelaide Town Hall Mankurri-api Kuu (Reconciliation room) and First Floor Gallery.
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Ayesha Aggarwal is an Indian-born Australian potter living and working on Kaurna land in Adelaide. Her practice takes inspiration from place, drawing on nature as a means of connection and exploring ideas of home and comfort. Her functional, one-of-a-kind pieces celebrate a love of adornment and detail that reflects her Indian heritage.
After undertaking a series of short wheel-throwing courses at TAFE SA, Ayesha established her creative practice in 2016. She has since exhibited nationally and her work is available online and with her stockists – JamFactory, Urban Cow Studio, Art Images Gallery, QAGOMA store and the SAM store.
Ayesha holds a degree in Communications (Media and Culture) with a Honours in Children’s Literature from the University of South Australia. The last leg of her career was spent in the publishing industry at Wakefield Press where she honed her skills in marketing and publicity.
John Borley is an artist whose participatory and relational practice investigates themes of routine, repetition and memory. He has developed and presented work internationally in New Zealand and the UK as well as in Australia, including a Laneway Commission for the City of Melbourne.
John has extensive experience working in the education sector, having worked in the UK with National Museums Liverpool and collaborated with numerous art organisations including Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial, Modern Art Oxford and Tate St Ives.
Artist Advisory Group
Guildhouse established an Artist Advisory Group in 2017 to ensure the relevance of our programs to artists, craftspeople and designers across South Australia. The following artists currently comprise the Artist Advisory Group:
Dr Ali Gumillya Baker
Dr Ali Gumillya Baker is a Mirning person who has grown up on Kaurna country. Ali’s maternal family are from the Nullarbor and the West Coast of South Australia. Ali is senior lecturer in the College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University and an artist, writer and member of the Unbound Collective.
Brad Darkson is a South Australian visual artist currently working across various media including carving, sound, sculpture, multimedia installation, and painting.
Darkson’s practice is regularly focussed on site specific works. His current research interests include seaweed, surveillance, ritualised human behaviour, and the pitfalls of neo-capitalism, as well as reconnecting with culture.
Conceptually Darkson’s work is often informed by strong ties to both his Narungga First Nations and Anglo Australian heritage.
In 2015 he completed a BFA at the University of South Australia and in 2017 he completed a MFAD at the University of Tasmania. Selected exhibitions include Adelaide//International (Samstag Museum) 2020; International Symposium on Electronic Art (South Korea) 2019; VIETNAM – ONE IN, ALL IN (Country Arts SA national touring exhibition) 2019 – ongoing; The Return (group exhibition) Dark Mofo, Hobart 2018; LOSS.GAIN.REVERB.DELAY. (solo exhibition) Vitalstatistix 2017.
Carly Snoswell is an emerging Adelaide artist exploring fandom and the creation of craft objects as an ode to particular pop-cultural phenomenon through gendered and labourious forms of craft-making. Through this she attempts to validate these repetitive and obsessive tendencies that develop through involvement in fandom and hobby crafts, working to challenge notions of superficiality and inferiority to present the deep emotional connection that is felt through this engagement. In 2012 she graduated with First Class Honours at the South Australian School of Art and since then has exhibited widely including internationally. Snoswell was Co-Director of FELTspace ARI and has participated in studio residencies in Adelaide, Melbourne, India, New York, Japan and Iceland. She was a member of Mint Studios from 2015-17 and Holy Rollers Studios from 2017-20, however now takes up studio at her home in Seacliff Park. She recently completed a Masters by Research at the South Australian School of Art with her thesis “Beyonce is a Port Supporter”. Since 2015 she has been building a career as a Youth Arts Worker and is currently Arts Program Coordinator at Carlcew’s Pom Pom and Youth Program Officer for the City of Onkaparinga.
Catherine Truman is an established object maker and contemporary jeweller working across the disciplines of art and science. She is a co-founder and current partner of Gray Street Workshop, an internationally renowned artist-run workshop established in 1985 in Adelaide, South Australia.
Truman’s practice is renowned for its diversity and depth and incorporates jewellery, objects, digital imagery, film and installation works with a focus upon the parallels between artistic process and scientific method.
Between 2009 and 2013 she was artist in residence in the Autonomic Neurotransmission Laboratory, the Anatomy and Histology departments and the Ian Gibbins Microscopy Suite at Flinders University, Adelaide.
Truman was awarded an Arts South Australia Fellowship in 2016 and her work was featured in a significant survey exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She was the subject of the 2016 South Australian Living Artist (SALA) monograph, Catherine Truman: touching distance, written by Melinda Rackham, published by Wakefield Press. In 2017, as part of their Icon program, the Jamfactory, Adelaide presented a solo exhibition of Truman’s work. Titled no surface holds, the exhibition highlighted her art/science practice it toured nationally 2018-2020.
During 2019 she was artist in residence at the state Herbarium and Botanic Gardens of South Australia and the Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology, Eye and Vision Research, School of Medicine, Flinders University.
Currently Truman is undertaking a project titled Shared Reckonings a project that explores the creative parallels between the ways in which the human eye and plants process light which will culminate in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Economic Botany and the Dead House in the Botanic Gardens of South Australia during the Adelaide Festival 2021.
Truman is represented in major national and international collections.
Thom Buchanan’s practice traverses a Cross-disciplinary mode of investigations. Informed by his background in drawing and painting, it also incorporates installation, photography, video, performance, sound, murals and collaborations. Buchanan is a master of large-scale live performative works and collaboration. He has been interrogating ideas of the physiological ramifications of built and natural environments for 15 years and still asking questions.
He has exhibited extensively locally, nationally, and internationally and has won a number of major art prizes and grants. His work has been commissioned by The State Theatre Company (SA), Australian Dance Theatre, Vivid Festival Sydney, Adelaide Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK), Slingsby Theatre Company, Fringe Festival (SA), SALA Festival, the Surge Festival in Glasgow, Cabaret Festival, Guitar Festival, Canberra Centenary, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Zephyr Quartet, Big Picture Pillar festival, Big Day Out, Rise Festival (NZ), just to name a few.
Gabriella Bisetto is a Senior lecturer at UniSA Creative at the University of South Australia and a practicing glass artist.
Drawing on her abiding interest in the body as a source of conflicted narratives, Gabriella’s work measures, translates and interprets the mechanisms, forms and ideologies of the human body through blown glass, hot sculpting and team projects.
As an artist Gabriella has been awarded recognition of her practice through her invitation to present a lecture about her work at the multi-disciplinary conference ‘Take a Deep Breath’ at the Tate Modern in London in 2007, awarded the Australia Council Rome Residency to explore the nexus between science ,religion and art in 2009 and awarded the in the nationally competitive Tom Malone Prize in 2016 for her work ‘becoming’.
As a lecturer Gabriella’s pedagogical innovation and commitment has been recognised through a2016 UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2016 and a National Teaching Award Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2017.
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