The Collections Project

Flinders University Art Museum

31 August – 3 November 2017

Fran Callen’s work typically explores human behaviour and interaction, more recently focusing on motherhood and domesticity. Increasingly her interest in native plants and their place in our lives winds its way amongst the marks of daily life.

As part of The Collections Project, Fran researched the Art Museum’s collections of botanical and zoological prints and drawings, including engravings by Ferdinand Bauer and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur’s early 19th century scientific prints, alongside a collection of work by her uncle, Brian Callen. Her new work explores elements of the traditions, processes and techniques of botanical and scientific illustration, such as Bauer’s use of an elaborate ‘paint by numbers’ colour code and the early Renaissance technique of pouncing.

Fran Callen Exhibition Brochure


I’ve never felt more nourished, nurtured, supported, encouraged, inspired, educated and just generally helped, in the process of creating a new body of artwork. This is due to the professional, helpful and generous staff at Guildhouse and Flinders University Art Museum and beyond, and advice from Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi. The Collections Project feels like a solid platform from which to leap off, into further research and development of artwork, and new opportunities.

Fran Callen, The Collections Project, Flinders University Art Museum, 2017

The Collections Project : Flinders University Art Museum

The Collections Project is a collaboration between Guildhouse and Flinders University Art Museum that provides artists with the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s collections and staff to create new work for exhibition. The Art Museum is a cultural facility responsible for preserving, developing and presenting the University’s contemporary and historical collections of art and connecting them with students, staff and the wider world through exhibitions, research and outreach. With over 8000 works of art in its care, the Art Museum is one of the largest University art collections in Australia.