From little things …

The Collections Project

Botanic Gardens of South Australia

18 June – 29 July 2018

Heidi Kenyon’s contemporary sculpture and installation practice is motivated by the curious complexities and stories embedded within found objects and common materials: both natural and human-made. In the studio, she employs methods of drawing out, dissecting and accentuating the inherent structures of the materials she works with to elicit narrative.

Heidi has long been intrigued by the Garden of Health at the Botanic Gardens of South Australia as a resource for contemplation and healing, and was fascinated to learn recently that the origin of botanical gardens dating back as far as the 16 th century was to showcase plant-based medicine as a teaching tool for physicians. She believes that objects and natural materials have the potential to exist as carriers of our lieu de memoire (realm of memory), and contain clues to be unravelled. Her research will focus on the memories and knowledge held within hundreds of thousands of years of plant medicine, extending her current interest into the nature of memory and the memories of nature.

Treasure lies within the living and historic collections of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, and it was a thrill to unearth some of it.

This project was a significant professional development opportunity for me as a mid career artist, and gave me the impetus to explore and invest in new directions for my practice. The resultant body of experimental new work has already acted as a springboard for further opportunities, and has enabled me to build my audience base. It is likely that the impact of this residency will continue to unfold for years to come.

With the support of Guildhouse and the Museum of Economic Botany I was given the freedom to pursue independent research and the valuable opportunity to connect with professional staff and passionate volunteers across a range of disciplines, enriching the narrative of my work.

Heidi Kenyon


The Collections Project : Botanic Gardens of South Australia

The Collections Project 2018 at the Botanic Gardens of South Australia (BGSA) is a collaborative project between Guildhouse and the Botanic Gardens that provides artists with the opportunity to respond to the extensive collection of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and develop new work for exhibition at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany. Home to an amazing permanent collection, much of which dates back to the original museum display 130 years ago, the Santos Museum of Economic Botany is the last Museum of its kind in the world. Artists working with BGSA will not only have access to this collection but also the Garden’s living collection, library and State Herbarium.