The Collections Project

The Collections Project is a collaborative project between Guildhouse and South Australia’s state institutions.

This unique project provides artists the opportunity to research an area of one of the institution’s collections and develop new work for exhibition. Championing the art and artists of our time while celebrating our cultural, historic and scientific heritage, The Collections Project has the demonstrated ability to provide new audience experiences while delivering long-term benefits to the artistic and career development of participating artists. 

The Collections

The Botanic Gardens and State Herbariums of South Australia

Home to an amazing permanent collection, dating back 130 years, 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 & State Herbarium.
Recipients
2020: Laura Wills & Louise Flaherty
Researching within the SA Seed Conservation Centre and the Botanic Gardens Library, Laura Wills and Louise Flaherty will bring together their research processes to investigate personal and environmental effects of native seed extinction.

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2019: Kath Inglis
of uncertain value

Kath Inglis examined the marine algae collection in context to the broader holdings of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. She considered ‘value’ and the impact of plastic waste on marine health.

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2018: Heidi Kenyon
From little things …

Heidi Kenyon’s research focussed on the memories and knowledge held within hundreds of thousands of years of plant medicine, extending her interest in the nature of memory and the memories of nature.

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2017: Michelle Kelly
Mycology – the study of fungi, is the inspiration for Michelle’s work, consisting of jewellery, sculptures and installations made using traditional metalsmithing techniques and a variety of materials. Exploring size, form, colour and movement, her practice consists of multiple layers, just like the growth of fungi.

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Flinders University Museum of Art

FUMA is a cultural facility responsible for preserving, developing and presenting the University’s contemporary and historical collections of art and connecting them with students and staff. With over 8000 works of art in its care, they are one of the largest University art collections in Australia.

Recipients
2020: Ray Harris
Ray Harris will develop the performative aspect of her practice by researching FUMA’s collection conceptual and performance art of the 1960s and 1970s. Harris will reinterpret or re-enact works by Australian artists as a method in which to conceptualise and develop new performative video work.

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2019: Jake Holmes

Writing the climate

In response to FUMA’s extensive Australian Political Poster collection (one of the most diverse in the country) Holmes aimed to re-contextualise 1980s environmentalism for our current time. He created new works giving voice to the emotional, nihilistic anxiety felt by today’s youth towards uncertain futures.

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2019: Cynthia Schwertsik

UTE-ilitarian

Cynthia Schwertsik responded to the Flinders University Art Museum’s collection of Post Object Art through performance and digital work, gaining insight into Australian artistic concepts of the 1960s and 70s.

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2018: Gail Hocking

Peripheral Disturbance: Wandering Between Worlds

Through an exploration of a transient state of being, Gail Hocking observed the transient state of matter and investigates the interconnections of temporal disruptions, ephemeral matter, differing environments, and nonhuman forces that contribute to alternate pathways of making and knowing.

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2017: Fran Callen

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.

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Art Gallery of South Australia

The collection at The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) comprises almost 45,000 works of art and design, featuring an extensive Australian collection – including works by Aboriginal and South Australian artists – contemporary art, and European and Asian collections.
Recipients
2018: Honor Freeman
Ghost Objects

Through the lens of the domestic – the undervalued, discarded and everyday – Honor Freeman encouraged a poignant reading of our collective understanding of loss and grief. Impelled by a mission to make sense of a loss of her own, the exhibition conducted a dialogue with a number of historical collection pieces, these being recalibrated to speak to the contemporary theory of self-care, expression and vulnerability.

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2016: Kate Kurucz
Kate Kurucz was interested in discovering and bringing to light small, secondary or overlooked details within the AGSA’s collection. Inspired by a rare and highly valuable 1930s penny with which she had a childhood obsession, Kurucz created two works for The Collections Project that explore themes of fantasy, excess and the sublime.

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2015: Maarten Daudeij
Spirit Skin

Spirit Skin expanded Maarten Daudeij’s research into ideas surrounding the sustained experience of a transcendental state. This Guildhouse Collections Project enabled Maarten to explore the artworks, environment and interactions that occur at the Art Gallery of South Australia

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2015: Raymond Zada
In his Collections Project Raymond Zada explored the collection of History SA, referencing Light’s Plan while exploring the surrounding city parklands and the ideas of them as both meeting place and refuge for those who don’t fit into the mainstream. 

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2015: Jason Sims
Inspired by a number of works in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection, including those by Donald Judd, Frank Hinder and Camille Pissarro, Jason Sims used lights, mirror and Perspex to challenge viewer perception and emphasize the fluidity of our constructed worlds.

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2014: Dan Withey
Dan Withey researched the representation of mortality in traditional European art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. From this, Dan produced a new painting, Wake, that confronts the subject of mortality in an eclectic storm of religious symbols, material possessions and emblems of renewal.

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2014: Deidre But-Husaim
Deidre But-Husaim was the first Collections Project participant at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In this series of paintings she interpreted our brief encounters with works on display.

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Adelaide City Council

Adelaide is a city that is rich in heritage. Fortunately, much of the documentary heritage of the city is preserved in its Archives. Managed by the City of Adelaide, the City Archives exist in a wide variety of physical formats: volumes, files, documents, photographs, maps, plans, microfilms, computer printouts, tapes and CDs.
Recipients
2016: Chris De Rosa
Chris De Rosa delved into the vast Adelaide City Council Archive and the City Library’s History Hub collections researching the way flora is used in commemorative and celebratory displays, and the impressions they leave on the general public.

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2015: Dan Withey
Dan Withey explored public art in the Adelaide City council collection, focussing in on John Dowie’s Three Rivers fountain and The Slide, as well as the Daubist Mural No. 1 by Driller Jet Armstrong. His research included engaging a response to these works from members of the public through postcards that were left at the city library; which informed his work.

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Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

For over 80 years, the ASO has been there to corroborate life and contribute to South Australia’s identity. Today the ASO plays a major role in Adelaide’s cultural and economic vibrancy, and enriches the community through a diverse program of world-class performances.

Recipients
2020: Michael Kutschbach
Michael Kutschbach, will observe the orchestra as a living collection. With this lens the multi-media mid-career artist will create an analogous sensory experience responding to and being born from the digital and analogue ASO living collection, resulting in new video work.

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The South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum has been committed to making Australia’s natural and cultural heritage accessible, engaging and fun for over 150 years. It is a place where families can learn and grow together. Today the Museum is one of the most visited museums in Australia and holds collections of national and international significance. It is a leader in remote and regional community engagement, and in Australian Aboriginal heritage and scientific research.
Recipients
2014: Deborah Prior
Fleece

Exploring the material makeup and sensory possibilities of yarn, fabric and thread, as well as the socio-political and historical implications of the materials and process employed by the artist, Fleece was informed by a period of research undertaken at the South Australian Museum as part of The Collections Project.

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2014: Robin Tatlow-Lord
An artist who works across illustration, animation, cartooning and community-art; Robin Tatlow-Lord drew on the diverse areas of her practice when she explored the Marine Mammal collection of the South Australian Museum.

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The Collection Projects News

In Conversation with Ray Harris

Image: Ray Harris, Untitled (pyre) work-in-progress, HD digital still, 2020. Photograph: courtesy the artist.Monday 10 August Presenters: Nic Brown, Collections Curator, Flinders University Museum of Art and multimedia artist Ray Harris Nic Brown, Collections...

The Collections Project: Michael Kutschbach

Image: Michael Kutschbach, shocked tornado smirking (detail), 2013. The Guildhouse Collections Project with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre and the City of Adelaide. This Collections Project connects visual artists,...

Call Out Information Session

Image: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Photograph: Claudio Raschella Wednesday 11 March 2020, 1.30 pm Pricing: Free Location: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, 91 Hindley Street, Adelaide Presenter: Guildhouse and ASO staff Find out more about this opportunity at our call out...

Images (L-R): Ray Harris, Untitled (pyre) work in progress, (detail), 2020, high definition digital video still. Image courtesy the artist; Kath Inglis, of uncertain value, 2019, installation view. Photograph Daniel Marks; Gail Hocking, Peripheral Disturbance: Wandering Between Worlds, 2018,  installation view. Photograph Grant Hancock; Honor Freeman, Ghost Objects, 2019, installation view. Photograph Saul Steed courtesy AGSA; Dan Withey, 2015, installation view. Photograph James Field; Michael Kutschbach, Untitled, 2018 Archival print 01b & 01c: Untitled, 2018, Archival print. Image courtesy the artist; Robin Tatlow-Lord at The South Australian Museum, 2014. Photograph Guildhouse.