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 Guildhouse Collections Project is supported by Arts South Australia.

The Collections

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.
2021: Peter Turner & Clem Newchurch

Artists Peter Turner and Clem Newchurch will be responding to the George French Angas collection of 1880’s illustrations of botanicals, First Nations people and the south-eastern coastal landscape of South Australia, with a particular focus on works depicting Kaurna/Rammindjeri people painted between Adelaide and Cape Jervis.

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2014: Deborah Prior

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 Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium 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.
2021: Kasia Tons

Contemporary artist Kasia Tons proposes an exploration of the symbiotic relationship held between plants and humans using hand embroidery, wearable soft sculpture and photography. 

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2020: Laura Wills & Louise Flaherty

Plant Notes

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.

2024: Bin Bai, Stephanie Doddridge, Sue Kneebone, Olga Sankey and Truc Truong

Five South Australian artists have been selected to undertake The Guildhouse Collections Project with Flinders University Museum of Art (FUMA) in 2024.

From early career to established practitioners, the selected artists represent a diverse range of creative practices including sculpture, installation, ceramic, printmaking, performance, and assemblage.

The successful artists in this iteration will research and develop major new work in parallel, not necessarily in collaboration, allowing an in-depth and broad response to the collection and curatorial theme of ‘The Disquiet’ supported by curator Suzanne Close.

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2021: Elyas Alavi, Kate O'Boyle & Louise Haselton

South Australian artists Elyas Alavi, Kate O’Boyle and Louise Haselton present new bodies of work inspired by the mythologies, subjects, and techniques of FUMA’s European print collection dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

New works in sculpture, painting, video, and printmaking, are shown alongside more than 60 historical prints including woodcuts from the 15th century Nuremberg Chronicle, and impressions by European masters Francisco Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, William Blake, John Martin, Agostino Carracci and Albrecht Dürer.

Taking its cue from the biblical Fall, where Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden, the exhibition reflects on themes of grief, faith, and end-times, and considers how artists respond to crises from the renaissance to contemporary times.

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2020: Ray Harris

Ritual Nature

Informed by investigations into FUMA’s mid-1960s and 1970s Australian and international Post-object and Documentation collection, Ritual Nature features a new series of evocative performative videos by South Australian artist Ray Harris, that explores ritual actions in connection to cleansing and death.

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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


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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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.

2021: Chelsea Farquhar

Chelsea Farquhar’s interests lie in responding to the performative rituals and historic importance of the ASO and their archive. Utilising sculpture, performance and video to highlight moments of exchange and collaboration, Farquhar is researching the ASO as a living collection, including sheet music, performance brochures and posters, instruments, architecture and the players themselves. 

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2020: Michael Kutschbach


This new digital work explores contemporary visual artist Michael Kutschbach’s intuitive response to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as a living collection. It is the result of a research-based residency with the ASO investigating the interactions between the musicians, their instruments, sound and the theatre space. 

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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.
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.
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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The Collection Projects News

The Collections Project: Recipients Announced 2024

The Collections Project: Recipients Announced 2024

Images (L-R): Bin Bai, image courtesy the artist; Stephanie Doddridge, photograph Darren Clements Photography; Sue Kneebone, photograph Rosina Possingham; Olga Sankey, image courtesy the artist; Truc Truong, photograph Andre Castellucci.Announcing the recipients of...

KAURNA: Still Here exhibition launch

KAURNA: Still Here exhibition launch

Friday 8 April 2022, 2:00-4:00pm  Location: South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide Featuring: A special panel talk and workshop with artists Peter Turner and Clem Newchurch The Guildhouse First Nations Collections Project with The...

Images (L-R): Ray Harris, Untitled (pyre), (HD digital video still), 2020, photograph courtesy the artist; Kath Inglis, of uncertain value (installation view), 2019, photograph Daniel Marks; Ray Harris, Ritual Nature (installation view), 2021, photograph Brianna Speight, courtesy FUMA; Honor Freeman, Ghost Objects (installation view), 2019, photograph Saul Steed, courtesy AGSA; Dan Withey (installation view), 2015, photograph James Field; Michael Kutschbach, fuliguline (installation view), 2021, photograph Claudio Raschella; Robin Tatlow-Lord at The South Australian Museum, 2014, photograph Guildhouse.