Image: Laura Wills, Relationship, 2019.
The Collections Project
Laura Wills and Louise Flaherty
The Guildhouse Collections Project with the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia
Researching within the SA Seed Conservation Centre and the Botanic Gardens Library, Laura Wills and Louise Flaherty will bring together their respective research processes to investigate the personal and environmental effects of native seed extinction.
With the starting point of an ephemeral drawing project, the project seeks to celebrate Adelaide’s flora and highlight human and plant relationships with a focus on South Australian native seeds that are extinct and threatened. This reflective and celebratory project will comment on destructive colonisation and the beauty of nature by looking closely at seeds and their life giving potential.
Louise Flaherty is an artist and arts worker based in Adelaide. She studied Visual Arts at the South Australian School of Art, receiving first class Honours. Her current practice is informed by quiet reflection on the natural environment around her. She uses varied range of media including drawing, and installation as well as experience facilitating community projects. Louise has had extensive experience working with community in facilitating and managing community driven art projects mainly while living in Tennant Creek, NT. She was a Founding Director of Downtown Arts Space, and has worked at the South Australian School of Art and as the Arts Program Manager at Barkly Regional Arts in the Northern Territory. She was the winner of the 2019 Tatiara Art Prize at Walkway Gallery. She has exhibited at Sauerbier House, the Mill, Light Square Gallery, Adelaide Central Gallery, Artroom5 and Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. Louise has undertaken artist residencies at Sauerbier House Cultural Exchange, Port Noarlunga; The Mill, Adelaide CBD and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, WCH Foundation Arts in Health, Adelaide.
Laura Wills is an Adelaide-based multidisciplinary artist. She employs contemporary art to explore social and environmental themes through found materials, collaborative processes and community- based projects. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Applied Design from Adelaide Centre of the Arts (2003), and a Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours, from South Australian School of Art (2011). Since 2004, she has exhibited nationally and internationally as well as participating in several Australian and international residencies. In 2018 Laura held residencies at Sauerbier House, Port Noarlunga, The Art Vault, Mildura and SAHMRI, Adelaide in collaboration with Anna Dowling. The same year she was awarded the Fleurieu Art Prize and the National Works on Paper prize for her collaborative work with James Tylor. In 2019 she is working with Adelaide Hills and Adelaide City Council on several ephemeral and permanent public art projects with William Cheesman, is artist in resident at Flinders Medical Centre in collaboration with Elisabeth Close and project artist for DreamBIG Festival.
Laura is represented by Hill Smith Gallery Adelaide and works form Central Studios Adelaide.
The Guildhouse Collections Project with the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium provides artists with the opportunity to research the garden’s extensive historical, scientific and living collections. Beginning in February 2020, the research period will allow time for an artist to create responsive new work for exhibition at the Adelaide Botanic Garden in October 2020. The Collections Project has a rich history of connecting artists with state institutions, examples of previous collaborations with Flinders University Art Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Museum of Economic Botany.
The presentation opportunity in 2020 will expand outside of the Museum of Economic Botany and may take the form of an incursion, workshop, performance or event. Unlike The Collections Project in previous years, the 2020 iteration will take place outside the Museum of Economic Botany. The outcome will be defined during the research period through key milestone meetings between the artist, Guildhouse and MEB staff, determining the needs and possibilities relevant to the artist’s practice and within Gardens.