Image: Sue Kneebone, The Omega Enigma  (detail), 2024, aluminium, mixed media, single-channel video, dimensions variable, © the artist, photograph Lana Adams

The Guildhouse Collections Project

The Disquiet

Presented in partnership with Flinders University Museum of Art 

Curated by Suzanne Close

Exhibition Dates
22 July – 13 September 2024

Flinders University Museum of Art
Flinders University I Sturt Road I Bedford Park, SA

Located ground floor Social Sciences North building,
Humanities Road adjacent carpark 5

Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm or by appointment
Thursday until 7pm

Getting to Flinders University

The Disquiet presents newly commissioned artworks by South Australian artists Bin Bai, Stephanie Doddridge, Sue Kneebone, Olga Sankey and Truc Truong.

In developing their ideas for this exhibition, these artists drew inspiration from FUMA’s collection of political posters focusing on the works of the Progressive Art Movement (PAM) – a multi-arts group established at Flinders University in the 1970s. Upholding Marxist-Leninist ideologies, PAM artists fiercely opposed American imperialism and advocated for the struggles of the working class. They eschewed art commodification, favouring prints and posters as immediate and accessible mediums for political expression.

Informed by PAM’s agendas, motivations and artistic processes, the five contemporary artists have explored the relationship of their own practices to complex and urgent issues of the 21st century. Themes such as inequality, environmental degradation, surveillance, fake news, consumer culture and the aftermath of colonisation, resonate strongly in their new commissions, reflecting the pervasive unease of our times.

Like their predecessors, today’s artists critique entrenched power structures with a personal urgency, revealing how the political and the personal are intertwined in navigating complex global challenges. By exposing forces that perpetuate injustice, contribute to environmental harm and enable the spread of misinformation, they compel us to confront these daunting challenges and call us to envision a more equitable and sustainable future. 

The Disquiet is accompanied by a catalogue and a series of public programs.

Artists and curator

Bin Bai, aka Gentsu Gyatso, is a Tibetan-born multidisciplinary artist with master’s degrees from the Sichuan Fine Art Institute and the University of South Australia. His work spans traditional and contemporary mediums, reflecting themes of First Nations recognition and post-neoliberalism. In 2012 Bai founded the Sayigemo Studio in China and created the animated film ‘The Hunter and the Skeleton’, which has featured in numerous international film festivals.  In 2020, he won the UniSA Graduate Exhibition Acquisition Prize for ‘Hi-vis Land’ and was shortlisted for the Floating Art Project with the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation in 2022. His ‘Space Horse Project’ of the same year explored art’s role in archaic belief systems amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, Bai presented research on Tibetan art’s contemporary transformation at the 7th International Seminar on Tibetan Studies in Beijing.

Olga Sankey has exhibited print-based works for more than 30 years. She undertook postgraduate studies in literature, and later in visual arts in Australia and Italy. Since the early 2000s, she has embraced digital technology, allowing her to print on various surfaces and create large, composite images incorporating original and appropriated imagery.  Sankey’s bi-lingual childhood nurtured her fascination with language and the relationship between image and text. She explores how stories and narratives are constructed, focusing on subjective reading and the uneasy relations between translation and mistranslation, and between casual looking and active seeing.   Sankey’s work has received national and international recognition and is held in major public collections in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, and overseas, in South Korea, Japan, China, Poland, Canada and the US.

Stephanie Doddridge works in printmaking, ceramics, textiles, sculpture and installation.  Her autobiographical practice reflects on personal experiences and emotions often connected to gardens.  Using soil, vegetation and other garden matter, she explores symbiotic human-nature relationships and engages with metaphors and notions of reciprocal care.  Doddridge holds bachelor’s degrees in Contemporary Art and Creative Arts (Honours) from the University of South Australia and is recipient of the H.P. Gill Memorial Award for ceramics, the Hill Smith Art Advisory Award and the Jaquillard Exhibition Award.  In 2021 she was selected for the Hatched: National Graduate Exhibition at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. Her installation, ‘A Gardened Mind’, featured in her first solo exhibition, On Harvesting Dandelions, won the 2023 SALA City Rural Emerging Artist Award.

Truc Truong works in portraiture, assemblage and installation. Her creative process, rooted in play and animism, often manipulates everyday objects to stage dazzling tableaus that explore complex and multi-layered themes concerned with power, identity, family, assimilation and displacement.  These works draw inspiration from post-colonialism, her Vietnamese heritage and commitment to celebrating joy amid adversity. Truong graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours) in 2022.  In the year following she was selected for the ACE Studio Program, Adelaide, and Primavera exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.  Truong has also recently exhibited at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2024; Post Office Projects, Adelaide, 2023; 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2021; Nexus Arts, Adelaide, 2021; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2020.

Sue Kneebone is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice spanning more than twenty years. Informed by archival research, she creates mixed media and moving image artworks incorporating assemblage and montage to explore ideas of memory, history and place. Her postgraduate qualifications include a PhD in visual arts from the University of South Australia, and Masters in Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts.  Most recently Kneebone’s work has featured in TWIST, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 2023 and the Seychelles Biennale, 2022. She was recipient of an Arts SA Fellowship in 2021 and previously undertook residencies in Mauritius and India.  Her works is represented in the Art Gallery of South Australia and Adelaide City Council collections as well as private collections. 

Suzanne Close is an arts educator and independent curator. She holds a Master of Art in Curatorial and Museum Studies from the University of Adelaide, as well as degrees in Art History, Visual Arts and Education. Her curatorial practice is underpinned by investigational approaches to exhibition making that combine her knowledge of pedagogical theory and audience engagement. Close is guest curator for the 2024 Guildhouse Collections Project with Flinders University Museum of Art.  Her most recent previous exhibitions include Unravelling Encounters at Light Square Gallery, 2023 and Counting Days: Frank Grauso at the Barossa Regional Gallery and Adelaide Festival Centre, 2022-2023.   Close was appointed Adelaide City Library Emerging Curator, 2022 and SALA City of Onkaparinga Contemporary Curator, 2020.  Her writing has featured in Artlink and fineprint magazine.

The Guildhouse Collections Project: Flinders University Museum of Art

The Collections Project is a collaboration between Guildhouse and Flinders University Museum of Art that provides artists with the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s collections and staff to create new work for exhibition. Guildhouse is the leading South Australian organisation supporting and creating connections for South Australian creative practitioners.