The Guildhouse First Nations Collections Project with the South Australian Museum (the Museum) is a collaborative project providing artists with the opportunity to research aspects of the Museum’s extensive collection and develop a new body of work for exhibition.

This opportunity is open to Australian and New Zealander First Nations artists with a close relationship to South Australia. Aimed specifically at an artist team (minimum of two) this project will provide access to First Nations Museum staff and relevant collections within the Museum to draw on as research for presentation in March 2022.

An exhibition resulting from the research undertaken will be displayed in the temporary exhibition space on the ground floor of the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery during March to May 2022 in parallel with the exhibition Illustrating the Antipodes: George French Angas. In 1844 and 1845, Angas spent 18 months travelling Australia and New Zealand documenting landscapes and a world in the midst of cultural change.  Taking the Museum’s extensive collection of works by Angas and associated archival material as a starting point, the artist team is encouraged to similarly explore landscape and culture from their own perspective.

The South Australian Museum is a world-leading research institution, and houses over four and a half million specimens and material and cultural items. These specimens and items provide irreplaceable records with which we are constantly building and modifying our knowledge and understanding of the natural and cultural world. View more the Archives, Australian Polar, Biological sciences, Humanities, Library, Mineral sciences and Palaeontology collections on the SAM website here.

The Guildhouse First Nations Collections Project with the South Australian Museum is part of the STEAM Incubator Series: A creative exploration of sustainability at the fusion of the Arts, Culture and Science, supported by Arts South Australia.

Expressions of Interest now open
Applications close Monday 16 August, 9am
Project Aims

The aim of this project is to create an ongoing conversation between contemporary First Nations artists and scientists through contemporary visual art, craft and design. The Collections Project provides a unique opportunity for Guildhouse to promote our members to broad, new and diverse audiences. 

The core aims of the project are to:

  • provide a contemporary First Nations lens within the museum
  • promote public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of visual art, craft and design
  • to activate Museum collections in new ways
  • provide economic and artistic opportunities for creative professionals
  • offer professional development opportunities for visual art, craft and design practitioners
  • develop new and diverse audiences for participants
  • demonstrating value and respect for the collection
Key Dates

Tuesday 6 July                         EOIs open
Monday 16 August                  EOIs close
September 2021                      Successful recipient begins research
March 2022                             Presentation

APPLICATION DEADLINE Monday 16 August 2021, 9am


To apply for this opportunity contact us to discuss your application, speak with Guildhouse Artistic Program Manager Debbie Pryor on 8410 1822 /


The Guildhouse First Nations Collections Project with the South Australian Museum opportunity is open to First Nations artists with a close relationship to South Australia.

Selection Criteria
  • Artistic Merit; compelling contemporary conceptual practice and artistic ability;
  • Strength of research and project proposal, including your interest in working with SAM;
  • Potential for engaging SAM students and visitors through visual art, craft and/or design;
  • Capacity to deliver the project proposal outcomes to a high standard of craftsmanship and in a professional manner.
Short Listing and Final Selection
  • Proposals that best meet the selection criteria will be shortlisted by Guildhouse.
  • Final selection will be made by a selection committee comprised of representatives of SAM and Guildhouse.
  • Shortlisted applicants may also be required to attend a short interview with the selection committee. Times and dates to be advised.
  • Successful artists will be notified by September 2021.
 Artist Fees
  • Selected artist team (minimum of two artists) will be paid a total fee of $10,000 (ex. GST).
  • $5,000 will be paid initially upon signing of contracts.
  • A final payment of $5,000 will be issued on acceptable completion of the project and submission of an artistic report.

The Collections Project is administered by Guildhouse, full information can be found here or contact us on 8410 1822.

Images (L-R)George French Angas, Study of Implements and Utensils (detail), 1844, photograph courtesy South Australian Museum Archives AA8/2/17.