Image: Sponges Phylum Porifera, 2016. Photograph: Karen Gowlett-Homes, courtesy South Australian Museum.

Tracing the Anthropocene: workshop and residency series 

Explore the South Australian Museum’s biological and earth sciences collections to create new participatory creative experiences and workshops that focus on the power and complexity of the natural world.
A collaborative partnership between Guildhouse and the South Australian Museum as part of the project STEAM Incubator Series: A creative exploration of sustainability at the fusion of the Arts, Culture and Science.

Research and Public Engagement Call Out

In this partnership between Guildhouse and the South Australian Museum, artists are afforded the opportunity to spend time with collection curators and Museum staff to research areas of the collection pertinent to their practice to develop meaningful connections. Key collection areas include biological sciences, earth sciences and palaeontology.

In this SAM and Guildhouse partnership two artists will be given access over a two month period to investigate the collection and develop an audience engagement workshop that directly relates to an area of professional interest or relevance to their practice.

With an overarching focus on environmental and cultural sustainability artists are invited to not only consider the connections between collection areas but also themes within collections that might relate to contemporary life. For instance, a recurring theme amongst the collection might be one of resilience – resilience evident in natural and cultural collections with which parallels to contemporary human experience may be explored.

This project will offer engagement opportunities for broad audiences and importantly will cater to the Museum’s large family and education-focused audiences. With support from and collaboration with the Museum’s technical and digital teams artists will deliver audience engagements online; potential activities could include (but are not limited to) a live virtual tour or creative engagement, such as sketching workshop or participatory performative work.

Applications for the Research and Public Program Call Out to be submitted via online form.


Applications open | Friday 17 July
Applications close | Sunday 16 August, midnight
Start date | September
Delivery date | October 2020 – January 2021

Selection Process

  • STEAM Incubator Series Research and Public Engagement Call Out is open to artists/artist teams who are Guildhouse Accredited, Allied or Associate Members. For more information about Guildhouse membership visit:
  • Access to the collection will be negotiated between the successful recipient and the Museum, it is anticipated that the artist will be available for up to 38 hours over the research and delivery period to commit to the project.
  • Applicants will have demonstrated experience in delivering online or in-person workshops or creative engagements.
  • All applicants will be based in South Australia.
Selection Criteria
  • Artistic merit demonstrated through an active and dedicated practice.
  • Strength of research and project proposal, including your interest in the key collection areas.
  • Potential for engaging SAM visitors family and education-focused audiences 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.
Shortlisting 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.
  • Short listed 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 in August 2020.
Artist Fees
  • Selected individual artists or artist teams will be paid a total fee of $2,000 (ex. GST).
  • $1,000 will be paid initially upon signing of contracts.
  • A final payment of $1,000 will be issued on acceptable completion of the project.
More Information

Information on the process of application to be addressed to Guildhouse or contact us on 8410 1822.

 It is advised applicants familiarise themselves with SAM’s collections areas before making an application, either via  or the FAQs. Specific details about the collection areas are unable to be answered during the application process, however the SAM website is a comprehensive resource.