A children's trail exploring waterways

Varied Vessels

Make your way to Gallery 1 at the front of the building near North Terrace. Spend time exploring the works of art in this room. What do the works of art have in common? Is there a common theme?

There are lots of different vessels in this room. Vessels are used to carry things. Identify which vessels would be best for carrying:

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Water
  • People

Delissa Ngadijina Walker, Kuku Yalanji people, Queensland, born Cairns, Queensland 1990, Kakan (baby carrier), 2017, Cairns and Daintree, Queensland, black palm (Normanbya normanbyi), lawyer cane, black burny bean seeds (Mucuna gigantea) and red sandalwood seeds, 97.5 x 41.5 x 25.5 cm (irreg.); Acquisition through Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art supported by BHP 2019 Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide © Delissa Ngadijina Walker photo: Saul Steed

Design your own basket

Some vessels are baskets. Design your own basket that you could use to carry your 5 most important possessions. Now draw these items inside your basket. Is your basket strong and big enough to carry all your items? Baskets often have handles. Will your basket be easy and comfortable to carry long distances?


Sonya Rankine, Ngarrindjeri/Ngadjuri/Narungga/Wirangu people, South Australia, born Adelaide 1970, Garrdi guma (Emu number one – Narungga), 2021, Moonta Bay, South Australia, palm inflorescence, jacaranda stalks, emu feathers, embroidery thread, 10.0 x 23.5 x 21.0 cm © Sonya Rankine

Garrdi Guma (Emu, number one – Narungga), 2021, Port Lincoln, SA, – Palm inflorescence, jacaranda stalks, emu feathers. Embroidery thread used to weave on jacaranda stalks and emu feathers. Jacaranda stalks and emu feathers attached using the Ngarrindjeri weaving stitch.; Courtesy the artist, © Sonya Rankine.

Weaving materials

Look at the objects in this room. Take particular note of the baskets with feathers by Ngarrindjeri, Ngadjuri and Narungga artist Sonya Rankine. Rankine builds on traditional Ngarrindjeri weaving by incorporating shells, stones and feathers making connections to water. If you were to incorporate other materials what would they be?

Ngarrindjeri Country, where Sonya Rankine is from, includes the Coorong and the lower Murray River in South Australia. Draw an animal whose habitat would be within this coastal area?


David Bell, Wik people, Aurukun, Queensland, born 1963, Large dugong, 2006, Aurukun, Cape York, Queensland, synthetic polymer paint and natural ochres on milkwood, 31.0 x 100.0 x 28.0 cm; South Australian Government Grant 2007, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © David Bell, Courtesy of Wik-Kugu Art Centre.

Memory Making

The works within this Gallery carry stories and cultural knowledge held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In a way, the creation of these works is the art of memory making. Recall a happy memory when you were near water. Create a drawing that captures an element of this happy memory.

Find an animal in this room that lives in or near water. Write a story about this animal.


Artist Unknown, Australia, Barramundi, c.1991, near Broome, Western Australia, wood & shell, 15.0 x 49.0 x 8.5 cm; Public Donations Fund 1992, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Finding Fish

Fish can be found in lots of works of art throughout the Gallery. Explore the rest of AGSA and list as many fish as you can find.