The country’s longest-standing survey of contemporary Australian Art.

Titled Divided Worlds, the 2018 Adelaide Biennial presents an allegory of human society, one that meditates on the drama of the cosmos and evolution; on the past and the future; and on beauty and the environment.

2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art curator, Erica Green, says, ‘Divided Worlds, recognises that we live in troubled times. However, rather than foretelling conflict, my focus has been on assembling an exhibition that celebrates the enduring role of art and culture. Divided Worlds offers an opportunity to experience an alternative dimension – one where “difference” is the natural order of things, and a strength to be celebrated.’

Curator

Erica Green, Director, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art

Artists

Lisa Adams, Vernon Ah Kee, Roy Ananda, Daniel Boyd, Kristian Burford, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Barbara Cleveland, Kirsten Coelho, Sean Cordeiro + Claire Healy, Tamara Dean, Tim Edwards, Emily Floyd, Hayden Fowler, Julie Gough, Ghostpatrol David Booth, Amos Gebhardt, Timothy Horn, Louise Hearman, Ken Sisters, Lindy Lee, Khai Liew, Angelica Mesiti, Patricia Piccinini, Pip + Pop, Patrick Pound, Khaled Sabsabi, Nike Savvas, Christian Thompson, John R Walker and Douglas Watkin.

Presented in partnership with the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, UniSA, in association with the Adelaide Festival, and with generous support received from the Art Gallery of South Australia Biennial Ambassadors Program and Principal Donor The Balnaves Foundation.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

Principal Donor
  • The Balnaves Foundation Logo

Inquisition, 2016, oil on canvas, 54 x 80 cm; Courtesy the artist and Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane,, photo: Jon Linkins.

Lisa Adams

Lisa Adams’s paintings are rich imaginary constructions, full of theatrical devices and props, which are essential to the dramatic finale.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Vernon Ah Kee; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide,, photo: Saul Steed.

Vernon Ah Kee

With his incisive text-based art, Vernon fills gaping holes in the arts and the body politic, both of which are presently bereft of critical discourse.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring, Thin walls between dimensions by Roy Ananda, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Roy Ananda

Ananda’s ‘Thin walls between dimensions’ celebrates the iconic role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons – purpose-designed as the basement entry to the Gallery’s sprawling Adelaide Biennial.

Installation view 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Daniel Boyd, TEACH A MAN TO FISH, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Daniel Boyd

In ‘History is Made at Night’, it’s easy to imagine a young Daniel Boyd spending hours star gazing at the billions of moons from the beach esplanade and tidal flats of Giangurra.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Cell by Kristian Burford, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Kristian Burford

Burford’s work ‘Cell’ comprises a group of three female beings, each around two-and-a-half metres high. Their formation presents a ritual of resurrection.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Naked Flora Series by Maria Fernanda Cardoso; JamFactory, Adelaide,, photo: Saul Steed.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso

In 'Naked Flora', Cardoso’s exploration of the reproductive morphology of flowering plants treats sex and reproduction not as taboo topics but purely as the facts of the science of nature.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Barbara Cleveland, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Barbara Cleveland

'Bodies in Time' attends to the blind spots and biases that haunt art history and suggests the possibilities for ‘doing history’ differently, using performance as both material and method.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Kirsten Coelho, JamFactory, Adelaide.

Kirsten Coelho

Kirsten Coelho’s ceramic vessels are almost hyper-real in their stillness and serenity.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring We Hunt Mammoth by Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy

In ‘We Hunt Mammoth’, the entirety of a Honda car has been broken down to 121 individual components, each part tied in jute and bamboo, a traditional Japanese method of packaging.

Tamara Dean, born 1976, Sydney, Elephant ear (Alocasia odora) in Autumn from the series In our nature, April 2017, Adelaide Botanic Garden, pure pigment print on cotton rag, 150 x 200 cm; Courtesy the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney

Tamara Dean

Intrigued by the natural cycles of life and death, nature and spirituality, and the role ritual plays in our lives, Tamara Dean creates works of art that investigate the world around her.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Tim Edwards, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Tim Edwards

Edwards draws incessantly, filling notebooks with observations of objects, and shapes and patterns in nature, but also with possible glass vessels, drawn in lead pencil or black pen.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds, featuring Icelandic Puffins by Emily Floyd, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide.

Emily Floyd

'Icelandic Puffins' draws attention to the case of Iceland, a country whose citizens experienced the Global Financial Crisis of 2008−09 as a very real catastrophe.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Eel Song by Hayden Fowler; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide,, photo: Saul Steed.

Hayden Fowler

‘Eel Song’ makes explicit reference to the threatened extinction of animals – in this case the once-abundant eels of New Zealand’s rivers and creeks.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring, Larngerner: The Colour of Country by Julie Gough, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Julie Gough

Julie Gough’s investigations into history observe and expose the arbitrary distinctions made between art, anthropology and their institutions.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring World builder - All of my friends and none of my enemies by GHOST PATROL, David Booth, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Ghostpatrol David Booth

Through drawings, paintings and sculpture, Booth has posited a fictional space occupied by characters and scenes from across history, fantasy, nature and his own lived experience.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Amos Gebhardt, Evanescence, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Amos Gebhardt

In ‘Divided Worlds’, Gebhardt immerses the viewer in a square room with four large projects, each holding a familiar Australian landscape.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Timothy Horn, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Timothy Horn

Timothy Horn’s virtuosity recalls those baroque artisans and collectors who, in their folly, sought to disfigure and exceed nature.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Louise Hearman, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Louise Hearman

The power of Hearman’s pictures lies in the way they move us emotionally: while we may never comprehend exactly what we are seeing, we can feel their impact in our body and mind.

Ken Family Collaborative; Freda Brady, Sandra Ken, Tjungkara Ken, Paniny Mick, Maringka Tunkin, Yaritji Young, Pitjantjatjara people, South Australia, Kangkura-KangkuraKu Tjukurpa – A Sister’s Story, 2017, Amata, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on canvas,, photo: Saul Steed.

Ken Sisters

The Ken sisters form part of the desert art tradition, a distinct lineage formed initially by women, under the name of Minymaku Arts just twenty years ago in the APY Lands.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring The Life of Stars by Lindy Lee, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Lindy Lee

Visible by day and night, Lee’s six-metre sculpture 'The Life of Stars' appears both to contain and radiate light.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring It was born like this by Khai Liew, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Khai Liew

In Liew’s work for 'Divided Worlds', the traditional measure of furniture’s ‘usefulness’ becomes a matter of abstraction.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Mother Tongue by Angelica Mesiti; Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide,, photo: Saul Steed.

Angelica Mesiti

'Mother Tongue' creates a new kind of ensemble for Denmark, one comprised of ancient and contemporary rhythms, traditional and unconventional songs, and personal feats.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring The Avian Trilogy by Patricia Piccinini, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Patricia Piccinini

Distinct from her sculptures in the round, Patricia Piccinini’s ‘paintings’ featuring silicone and hair grow directly from her drawings and as such are the most immediate of her works.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Darkness will disappear, magic light gonna take you for a ride by Pip & Pop, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Pip & Pop

For Divided Worlds, Pip & Pop – who typically creates immersive large-scale installations – inhabits a cave-like void, positioned in a narrow gap between two exhibition spaces.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring The Point of Everything by Patrick Pound, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Patrick Pound

In a diverse range of portraits and figure paintings, Pound found commonality in the simple gesture of ‘pointing’.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds, featuring 99 Names by Khaled Sabsabi and I Witness by Vernon Ah Kee, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide.

Khaled Sabsabi

‘99 Names’ is the culmination of a series created by Sabsabi over a decade, documenting the horrific consequences of armed conflict.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Nike Savvas and Tim Edwards, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Nike Savvas

Moments are fragmented and reflected by each of the thousands of perspex mirrors, strung to create a tremendous tinsel curtain that sparkles as a result of light and location.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Christian Thompson; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Courtesy of the artist and Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney,, photo: Saul Steed.

Christian Thompson

An artist of Bidjara heritage, Thompson incorporates his father’s officially ‘endangered’ language into his soundscape and film works.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring Oratunga Burra Suite by John R Walker, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

John R Walker

Walker’s profound engagement with landscape 
has been a key to his artistic practice since he moved 
from Sydney to Braidwood in country New South Wales
 in December 2002.

Installation view: 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds featuring works by Douglas Watkin; Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide,, photo: Saul Steed.

Douglas Watkin

Watkin’s animated virtual reality (VR) work, 'A Thin Black Line', tells the story of a young Indigenous girl who is evacuated from Darwin during the Second World War.