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.

Featuring artists from all corners of the country, Divided Worlds delivers new and unexpected visions in mediums such as photography, painting, sculpture, installation and the moving image.


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


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, and in association with the Adelaide Festival.

The exhibition 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, and generously supported by the Art Gallery of South Australia Biennial Ambassadors Program and Principal Donor The Balnaves Foundation.

Principal Donor
  • The Balnaves Foundation Logo

Lisa Adams

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kirsten Coelho

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Julie Gough

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

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.

Amos Gebhardt

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

Timothy Horn

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

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 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.

Lindy Lee

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

Khai Liew

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

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.

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.

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.

Patrick Pound

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

Khaled Sabsabi

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

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.

Christian Thompson

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

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.

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.