All Kinds Of Amazing At The Adelaide Biennial

What if we decided to celebrate all the things that differentiate us from one another?

This utopic world vision is a reality that Erica Green, the curator for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial, has sought to create for this year’s theme for the major event’s 14th iteration, Divided Worlds. Taking place across the Adelaide Botanic Garden, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Jamfactory and primarily in the Art Gallery of South Australia, the exhibition ruminates on human and otherworldly experience, taking gallery-goers on a journey that champions our differences through a collection of unique perspectives.

Divided Worlds encourages artists to explore the space and time of universes near and far through its masterful curation of 30 Australian exhibitors. We took a deep dive into these alternate dimensions to bring you our top picks!

Sally Tabart

World Builder – All my friends and none of my enemies. Photo – Andre Castellucci.

Sally Tabart
26th of March 2018

1. Ghostpatrol

Growing up in Tasmania, David Booth (aka Ghostpatrol) felt a long way from the rest of the world. It was this sense geographical isolation that prompted him to create his own fantasy lands through drawings, paintings and sculptures, and later in street art adorning Melbourne’s laneways.

Ghostpatrol lays out a collection of colourful critters and creatures in World Builder – All my friends and none of my enemies, a vibrant, epic mural reaching across the walls of the Art Gallery of South Australia for the Adelaide Biennial.

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace,
Adelaide, South Australia

TEACH A MAN TO FISH by Daniel Boyd. Photo – Saul Steed.

2. Daniel Boyd

Visual artist Daniel Boyd is a Kudjla/Gangalu man, born in Giangurra (far North Queensland) and now based in Sydney. Through the lights of deep space, Daniel explores family oral histories and subverts colonial narratives of Australia in TEACH A MAN TO FISH.

Immersive and ethereal, viewers physically enter Daniel’s cosmos becoming connected to the stories told by his constellations of moons and stars.

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace,
Adelaide, South Australia

Loom Aura I and Loom Aura II by Christian Thompson. Photo – Saul Steed.

3. Christian Thompson

A Bidjara man, London-based Christian Thompson is an academic and multi-disciplinary artist (he also happens to be one of the first Aboriginal Australians accepted to the University of Oxford in 2009) whose work is as visually arresting as it is politically and culturally potent. Creating across photography, film and soundscapes, Christian’s work summons explorations of sexuality, race, history and identity through a contemporary lens.

As part of Divided Worlds, the artist presents works across two locations.

A soundscape featuring Christian singing in Bidjara can be heard from the Palm House at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens in an exploration of archiving his father’s language, which is classified as extinct. By using the words, Christian keeps them alive.

Nearby, the striking photographic works Loom Aura I and Loom Aura II hang at Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art.

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
Hawke Building,
City West campus
55 North Terrace,
Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Palm House

Adelaide, South Australia

Divided Worlds, The Avian Trilogy (Eagle in flight with helmets) by Patricia Piccinini. Courtesy of the Adelaide Biennial.

4. Patricia Piccinini

Isn’t it funny how human hair immediately takes on a grotesque quality the moment it is detached from its natural origins?

Australian art royalty Patricia Piccinini asks viewers to confront their discomfort when experiencing her work, and her piece for the Adelaide Biennial is no exception.

Equal parts unnerving and beautiful, Divided Worlds, The Avian Trilogy (Eagle in flight with helmets) features an eagle made of human hair, wings fully spread and glorious in mid-flight. Emerging from a suggestively fleshy background, Patricia’s eagle holds with it contradictions of ‘life and lifelessness, delight and revulsion, familiarity and foreignness’.

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace,
Adelaide, South Australia

Darkness will disappear, magic light gonna take you for a ride… by pip & pop. Photo – Saul Steed.

5. Pip & Pop

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a unicorn exploded in a small space? It would probably be something along the lines of pip & pop’s (aka Tanya Schultz’s) magical piece for the Biennial, Darkness will disappear, magic light gonna take you for a ride…

pip & pop’s work fills a ‘cave-like void’ between two exhibition spaces,  inducing a sense of wonder and excitement, like only fluorescent colours and glitter can.

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace,
Adelaide, South Australia

Various works featuring Elephant ear (Alocasia odora) in Autumn by Tamara Dean. Photo – Saul Steed.

6. Tamara Dean

Tamara Dean explores life, death and nature through her enchanting photographic work. With feet planted firmly in the natural world, Tamara’s subjects and their composition take on a dreamlike quality.

In Our Nature is in some ways a site-specific work, where Tamara has captured her subjects during the change of seasons at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The installation work shown at the Museum of Economic Botany draws parallels between the seasonal shifts, cycles of nature and aging, connecting human life to our external environment.

Stream of Consciousness, is installed around a large reflection pool, where the work transforms and shifts as the water moves in the space.

Adelaide Botanical Garden
Museum of Economic Botany

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia

Divided Worlds is free admission and takes place at various locations around Adelaide between March 3rd-June 3rd. For more information visit

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