What’s On

Term: 2 Year: 2022
What's On
The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State Education Resource for Teachers.
A starting point for responding to contemporary works of art. 

The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is the country’s longest-standing survey of contemporary art and will open at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) on March 4, 2022.

Curated by Sebastian Goldspink, this exhibition Free/State assembles a group of artists who are fearless; the provocateurs, vanguards and outsiders – challenging histories and art forms and, in the process, offering reflections on an era of multifaceted global upheaval. The exhibition explores ideas of transcending states, from the spiritual and artistic to the psychological, and embraces notions of freedom in expression, creation and collaboration.

To complement a visit to the exhibition with students, the education team at AGSA has developed an online resource that highlights six artists who feature in the exhibition, including Dennis Golding, Tracey Moffatt, Laith McGregor, Angela and Hossein Valamanesh, and Sera Waters. This resource will equip teachers with contextual knowledge about each artist, as well as providing suggestions for making and responding activities that can be used during a visit or back in the classroom.

This resource encourages teachers to approach an exhibition with a broad brush stroke, taking deep dives with specific artists. For example:
‘Getting started – think and discuss’

The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is the nation’s longest-running survey of contemporary Australian art. How do you define an Australian artist? Are they:
• Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists?
• Artists who were born in Australia but live and work elsewhere?
• Artists born in Australia who have continued to live and work in Australia?
• Artists who were born elsewhere but live and work in Australia?

Discuss with your class what it means to be an Australian artist.

Additionally, our online resource – ‘Contemporary Art in the Classroom’, developed in 2021 in collaboration with ACE Open (SA’s flagship contemporary art gallery) and writer Dr. Belinda Howden – provides teachers with the foundations for navigating contemporary art and biennials more broadly. Within this resource, Howden explores ‘Seven Engines of Contemporary Art’ – a framework for teachers and students to understand the systems and subjects of contemporary art.

Kylie Neagle
Education Coordinator
Art Gallery of South Australia