Art Journeys

photo-icon The Human Arts Movement, Creatures performance, 2018. Photo Sam Roberts

Art Journeys is a program of temporary and changing ephemeral public art experiences with new technologies and cutting-edge environmentally sustainable methods and materials.


In March 2022, the City of Adelaide partnered with Adelaide Festival to present Matthias Schack-Arnott's Groundswell (link: Groundswell - Adelaide Festival). A six-metre platform sits atop a sea of some 40,000 illuminated steel spheres. It's stunning to look at so you climb on to investigate and quickly discover that it's alive. As you walk, it tilts, causing rippling waves of subtly shifting or cascading ball bearings to summon a complex oceanic soundscape.

As a percussionist and improviser, young Melbourne artist Matthias Schack-Arnott has collaborated with the top rank of contemporary composers (Steve Reich, Unsuk Chin, John Zorn and Liza Lim to name a few). But it's his beautifully sculptural performance works and sound installations that have brought him to recent prominence, working with leading designers such as Keith Tucker and Tilman Robinson.


Image: Groundswell, Image courtesy of Pier Carthew & Keith Saunders

The Plastic Bag Store

In 2021 the City of Adelaide was delighted to partner with the Adelaide Festival to present Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store, an immersive and thought provoking free public art installation. Made from entirely recycled plastic bags, what looks, at first glance, to be a bag of onions, or a tray of apples, is, on closer inspection, all hand-made with single-use plastics. The installation that wowed New York City and was located just below the City Library on the first floor foyer of Rundle Place for the entire duration of the Festival.

Robin frohardt 2018 courtesy of the artist

Image: Robin Frohardt, The Plastic Bag Store, 2018. Image courtesy of Maria Baranova for Times Square Arts.

A Doll's House

In February 2020, the City of Adelaide partnered with the Adelaide Festival and the Rundle Mall Management Authority to present the Festival’s 60th anniversary major public art installation,Tatzu Nishi’s A Doll's House. The Dolls House was created by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, and was brought to Australia by public art statesman, John Kaldor and the Adelaide Festival as a gift to the City of Adelaide for the duration of the festival.

The project focus was to share the imaginative power of a major artist with a work that is free and broadly accessible, witty, fun, and will add to the cultural vitality and experience of the city. The sprawling, three-level doll’s house is made of iron and wood which visitors could walk through, moving from a pink-painted living room to the kitchen and beyond. It was constructed at the intersection of Rundle Mall and Gawler Place, and could accommodate 20 people at a time.

Tatzu nishi in a dollls house credit tony lewis

Image: Tatzu Nishi inside A Doll's House in Rundle Mall. Photo by Tony Lewis.

The Leafies

In 2019 the City of Adelaide partnered with WOMADelaide to present the Leafies. Leafies were plant sculptures made from Autumn leaves collected from Botanic Park for a special art installation for WOMADelaide, commissioned by the festival from French performance installation company, Le Phun.

Having emerged at WOMADelaide, the curious Leafies explored the City of Adelaide - a UNESCO City of Music - carrying the WOMADelaide spirit beyond Botanic Park.  They finally congregated at Adelaide’s original meeting place of the Kaurna people, Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square.

Created in collaboration with students from the Central Adelaide School of Art, these beguiling figures evoked a special sense of the natural world appearing in unexpected locations throughout the city. Born from the autumn leaves, the Leafies perched in trees, on streetlamps, appeared on the streets and even on the facades of buildings.

Leafies web

Image: Le Phun, WOMADelaide Leafies, 2019, partnership with the City of Adelaide