Change and Adaptation

02. 08. 2016

Art House

Artists:  Rebecca Hicks  l  Annabelle Collett

A temporary art space in a transportable placed on location at SFHS

The Change & Adaptation artists required a space  to run workshops and engage with the community.  The concept of establishing a shipping container as an ‘art clinic’  on the grounds of the Southern Fleurieu Health Service (SFHS)  began to take shape.   After some considerable negotiations and working through development approval with the Victor Harbor council, an ATCO transportable was secured for the duration of the project.

A survey was sent to the staff of SFHS asking for name suggestions and seeking feedback on how clinicians would like to access the space.  The Art House was identified as the most popular name and staff favoured a decor that would incorporate elements from nature.

It was critical to the success of the project that the transportable became a joyful and creative space for staff and clients to visit.  Artists Rebecca Hicks and Annabelle Collett were engaged to turn the bland empty room into an inviting space where creative things are possible in a safe, friendly environment.

The transportable arrived in February 2014 and to announce its presence Rebecca sent out ‘Mithras’ sticks inviting staff to come and decorate their own stick and provide some thoughts about their new art space.

Rebecca also decorated a large market umbrella using imagery from nature that is put up when the art house doors are open.

Annabelle later ran workshops with AYAC (Aboriginal Youth Advisory Committee) to create components for a cheeky and cheerful mural on the exterior of the building.  Recycled, brightly coloured plastic objects were compiled drilled and stitched together.  These objects could easily be created within one workshop, with some participants creating three or four.

The Art House has been used for:

  • Music Connect group sessions and the recording of the Demolition Symphony
  • Artists working with staff on the Thresholds project
  • Change & Adaptation team meetings
  • NAIDOC week umbrella and mask workshops
  • A staff Biggest Morning tea event
  • Staff social club lunches

Partner Outcome

  • A space that has been regularly used by staff and clients of SFHS to engage in the arts
  • A range of activities that have provided an outlet for self-expression and stress relief
  • Workshops that promoted discussions about health and wellbeing with the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community

The Art House emerged from the ‘Dressing the Building’ project.  Click here to see the Change & Adaptation project map.

Matthew Bennett

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2011 - 2014


Artist Residencies


Country Arts SA in Partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Alexandrina Council, Government of South Australia and Medicare Local


Alexandrina Region

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.