vivonne thwaites



curated projects

Vivonne Thwaites was Visual Arts Director, Adelaide Festival Centre for many years and was the Curator of the School of Art Gallery University of South Australia in 2006. In July/August 2006 she was awarded the University of Sydney Power Studio at Cité Internationale de Arts in Paris. Her curated project Littoral resulted from this experience.

Vivonne has curated many exhibitions since 1994.

Vivonne was awarded Arts SA and Australia Council grants for international research in 2013, travel to Stockholm, Åland, Helsinki, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmo, Hässelholm and Göteborg where she visited many artist studios.

Vivonne has curated several projects for Adelaide Festivals, artists have included Yvonne Koolmatrie, Ian Abdulla, Nici Cumpston, Darren Siwes, Michael Riley, Trevor Nicholls, Lynda Syddick, Ellen Trevorrow, Julie Gough and many other now significant artists.

Home is where the heart is was a Centenary of Federation project, the first project Vivonne curated outside the system.

Writing a painting was the first fully curated and funded project for SASA Gallery and opened for the Adelaide Festival in 2006. 

Grants have been awarded for projects from Australia Council; Arts SA; History Trust; Visions; GDF; Myer Foundation; Australia China Council; Asialink; Adelaide City Council and private sponsors.

Reviews for curated projects have been consistently positive – by Daniel Thomas, Mary Eagle, Nicholas Rothwell, Alex Tuffin, Lisa Harms, Margo Neale, Stephanie Radok, Maurice O’Riordan, John Neylon, Melinda Rankin, Louise Nunn, Robert Nelson, Larry Schwartz, Tim Lloyd, Terry Plane, Juliet Peers, Drusilla Modjeska, Nick Waterlow and others.

Vivonne established artroom5 in 2009 and subsequently ran a program of exhibitions in this space showing clusters of new and emerging artists.


Build me a city2012

'build me a city' presented with the aeaf and the Architecture Museum Uni SA and the artists Lily Hibberd, Jacobus Capone, Sandra Selig, Kirsten Coelho, Sera Waters, Nicholas Folland and Nici Cumpston. This project was funded by Arts SA's New Exhibitions fund.
Download the catalogue
View the invitation
Review: Artlink vol 33 #1 2013
Review: Art Monthly


2012 roads cross

Roads Cross with Fiona Salmon, Flinders Uni. & Anita Angel, Charles Darwin Uni.
The exhibition was held at:
Flinders University City Gallery
State Library of South Australia, Adelaide 29 June – 26 August 2012
Charles Darwin University Art Gallery
Chancellery, Casuarina campus Charles Darwin University, Darwin 22 Nov 2012 to 2Feb 2013
The project was funded by Visions of Australia.
Media Release
View: Invitation SA
View: Invitation NT
Review: Art Monthly - Issue 252 (Aug 2012)  'X' marks the space: Roads cross, Flinders University Art Museum, O'Riordan, Maurice.
Review: Artlink Vol 32 # 4 (2012) p 88 Roads Cross: Contemporary Directions in Australian Art, Margo Neale
Review: Australian Art Review (posted: 18 May 2012) Eloquent Intersections, Stephanie Radok
Review: Alice Springs News November 2013 What makes a patch of dirt a place? Russell Goldflam


Home Stories2011

Home Stories curated in 2011 by Vivonne Thwaites for Adelaide Central School of Art in partnership with the Migration Museum.
Home Stories was an exhibition in the Adelaide Fringe Festival. The exhibition included new works by Roy Ananda, Sera Waters, Irmina van Niele, Kylie Waters, Christine Aerfeldt, Lee Salomone, and Carolina Facelli.
Exhibited at ACSA, Norwood, 11 February to 19 March, 2011 and then at the Migration Museum, 31 March to 8 June, 2011, Gallery 2, 82 Kintore Ave, Adelaide
The project was funded by Arts SA.
Winner: Fringe Eran Svigos Award for Best Visual Art 2011
Review: Adelaide Fringe Vis Arts by Kelli Rowe 2011
Review: The Adelaide Reivew by John Neylon, 'Art Interprets History', March 2011
Download the catalogue



Littoral curated by Vivonne Thwaites with Professor Jean Fornasiero, French Department, University of Adelaide.
A 54 page catalogue, Littoral, was published. The exhibition opened in Hobart at Carnegie Gallery, April 2010 and toured to Burnie Regional Gallery and featured the marine works of Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and responses from contemporary Australian artists, Aadje Bruce, Chris de Rosa, Julie Gough, Beverley Southcott, Toni Warburton, Judy Watson.
The project was funded by The Australia Council, Gordon Darling Foundation, The Power Institute Foundation for Arts and Visual Culture, the Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Download the catalogue
Reviews of Littoral:
Review: The Australian by Daniel Thomas August 2010
Review: Art Monthly by Mary Eagle Sept 2010


Earlier projects:


writing a paintingAdelaide Bank Festival of Arts project titled Writing a Painting, opened on March 1, 2006. This project was funded by Uni SA International, Arts SA, The Australia Council, The Gordon Darling Foundation, the Australia China Council and Asialink. Artists Robin Best and Helen Fuller with Nyukana Baker and Huang Xiuqian. Writers Vivonne Thwaites, Prof Nicholas Jose, John Kean and Mary Eagle.
Download the catalogue
Download the invitation

On Writing a painting Visual Arts at the 2006 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts:
"Restorative peace, beauty and cultural connections flowed from Writing a Painting at the South Australian school of Art, the kind of art project that Adelaide always does well and in curator Vivonne Thwaites' hands, extremely well. This poetic and richly layered presentation (exploring Australia's relationship with China through recent work by locally based artists, Helen Fuller and Robin Best, in association with Huang Xiuqian of Jingdezhen, China and Nyukana (Daisy) Baker of Ernabella) pushed the persistent but seemingly coincidental undercurrent of cultural roots within the entire AF06 visual art program in other directions. "
Adelaide Review – Previewed by John Neylon, Feb to March, 2006, Visual Arts 15
Review: Artlink 'Roots and All' by John Neylon, Vol 26 no 2, 2006
Melinda Rankin worked with curator Vivonne Thwaites on an accompanying exhibition, Out of Site -
Download the catalogue


Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial. Project title: in the world - toured nationally throughout 2007/08. Artists Beth Hatton, Jean Baptiste Apuatimi (Tiwi), Minymaku artists, Julie Gough, Irmina van Niele, Kay Lawrence, Ilka White, Sandy Elverd, Helen Fuller, Michelle Nikou, Bede Tungatalem, Rosemary Whitehead and many others. Catalogue essay Vivonne Thwaites, Australia Council and Visions of Australia funded.
Download the catalogue
Download the education kit
Review: The Adelaide Review
Review: The Advertiser

holy holy holy2004

Holy Holy Holy was funded by Arts SA, The Australia Council’s Visual Arts Board and ATSIAB, The Gordon Darling Foundation, The History Trust and Visions of Australia. Holy Holy Holy was a project of the 2004 Adelaide Festival and toured nationally. This project looked at the impact of Christianity on Indigenous people in Australia through a range of works by contemporary artists and museum and social history material. Artists such as Michael Riley, Linda Syddick Napaltjarri, Darren Siwes, Jarinyanu David Downs, Ian W Abdulla, Irene Mbitjana Entata, Christine McCormack, Trevor Nickolls, Alan Tucker, Harry Wedge, Julie Dowling, Nici Cumpston and James Cochran are included and the writers Marcia Langton, Bill Edwards, Rob Amery, Mary Eagle, Varga Hosseini and Christine Nicholls explore the topic in the accompanying catalogue, Introduction by Vivonne Thwaites. This project was featured in articles in Art Monthly by Nick Waterlow and in Art and Australia by Tracey Lock Weir and was written up twice in The Age with full-page features in each instance.
Review: Art Monthly by Nick Waterlow
Review: A faith-to-history mission by Larry Schwartz, The Age, Metro Review, p 8, 3 June, 2005
Review: Mighty but not merciful by Robert Nelson, The Age, Metro Arts, p 8, 29 June, 2005.
Adelaide Festival media release

home is where the heart is2001/02

Home is where the heart is - An examination of the legacy of the Country Women's Association organisations in the history of Women's art in Australia. Twelve contemporary Australian artists reflected on this great history and exhibited works alongside SACWA museum material: Joyce Winsley, Julie Gough, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Nalda Searles, Irene Briant, Jo Crawford, Rosemary Whitehead, Aadje Bruce, Helen Fuller, Sarah Crowest, Kay Lawrence, Michele Nikou and SACWA members. Funded by The Centenary of Federation, Arts SA, Arts WA, the Australia Council and Country Arts SA. This project was shown at:
– Burra Regional Gallery, 6 July – 2 August, 2001
– University of South Australia Art Museum, 13 September – 21 October, 2001
– Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, 2 November – 2 December, 2001
– Port Augusta Fountain Gallery, 5 December – 18 January, 2002
– Bundoora Homestead Federation Centre for the Arts, Victoria, 5 April – 19 May, 2002.
This project opened up new material on the CWA and its unique history in Australia. Connections between the South Australian Country Women's Association and an Indigenous Australia were a focus of this exhibition. The President of the South Australian Country Women's Association launched this project at the Art Museum, University of South Australia.
Public forum held Friday 14 September, 2001, 5–7 pm, Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, Lion Arts Centre, Adelaide. Speakers were Dr Jean Duruz, Dr Mary Eagle and Prof Kay Lawrence.
card from Eric RollsThe catalogue for this project won the Award of Merit/Visual Communication in the Design Body Two Awards, Design Institute of Australia, November 2001 and the Gold Serif Award AIPC, Visual Media Graphic Design, 2001.
Catalogue Commendation Award 2001, sponsored by the School of Fine Arts, Classics and Archaeology, University of Melbourne: Vivonne Thwaites (curator, writer, editor), Roslyn Schumann (State President SACWA 2000) Mary Eagle and Stephanie Radok.
Catalogue cover
'Celebration of history's old skills' by Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser, 8 January,
p 77, 2001.
'Not all tea and scones, you know' by Terry Plane, The Australian, The Arts,
10 September, p 16, 2001.
'A Federation Pair' by Mary Eagle, Art Monthly Australia, November, No 145,
pp 21-23, 2001.
'Poltergeist, Home is where the heart is' by Stephanie Radok, The Adelaide Review, October, pp 31-32, 2001.
'Celebrate the craft' by Tony Love, The Advertiser, 8 October, p 70, 2001.
'Home is where the heart is' by Pam Zeplin, Artlink, Vol 21, No 4, 2001.
'Home/heart' by Cath Keneally, Art Monthly, No 138, April, p 44, 2001.
'Home is where the heart is', The World of Antiques and Art, July – December, pp 144-145, 2001.
'Home is where the art is' by Noris Ioannou, The Advertiser, Reviews section.
'Home is where the heart is', The Adelaide Review, September, p 22, 2001.
Swifty Coot, The Advertiser, The Arts section, 13 January, 2001.
'Home is where the heart is' by Juliet Peers, 6 July, 2002.
Art Notes, Art Monthly, No 14, September, p 44, 2001.
'South Australian Touring Exhibition in Burra', The Burra Broadcaster, No 511, 27 June, p 5, 2001.
'Large Crowd Sees Exhibition Open', Burra Broadcaster, No 513, 11 July, p 5, 2001
Nell Schofield interviewed Helen Fuller and Mary Eagle and the CWA, ABC Radio National, 25 July, 2001.
A paper on this project presented by Vivonne Thwaites at the AAANZ Conference, Melbourne University, 2001.
ISBN 0-9595800-6-9
2001 Letter to President of SACWA by Joan Kerr AM FAHA (1938–2004)


Karra/Karrawirraparri, Telstra Adelaide Festival - a project about the significance of the River Red Gum and the role of this tree in our ecosystem especially in relation to the River Murray. The artists Agnes Love, Jo Crawford, Chris De Rosa participated in this project, curated for the Telstra Adelaide Festival 2000 and funded by The Myer Foundation, Arts SA, Trees for Life and The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust. Catalogue essays by Vivonne Thwaites, Eric Rolls, Stephanie Radok, Martin O'Leary. This project was given attention in The Australian's Review of Books (Dots on the Landscape, 8 March vol. 5, 2000 by Drusilla Modjeska pp 3-4 ) and was featured in The Bulletin (I think that we shall never see...) September 14, 1999 by Anthony Hoy, pp 18-19). The US journal Ethics and Environment, Indiana University Press requested an article on this project: Thwaites, V. (2003). Karra: Karrawirraparri-river red gumeucalyptus camaldulensis. Ethics and the Environment, 8(1), 51-56.
Drusilla Modjeska's review was included in an Anthology: The Best Australian Essays 2000 Peter Craven (editor), Melbourne : Black Inc. 2000 anthology prose biography autobiography essay extract criticism short story pg. 312-320
Download the catalogue
Dots on the Landscape - The Australian's Review of Books
Photo Artists Jo Crawford and Chris De Rosa in the exhibition Karra Holding two of the many River Red gum seedlings/trees planted for the project
Hoy, Anthony (1999), I think we shall never see, The Bulletin, 14 September 1999 p18-19
Modjeska, Drusilla (2000), Dots on the Landscape, The Australian Review of Books, March 2000
Spencer, Matthew (2000), By gum, campaign branches out to art, our water at risk, The Australian, 23 March 2000

JulieDowlingJulie Dowling (Barniga skin, Badimaya/Yamatji language) – new works, 17 December – 5 February. Paintings and monoprints. Opened on Friday 17 December by Associate Prof Kay Schaffer, Department of Social Inquiry, University of Adelaide and author of Indigenous Australian Voices: an anthology of Indigenous art and literature. Sales to the Gantner Myer Collection ($5,500), Artbank ($5,500) and a private collector in Western Australia. Total print sales $3,790.
‘Shock of Colours’ by Christine Nicholls, The Advertiser, 29 December, p 50, 1999. dB Magazine, 15 – 25 January, 1999.
‘Strong woman’ by Stephanie Radok, Broadsheet, Vol 29, No 1, Autumn 2000.


19 March – 15 May, 1999, curated for the Come Out Youth Arts Festival, included works by over thirty Australian artists such as Michelle Nikou, Cecile Williams, Aadje Bruce, Kate Campbell Pope, Jo Crawford, Georgina Creswell, Sarah CrowEST, Chris de Rosa, Helen Fuller, Minka Gillian, Rachael Guy, Ruth Hadlow, Gay Hawkes, Catherine Hearse, Dawn Kanost, Simone Kennedy, Rosella Paletti, Nalda Searles, Cindy South Czabania, Andrew Stock, Sarah Toohey, Gerry Wedd, Penny White and Liz Williams including several Indigenous artists: Joyce Winsley, Jean Riley, Lizzie Riley and David Umala. Works from the collection of the South Australian Museum were also included.
This exhibition toured to Port Pirie Tourism and Arts Centre, opening 4 September and was hired into Object Galleries, Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney, 10 July – 15 August 1999.
Catalogue introduction by Vivonne Thwaites, essay by Stephanie Radok.
Review: ‘Doll’ by Vivonne Thwaites, Artlink, Vol 19, No 2, 1999. Total sales $5,630 plus $2,500 hire fee from Sydney.


Three Views of Kaurna Territory Now curated for the 25th anniversary of the Adelaide Festival Centre with the Indigenous artists Darren Siwes, Nici Cumpston and Agnes Love, funded by The Australia Council and The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust. Catalogue essays by John Kean and Vivonne Thwaites.
Download the Catalogue

ODD business, news, finance and weather. Economic rationalist exhibition using most media. 
Andrew Petrusevics and Chris Gaston. 
Artspace, 28 August to 24 October 1998


Sport... the most accessible theatre in the world
18 August – 1 October, serious and irreverent works by Glenn Morgan, Alan Tucker, Darren McRae, Simon Kneebone, Angelika Erbsland, Ron Hurley, Gary James, Pam Harris, Timothy J Webb, Christopher Beaumont, Carol Kennewell and other artists. Works on loan from Australian War Memorial and the Sport and Olympic Museum at the MCG. Opened by Greg Champion of Coodabeen Champions. Sponsors Balfours and Kent Town Ale. subsequently toured by Country Arts SA to Ceduna, Port Pirie, Mount Gambier, Renmark, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Wudinna, Naracoorte, Broken Hill, Mildura, Alice Springs. 
Review: ‘Sport... the most accessible theatre in the world’ by Brett Buttfield, dB Magazine, No 75, 31 August – 13 September.

Talking. Listening.
An exhibition curated for the Adelaide Festival, 25 February – 13 March. The Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists exhibited and worked in Artspace during this exhibition. Works by Ian Abdulla, Alan Tucker, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Ellen Trevorrow and Jo Crawford. Curated by Vivonne Thwaites, essay by Stephanie Radok. Opened by Indigenous elder Shirley Peisley.
Review: 'Chance to share ideas with artists' by Ruth Megaw and Vincent Megaw, The Advertiser, 10 March, p 19, 1994.

The Pam Harris Show
Prints and banners, video and performance. Di Barrett, Lecturer in Photography, South Australian School of Art collaborated on this exhibition to commemorate the life and work of Pam Harris. Writers: Julie Ewington and Jude Adams. This exhibition received assistance from the Exhibition Development Fund of the South Australian Touring Exhibitions Program and the SA Women's Suffrage Centenary.

Artspace, 1 July – 13 August, coinciding with the 3rd International Women Playwrights Conference in July. Anne Neil, Sarah CrowEST, Rebecca Patterson, Laurel Frank, Dorothy Herel, Ruth Hadlow, Nalda Searles, Pantjiti Mary McLean, Andrea McNamara, Sieglinde Karl, Elizabeth Fotiadis, Joanne Croke, Kate Ellis, Lyndell Darch, Janet Neilson – explore the notion of costume as it affects theatre and performance. Assisted by Country Arts Trust SA Touring Exhibitions Program

Patterns of Connection
Cibachrome photo-compositions by Indigenous artist Leah King Smith
Festival Theatre Foyer, 8 – 30 April ,1994, courtesy Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi.
This spectacular exhibition of large scale cibachromes was held in conjunction with Women's Suffrage Centenary, SA, 1894–1994.
Rachel O'Reilly, Realtime, 2005 review for QUT exhibition of Leah King Smiths-Strategies of ambiguity: "When the discourse surrounding archival ethnographic photography came under the control of Indigenous artists and writers in the 1980s and 90s, modes of representing and deconstructing Aboriginality moved out of the hands of white Australia for the first time. In her Patterns of Connection series (1995), Leah King-Smith was one of many contemporary Australian artists to engage with 19th century ethnographic archival photography. This recombinant, 'Indigenous' media art, colliding with the visual culture of Australia's colonial past, did much to reveal the mediated nature of Indigenous oppression and present a cogent visual history of the camera's constructions of whiteness."
Realtime Arts article

KateBreakyKate Breakey – the Laws of Physics and the Principles of Mathematics
8 April – 7 May, Artspace. Women's Suffrage Centenary exhibition. Hand coloured photographic works by this Australian artist who has relocated to the US. This artist has gained international recognition and in 2001 a monograph was published on her work by the University of Texas Press.
Review: Artlink by Margot Osborne, Issue 14:3, September 1994


Margaret Dodd: some works from 1965–1993
15 July – 14 August, this survey exhibition was opened by Daniel Thomas. Works on loan from ICI, the Art Gallery of South Australia, NGA and other collections.


Bronwyn OliverBronwyn Oliver
Curated for Artspace, 29 May – 18 July, this survey exhibition comprised many works on loan (from the National Gallery of Victoria, the ICI Collection, Victorian State Craft Collection, Meridian Sculpture Founders Pty Ltd and others from Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne) toured to the Lawrence Wilson Gallery, University of Western Australia, August. Sponsored by ASER Nominees Pty Ltd. Spanning five years of Oliver's practice and with similarities to architectural sketches, made in copper and bronze, lead and fibreglass the works deal with form in an experimental and open way, this exhibition was ideally placed in Artspace looking onto the Hyatt Hotel's Oliver commission.
Review: 'The Fourth Side of the Triangle – Bronwyn Oliver' by Stephanie Radok, Artlink, Vol 12, No 3, pp 69–70, 1992.
Review: 'Sculptured to intrigue' by Noris Ioannou, The Advertiser, 2 July, p 13, 1992.
Catalogue cover
Review by Stephanie Radok
Review by Ioannu
Image: Bronwyn Oliver, Curl (Schiaparelli), 1988, copper wire, 80 × 80 × 25cm, © Estate of Bronwyn Oliver. Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.


The Shirt Show
Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Festival Theatre Foyer 29 May to 29 June, 1991

Passages and Postcards
an exhibition of woven narratives by New Zealand artist Kelly Thompson Artspace, 5 February to 15 March, 1991
Kelly gave a public lecture 7 to 9pm Wednesday 5 Feb at the Crafts Council of SA

Whitehall an exhibition of works by the original members of Whitehall Enterprises – a Melbourne based group of artists and artisans, curated by Vivonne Thwaites. Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre and Riddoch Art Gallery, 1991
Artists: Darryl Cowie, Sarah Crowest, Mark Douglass, Bernadette and Gerhard Emmerichs, Karl Millard and Leanne Tregear.
Opened by The Hon. Anne Levy Minister for the Arts at 7.30pm on Friday 12 October. Exhibition concludes in Artspace 10 November.


Jill Yates: A Thousand Ways
An exhibition of printed and painted fabric and forms by Jill Yates
1 to 28 June, 1990
In 1990 Jill Yates was commissioned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences to print a fabric length “A Material World”
Jill was a founder of Merd International, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, commenced 1984 – 1986.

la boutique fantastique La Boutique Fantastique a project of the 1990 Adelaide Festival held in David Jones, Sixth floor Rundle mall, Adelaide, curated by Vivonne Thwaites. Opened by Robert Bell, Curator of Craft, Art Gallery of Western Australia at 6pm on 27 February, 6 to 8pm.

Garden Art Garden Art An exhibition of exotic objects for the garden. Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre, 6 April to 26 May, 1990. opened by Dr Brian Morley, Director of the Botanic Gardens, Adelaide