Painting South Australia’s Past

It is often said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ – but what can South Australian art tell us when we use it as a portal to peer into the past? Join us at this Talking History where our four panellists share their surprising and intimate insights into  South Australia’s past through art. 

Like most art, South Australian art can be subjective and shaped by bias. But if you look closely, it often reveals intimate insights about the people and places that make South Australia what it is today.   

Chair: Dr Kiera Lindsey, South Australia’s History Advocate
Speakers: Dr Susan Marsden, Jenny Molloy (University of Adelaide), Karen Briggs (KLB Creative), Dr Mark Staniforth (National Trust). 

Date: 13 August 2024
Time: 5:45pm for a 6:00pm start 

The Talking History program is delivered in partnership with the University of South Australia.

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Dr Susan Marsden is a professional and a voluntary historian who has worked on international, national and regional projects, and has been South Australia’s State Historian, National Conservation Manager for the Australian National Trusts, founding president of the Oral History Association (SA), and president of the Professional Historians Association (SA), and of the History Council of SA. She has authored and co–authored over 40 publications, and produced histories in a variety of other formats, including oral histories for the National Library of Australia, exhibitions, heritage studies and social media posts for the philanthropic Marsden Szwarcbord Foundation. She was awarded the History Council of South Australia’s inagural Life-long History Achievement Award in 2012, the SA Minister’s Heritage Heroes Award in 2012, and was appointed Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in 2022. 

Jennifer Molloy recently earned a PhD from the University of Adelaide. Her creative writing thesis, ‘Sketching Tom Gill: Art, history, and a creative exploration beyond the frame of ST Gill’s utopian visions of colonial South Australia’ developed through her interests in art, history, and local culture. Jennifer has worked as a Creative Director at Village Roadshow and as an Art Director at a Canadian advertising agency. She developed a liking for university studies and creative writing when she discovered online courses at Open Universities Australia. She also holds a Master of Creative Writing from Macquarie University.  

Karen Briggs is a Yorta Yorta woman from Northeast Victoria, working as an illustrator, graphic and digital designer, and contemporary First Nations artist. She holds a Bachelor of Design (Illustration) from the University of South Australia. Karen, a published book illustrator, delights in visiting schools and libraries to share stories from her books about First Nation culture. Her design work specialises in the vibrant and rich designs of First Nations culture, creating cultural elements for organisations across Adelaide and beyond. Based in the Adelaide Hills, she currently manages her freelance design business while creating captivating art that celebrates her heritage.

Dr Mark Staniforth (PhD, FSA.) has been involved in Australian archaeology, history, cultural heritage and museums for five decades. He was a curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney for six years and taught archaeology and museums studies at Flinders University for fifteen years. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA). Now retired, Mark is an active volunteer with the Willunga National Trust where he was been the co-ordinator of the Heritage Walks program, the Archaeology program and he is currently the co-ordinator of the Heritage Art Program.