Adelaide’s graphic heritage: The quintessential contested colonial city

Through collaboration with the University of South Australia, the SIDA Foundation, and The David Roche Foundation collection, this project provides the opportunity to explore how decorative arts illuminate and substantiate the concept of graphic heritage as a representation of Adelaide’s past, present, and future.

It is concerned with how heritage interpretation is communicated through graphic images across various scales of the Adelaide city region. A graphic heritage perspective will be utilised to highlight the contested identity of Adelaide as a quintessential colonial city.

The aim is to establish the parameters for an auditing tool to provide an overview of the defining graphic heritage assets that determine and define the heritage places and spaces associated with Adelaide. A key objective is to explore how graphic heritage contributes to a shared domain for discourse and reconciliation that benefits all Australians.

The project duration is between July 2023 to December 2024. This site will be updated regularly with information reporting on the project’s progress.

Last update: 5 September 2023.


Image: Looking west from King William Street down Currie Street in 1920 showing the Adelaide Steamship Company building and the White Horse Hotel as the smaller building at the end. Courtesy of the State Library Catalogue Reference: B 30652


The Award

The University of South Australia, SIDA Foundation, and The David Roche Foundation Curatorial Research Fellowship is awarded to researchers and practitioners across all disciplines who seek to shape the future of design and creative arts research.


Feature image: Yarnbombing (knitfitti) in Wirrabara, rural South Australia. Courtesy of Ursula K. Frederick.

Ursula Frederick & Anne Clarke (2014) Signs of the times: Archaeological approaches to historical and contemporary graffiti, Australian Archaeology, 78:1, 54-57, DOI: 10.1080/03122417.2014.11681999