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Mai Tai Magazine

The Ghan Launches Artist in Residence Program

  • Written by Caitlin Jones

The Ghan has welcomed ten diverse Australian artists to take part in a special Artist in Residence program celebrating the train's 90th anniversary.

Ten South Australian and Northern Territory artists will travel onboard The Ghan throughout 2019 to create specially-commissioned works inspired by this iconic Outback journey.

The program will culminate in a free art exhibition at The Ghan's Adelaide Parklands Terminal, open to the public between June and August.

Great Southern Rail managing director Steve Kernaghan said the Artist in Residence program would be a first for the company.

"Over nine colourful decades, The Ghan has inspired pioneers, adventurers, royalty and artists alike. It has a rich Australian history and a true connection with the landscapes through which it travels.

"We've hand-selected ten artists to interpret this journey and display their work to the people who love The Ghan and the land it crosses.

"For those who have already travelled on The Ghan, this will reignite special memories. And for those who are yet to embark on the journey, we hope it will inspire them to explore more of Australia."

The Ghan has partnered with Guildhouse, a leading South Australian not for profit that champions visual artists, designers and craftspeople through industry collaborations, innovative projects and professional development.

 "We are delighted to facilitate this remarkable opportunity for South Australian and Northern Territory artists to collaborate with an iconic Australian brand," Guildhouse CEO Emma Fey said.

"Each of the selected artists all bring their own unique skills and experience to the journey – we have invited painters, illustrators, ceramicists, designers and installation artists to respond to their Ghan adventure through demonstrations or the creation of a work of art."

Artist Daniel Connell is looking forward to travelling on The Ghan Expedition on 1 May.

"This opportunity is immense. I wanted to share this experience of a life time with a new migrant to Australia. He and I are incredibly excited to be able to immerse ourselves in the wilderness of Australia, meet the people of those countries and feel again, how small we are in time and space. Much of the work I do is with the Sikh community they are also a part of the cameleer's stories. I had no idea I'd be able to follow their footsteps."





Anna Dowling


Painter and illustrator

Has travelled

(3 March)

Robert Habel


Painter and illustrator

3 April

Thom Buchanan

Adelaide-based P

Painter and illustrator

24 April

Haneen Martin


Sculptor and print maker

1 May

Instagram: @zombiequeen_sant

Daniel Connell


Painter and illustrator

1 May

Sam Gold



12 May

Instagram: @sam_gold_artist

Lauren Simeoni*



5 June

Mervyn Rubuntja*

Alice-Springs based


12 June

Kerryn Levy*



17 June

Julie White


Fashion textile designer

Has travelled

(October 2018)

 * These artists will also be staging onboard interactive workshops for guests during their travel.


The Ghan, which travels between Adelaide and Darwin, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. This iconic Australian journey visits Outback destinations including Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy. Throughout June, July and August, The Ghan will celebrate 90 days of celebration onboard with special events for guests travelling during this period.

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