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Burn Down the House in not a provocative invitation to act, rather, it is a philosophical pondering that tests the limits of domesticity, our relationship with nature and the potential to overturn dominant political and social systems.

Inspired by the physical and audible qualities of the lagerphone, an Australian folk instrument made from a stick and metal bottle caps, leading mid-career Adelaide based Nicholas Folland has repurposed items of antique furniture, embellishing them with 7,000 gold and green caps. The pieces of furniture will then form a precarious sculptural installation within the gallery’s walls, a structure that could noisily fall at any moment.

Folland has applied the same treatment to pink gum branches that he has collected from the Adelaide Hills. The combination of wooden furniture and natural branches represents the different stages in the life of the material, creating a tension between our admiration of the natural bush wilderness and the taming of it for our own comfort.

In Linden’s smallest gallery space, Gallery 5, an automated sound work will replicate the rhythm of a morse code SOS transmission. This ominous tapping will leak out across the gallery and suggest an unknown presence or potential danger that is persistent yet hidden.


Nicholas Folland’s practice explores the relationship between domestic objects and materials, natural forces and historical references. His intricate and complex sculptural installations override the common or banal uses of objects to give them a heightened meaning, often relating to
the source of their substance or the cultural practices
and identities they hold. His work speaks to uncertainty, ecological fragility and our perception of time.

Folland is currently the Department Head for both Contemporary Studies and Sculpture at the Adelaide Central School of Art. He recently exhibited work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of The National 2019: New Australian Art, and he presented a survey exhibition of his work at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2014. Folland’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, as well as numerous Australian university and regional gallery collections and private collections across the world.

Event type

by Deaf and/or disabled artists

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