Suitcase Exhibition

open suitcase

Suitcase Exhibition Image: David Paterson, DORIAN Photographics


Exhibition in a Suitcase

The Art and Environment Exhibition in a Suitcase project was developed by the Australian National University as an aspiration building and educational enrichment outreach tool for use in selected regional secondary schools. The exhibition features diverse works of art made by seven artists associated with the ANU School of Art, which are contained within a custom made travel suitcase. Designed to enable teachers and students in regional and remote areas to access contemporary works of art in a classroom setting, the Suitcase is supplemented by visual and curriculum support materials for students in Years 7 – 12.

The Art and Environment Exhibition in a Suitcase project was developed as a component of the ANU Regional Partnerships Program with the support of Australian Government Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding. Designed as an aspiration building and educational enrichment outreach tool, the project works towards the Australian Government’s ambition that 20 per cent of domestic undergraduate students will be from low SES backgrounds by 2020.

Further enquiries

Image gallery

Booking enquiries

This outreach education resource was developed to enable teachers and students in regional and remote schools to access contemporary works of art in a classroom setting. The resource is offered for loan periods of up to four weeks at no cost to schools, with priority given to schools in low SES areas. The resource began its first annual tour of regional schools in January 2015. Booking enquiries are welcome via the Booking enquiry form [PDF 320MB] Once a booking is confirmed borrowers are required to complete, sign and return a Loan agreement [PDF 340KB].

Loan periods  Up to 4 weeks, by arrangement
Further enquiries


Essential Loan Information

Completion of loan agreement


The loan agreement is designed to ensure that you have read and understood all of the responsibilities and requirements in regard to the loan of the Suitcase.  A loan agreement must be completed, signed and returned prior to each loan period. All information below is essential to you in order to complete the loan agreement. 

Please note: Under no circumstances can the Suitcase be loaned without the loan agreement having been signed and returned.


Appropriate environments in which to use the Suitcase

Please ensure the environment in which you present the Suitcase to students is carpeted and well away from materials such as pens, paints, sharp objects, food or anything else likely to damage the artworks. Teachers are encouraged to book a carpeted space in your school library (or similar) for the periods students will have hands-on experiences with the artworks in the Suitcase.

Please note:  Images (A3 posters and A4 artist info cards) of the artworks in the Suitcase are provided as visual reference for use in environments where practical art activities are conducted. Under no circumstances should artworks be handled in inappropriate environments, nor should artworks displayed anywhere other than inside the Suitcase.


Storage requirements

Please ensure the Suitcase is stored in a secure location when not in use.  In secondary schools, it is suggested that Suitcases be stored in a lockable room nearby to the carpeted environment in which the Suitcase is to be used with students. Please ensure that you lock the clasps each time you close the lid of the Suitcase.

Please note: It is important that the Suitcase is not stored in motor vehicles due to temperature.


Supervision requirements

To ensure the safe handling of artworks, teacher supervision is essential at all times. Where possible, work with groups of ten or less students at a time to decrease the likelihood of damage to the artworks.

Please note: Under no circumstances can students handle artworks in the Suitcase without the supervision of an adult who has read the handling instructions.


General handling instructions

Students must be careful and well behaved at all times when handling the artworks as inappropriate behaviour could result in damage or destruction. The following handling points must be noted by teachers:

  • Seat students in your chosen carpeted area to introduce the suitcase resource and discuss behaviour and handling requirements. 
  • Ensure all students have clean hands and are not wearing any jewellery.
  • Ensure students use two hands when handling an artwork and handle only one object at a time.


Special handling instructions

  • canis lupus tingo by Amanda Stuart : Please do not pick this artwork up by the ‘ear’; use two hands when handling. 
  • Fishman of SE Australia. A three volume cased set by John Reid: Please take care turning the pages of the books as the paper is quite thin.
  • Pigeon of Norfolk Island (extinct) by Nicola Dickson: Please be mindful of hinges when opening and closing the hinged panels.
  • De-Composition in M by Caroline Huf: Please support concertina book pages on a clean flat surface, such as a table top. Please return the DVD to its case immediately when not in use.
  • The Ephemeral Dampiera fusca: Tindery Range by Cathy Franzi:  This 3-part porcelain work requires extra careful handling to avoid chipping, especially when nesting the objects inside each other.
  • Core Samples #5 by Charles Walker : These glass objects require extra careful handling. Note: we are aware that some of the stones embedded are slightly crumbly.
  • Piccaninny Paradise by Danie Mellor: Please be mindful of the printed surface of this work. 


Condition reporting

Condition reporting involves two documents:

Curatorial Condition Report

Located inside the Suitcase in a green folder, this 30 page laminated document is updated by the ANU and Suitcase outreach partner organisations as any changes in condition of objects arise. This report details the condition of the individual objects, tracking changes as they occur over time. The detailed object reports are a guide for both you and the ANU in determining any deterioration in condition of the objects and we greatly appreciate your assistance with this process.


Outreach Condition Report

A one-page checklist style document to be completed by teachers at both the start and end of each loan period. Copies are located inside the green folder, and for download: Outreach condition report [PDF 5.7MB]


Condition reporting instructions

On receiving the Suitcase please look over each artwork carefully alongside the Curatorial Condition Report in order to note the present condition of the artworks on the Outreach Condition Report. If you do notice any unrecorded changes in condition or damage to the artworks tick the “change to” box and note the type of damage.  If there is no change to the artworks simply tick the “no change” box. This process is also required at the end of your loan period. Please remember to sign and date the Outreach Condition Report on both the arrival and departure of the Suitcase.

Please note: There will be no blame or cost incurred if the artworks are damaged while in your care.  

Further enquiries:


Teaching resources

The Art & Environment Exhibition in a Suitcase is accompanied by a series of resource for teachers as listed below.  Teaching resources can be downloaded via the links below, and teachers can request hard copies by emailing and providing postal address information.

A3 Posters [PDF 8.3MB]

The set of A3 colour posters is intended for classroom display. Each poster in the set features an A3 image of an artist’s work from the Suitcase exhibition, accompanied by work details and an aspirational quote.

A4 Artist info cards [PDF 2.1MB]

The A4 Artist info cards are double sided (image/text) and designed for student use in the classroom. Each card features one artist’s work from the Suitcase exhibition, and includes the work details, an artist’s statement, information about the artist’s background and their making process, and contains website links to support students in conducting further research.

Education resource: Activities and discussions – Years 7 to 12 [PDF 400KB]

The Education resource document includes a discussion starter for each artwork, followed by a set of suggested making and responding activities for each artwork, developed for students in Years 7 & 8, Years 9 & 10 and Years 11 & 12. Artistic processes, diverse materials and significant ideas that go into making art objects are emphasised. Teachers are invited to use the discussion topics and suggested activities in any combination, and as is appropriate for different student groups and learning environments.


The development of these teaching resources is an ongoing collaborative process between the University and participating schools. As the Suitcase makes its way to regional schools, it is envisaged that teachers will innovate, document, reflect upon and share the learning activities they include in their programs. Feedback from teachers about the resources is central to this process, and the University welcomes feedback from teachers at any time during or after the loan period via email at It is hoped that we will soon launch a blog where teachers can share their challenges and successes in both photographic and written form. Stay tuned!

Updated:  27 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications