The Heysen Sculpture Biennial is an outdoor sculpture exhibition organised by an all-volunteer committee.
The Heysen Sculpture Biennial began in 2000 with only a dozen works situated on the grounds of The Cedars as an initiative of Adelaide Hills artist Helen Lyons. Lyons was the founder of Trees Please, the environmental group responsible for the continuing rehabilitation of the tracts of bushland within The Cedars. The Heysen Sculpture Biennial was staged in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The next HSB was staged in 2019 with future HSB events happening every second year.
From 1912 The Cedars was home to the painter, draughtsman and seminal interpreter of the Australian light and landscape, Sir Hans Heysen and his family, including his daughter, Nora Heysen.
Heysen's studio, the oldest surviving purpose-built artist studio in Australia, still stands and is open to the public six days a week. The Heysen family encourages the public to explore and enjoy the grounds. Only 20 minutes away from Adelaide and close to the most-visited tourist destination of Hahndorf, The Cedars is well-positioned to host the significant exhibition of contemporary sculpture that the Heysen Sculpture Biennial has become.
Following Heysen's death in 1968 the property was owned by the Heysen Estate until October 2016 when it was formally transferred from the Heysen Family to the now established Hans Heysen Foundation. This will serve to secure this unique South Australian property as a significant component of the National Estate.
Foundation ownership will then allow funding support from various levels of Government, Corporate bodies as well as private philanthropy. Enormous scope exists for the utilization of the 60 + hectare property for increased involvement by various sectors of the Arts. Already the history of implementation of sculpture exhibitions and symposiums has demonstrated the successful capabilities of this superb, pristine property. The continued recognition of the status of the Heysen Sculpture Biennial with its increasing visitation is certainly evidence of this. One of the primary aims of the new Foundation is the encouragement and ongoing support of such exhibitions with future funding support for artists in residence and hosted Summer Schools.
Getting to The Cedars:
From Adelaide travel via the South Eastern Freeway to Hahndorf. Exit the Freeway at Hahndorf, just before entering the village turn left into Ambleside Road. Continue for one kilometre to Heysen Road and then turn left into the parking lot for The Cedars.