”MONGO” is slang for garbage salvaged from streets and trash heaps. Any rubbish can qualify, whether it’s edible, wearable, useful or indescribable. By definition, somebody must have thought it was worthless. 

Francois Knoetze’s work combines direct commentary to issues of sustainability, use and reuse as approachable and poetic art making. His practice retraces the life cycles of discarded objects and explores junctures between material and social histories. In his Mongo suits, the synthetic is welded to the human – bringing focus to the objectification of persons, through the personification of objects.

These collaborative workshops aimed to stimulate and support the skills development of local SA artists whose visual and performance based practices explore ecological/environmental issues and incorporate the use of recycled and found materials in their processes and outcomes.

Lead workshop artist: Francois Knoetze / Participating artists: Bob DalyChelsea Farquhar, Lee Gurling, Michelle Jahn, Heidi KenyonMieke Kriegesvelt, Jane Macilwain, Nikki Manning, Kaspar Schmidt Munn, Emma O’Neil, Rosina PossinghamCinzia SchincariolCynthia SchwertsikMatt ShilcockJane SkeerHenry Jock WalkerLaura WillsTrevor Wren, Greta Wyatt and Emmaline Zanelli.

Roaming street parades and performances took place as part of the Port Fringe Festival and in and around SMOCK, 122 Hindley st, Adelaide. Francois also presented a number of his locally created Mongo suits at WOMADelaide. An exhibition of all the suits/costumes were on display at SMOCK till the 22 April, 2018.

Artists Involved

Project Partners

Arts South Australia
City of Port Adelaide Enfield
City of Adelaide

Media Articles

Related Projects


Our mission is to provide artists and non-artists with opportunities to create contemporary works that explore local ideas and new way of coming together in the public domain.

OSCA acknowledges we work on Kaurna Land – always was, always will be.

OSCA is funded by Arts South Australia. We also receive project support from the Australia Council, the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Country Arts SA and the City of Onkaparinga.