Myth in transition
1 November 2006 – 10 April 2007
In Australian Indigenous cultures, myth takes the form of narratives explaining nature, customs and value systems. Indigenous communities use art as a way to represent myth, and tell stories of Dreamings or beliefs that pertain to their particular Country.
Country is a concept that is intrinsic to an Indigenous person’s sense of being. Ancestral heritage and traditional rights of ownership are bound together, with Country demonstrating the nature of existence between particular people and a particular place. Ancestral figures of the Dreaming are also seen to remain within the landscape’s geophysical form, and are the present generation’s physical link with their past. Australian Indigenous mythology is fundamentally linked to Country: the stories explain why people belong to a particular place; the myths explain the essence of Country—land and identity are inseparable.
The exhibition Myth in transition draws together art and artefacts from The University of Queensland’s collections held by the University Art Museum, Anthropology Museum, and Fryer Library.
This curatorial project has been undertaken by Art History students of the Curatorial Practice and Theory subject, supervised by Dr Sally Butler. The student curators were Cherise Asmah, Christine Burton, Janaya Cassidy, Sally Croagh, and Sushma Griffin.
Fully exploited labour: a survey exhibition
21 October – 26 November 2006
As Brisbane artist Pat Hoffie writes, ‘the ones who take up the responsibility of keeping memories of justice alive are the artists’.
The work of Pat Hoffie has consistently maintained a political edge. The exhibition includes a selection of work exhibited by Hoffie under the banner of Fully exploited labour and focusses on the process by which artwork is made. In producing this series, Hoffie has worked with a range of artists, artist groups and communities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. She asks us to question how we establish tiers of value and significance.
This survey exhibition brings together works that have been exhibited previously at the Fukuoka City Art Exhibition; The Australia Centre, Manila and Baguio Arts Festival, Philippines; Kwang Ju Art Symposium, Korea; Queensland Art Gallery, Institute of Modern Art and Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and Adelaide Art Festival. A monograph on this series will be released for this exhibition.
Rose Simmonds: Queensland pictorial photographer
7 October 2006 – 25 February 2007
Rose Simmonds’s photographs of the 1930s are characteristic of the Pictorial mode of photography that favoured painterly, crafted finishes. The Pictorialists sought to elevate photography to the status of an ‘art form’, and engaged with trends and stylistic treatments prevalent in painting.
The lazy sweep of river in Simmonds’s (River scene) recalls similar subjects by painters Arthur Streeton (1867–1943) and Elioth Grüner (1882–1939). Simmonds’s The way thro is likewise reminiscent of the forest scenes of French Barbizon painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875).
As camera technology developed, Simmonds explored the effects of atmosphere and light on surfaces in the manner of Impressionist painters. Works such as Sunrise at Windemere present a study of the effects of light on the Australian bush and render the atmosphere palpable, in a similar way to Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet.
Encounters with country: landscapes of Ray Crooke
12 August – 1 October 2006
A Cairns Regional Gallery touring exhibition
Encounters with country: landscapes of Ray Crooke, presents an in-depth focus on the Australian landscape paintings of Queensland artist Ray Crooke (b. 1922). While Crooke is widely known and highly regarded for his paintings of island life in the Torres Strait and the islands of Fiji, this remains an incomplete picture of this artist’s oeuvre. Equal to his finest paintings are Crooke’s landscape studies of Cape York and the remote Gulf Country of far-north Queensland.
Encounters with country brings together over 50 paintings created since 1950.
Curator: Gavin Wilson
Encounters with country: landscapes of Ray Crooke has received funding assistance from the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia Exhibition Touring Program, Arts Queensland, and Cairns City Council. A quality full colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition funded by the Gordon Darling Foundation and Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane with generous support from Ray Crooke and Philip Bacon.
An artist abroad: the prints of James McNeill Whistler
6 August – 1 October 2006
A National Gallery of Australia travelling exhibition
James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was born in the United States of America, and became an important figure as a painter and printmaker in 19th-century France and England. This exhibition follows Whistler’s legacy as a printmaker, demonstrated through a series of remarkable etchings and later lithographs, which he made from the 1850s to the turn of the century.
Whistler drew inspiration from European historical traditions from the 17th century onwards. He participated in emerging 19th-century movements, such as French Realism and the Venetian Masters. Whistler also became an early devotee of ukiyo-e, the popular woodblock prints produced in Japan.
Exhibition curator and Senior Curator, International Prints, Drawings and Illustrated Books, Jane Kinsman writes in her catalogue essay: ‘Whistler’s style and the subject matter he chose were inspirational for many significant artists of the day, including Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. Of particular consequence for the French artists was the acceptance of, and the exploration of the cityscape as an appropriate subject for art.’
Sensing the surface: A survey of the photo-media work of Carl Warner, 1995–2005
12 May – 23 July 2006
Brisbane artist Carl Warner uses the camera to record the detail he observes in the urban, industrial and natural environment, but does so in a way which renders this surface reality abstract. As curator Dr Sally Butler writes in a major publication to be launched with this exhibition, Warner ‘works the surfaces of objects, framing a language out of overlooked details and transforming commonplace space into [a space of] exceptional insight’. Warner’s works induce us, Butler says, to ‘hallucinate reality’.
Sensing the surface is the first major survey of Carl Warner's work.
Curator: Dr Sally Butler
View the publication Sensing the surface: A survey of the photo-media work of Carl Warner, 1995–2005 here
Blow up the inside world: An exhibition of self portraits by Brisbane artist David M Thomas
10 March – 30 April 2006
David Thomas states: ‘I have, for over twelve years, made works that approach the idea of the individual and its disintegration, through text, paint, audio, video and my own body. I have had many ideas and tried numerous different ways of making a work that may or may not appear as a representation of myself. Indeed, this particular show could eventually look like a group show about the idea of self-portraiture. Through this exhibition I hope to document a serious and yet playful approach to portraying myself, and [hope] that the works trigger thought and discussion about art and its making.’
A substantial cross-section of David Thomas’s self-portrait works are shown together in this exhibition for the first time.
A transcript of an interview between the artist and Stephen Zagala is available here
Seeing the Collection
Seeing the Collection comprises a selection of works from The University of Queensland's collection dating from the 19th and 20th centuries up to the present day. Contemporary artists represented in the current hang include Xiao Xian Liu, Tracey Moffatt, Robert Rooney, Judith Wright and Jeffrey Smart.
Pre 21st century works are represented by eminent Australian artists such as Rupert Bunny, E Phillips Fox and George W Lambert, along with Queensland artists Vida Lahey, Anne Alison Greene and sculptors Kathleen Shillam and Harold Parker.
The history of the Art Museum dates from 1976, the same year that the Stuartholme-Behan Collection was received by the University on permanent loan. The University's collection has continued to grow through generous bequests, gifts and the patronage of the University's Alumni Association.
Fireworks: tracing the incendiary in Australian Art
22 December 2006 – 4 February 2007
An Artspace Mackay exhibition toured by Museum and Gallery Services Queensland
The exhibition Fireworks traces Australia’s experience of the destructive and creative nature of fire. Summer in Australia is known across the country as the bushfire season. Yet fire has been an integral part of national life well before the arrival of European settlers. Indigenous inhabitants have used fire as a land-management tool for tens of thousands of years. By tracing the interplay between humans and landscape in relation to fire, the exhibition illuminates the character of both, and encourages us to consider our country’s fragile resources and landscape systems.
Fireworks comprises over 50 works by historic and contemporary artists, including Eugene von Guerard, Arthur Streeton, Sidney Nolan, Fred Williams, Claudine Marzik, Ronnie Tjampijinpa, John Firth Smith and Wendy Sharpe, with images incorporating the bush, the suburbs and the cities.
Curator: Gavin Wilson
This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government Program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of cultural material across Australia.
TURRBAL-JAGERA: The University of Queensland Art Projects 2006
2 – 17 December 2006
TURRBAL-JAGERA sought dialogue across art and architecture and other art forms and disciplines, and historical and contemporary practices. International, Australian and Queensland visual artists were commissioned to present conceptually based, short-term, and site-specific public art forms. The project engaged on- and off-campus communities, including Indigenous communities and their histories.
17 November 2006 – 9 March 2007
A Museum of Contemporary Art traveling exhibition
In December 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art presented the first major solo exhibition of one of Australia’s most respected artists, Paddy Bedford. Demonstrating Bedford’s powerful command of painting, the exhibition covers the span of his practice, tracing the development of his motifs and techniques over the past eight years.
Paddy Bedford was a Gija elder from the Warmun region of the north east Kimberley and was born around 1922 on Bedford Downs Station. The artist passed away in Kununurra in July 2007. As a senior law man, he had been involved in painting as part of ceremony all his life, although he only began painting for exhibition in 1998 after fellow artist Freddie Timms set up the Jirrawun Aboriginal Art group at Rugun (Crocodile Hole).
Despite his relatively brief career, Bedford’s artistic output was remarkably prolific and consistently innovative, which is evident in his absolute facility with the medium and his subject matter. He was one of only eight Indigenous Australian artists to have been selected to create a site-specific work for the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and is represented in a number of major Australian and international collections.
The exhibition is supported by the Contemporary Touring Initiative through Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program and the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.
Audio guide sponsor
The Sonoda project
11 May – 9 July 2006
The Sonoda project is a collection of digital portraits of students and staff at Sonoda Women’s University in western Japan, where Brisbane artist Jill Barker was teaching for two years. The images act as an aide-de-memoire for the artist, at first assisting her to recognise and remember strangers, and later a reminder of friends and experiences.
As Jill Barker states, ‘Most of the participants found the request to photograph their faces in close-up to be unusual and daunting, in a culture where it is customary to take many photographs, but usually only in particular ways (usually groups of people). Nevertheless, asking permission ‘broke the ice’, and many people graciously agreed to be photographed.’
For viewers, Barker’s images of faces are frank and disarming. As Barker observes, they ‘provoke the kind of close looking at differences and similarities, and engagement with expression, that make up our immediate impressions of others.’ What began as a collection of faces of strangers became, for Jill Barker, a record of her interactions in the university, and a reminder of what she came to know about each person and their experiences together.