I had a great day yesterday in Brisbane! I haven't been since I was about 11, but luckily I had my trusty guides Sue and Ali to help me - and they both also joined me at the launch of the Queensland Regional Art Awards.
So after getting on a place at ridiculous O'clock I got into Brisbane super early and headed straight into town to the Galleries on Southbank. I had a good wander around the Queensland Art Gallery, there is a definite mix there and I had a few favourite pieces.
As you walk in, you pass a wall then you're hit by this amazing work by Michael Sailstorfer, Wolken (Clouds) 2010. It really does feel like you're standing under a foreboding thunderstorm, although it's actually made from truck inner tubes. On the far wall you can see the shiny star shape which is Epistrophy VI, 2012, by Timo Nasseri.
Epistrophy VI refers to symbols used in Islamic and Persian architecture, and it's composed of mirrored panels cut back into a wall - It's incredibly 3D and appears at first like a precious gem or crystal out from the wall until you get close to it.
Further into the Gallery I found a small room with a special exhibition of art commissioned following WWI. There were a few standout pieces, and I loved that in the middle of the room there were a selection of handmade commemorative lace doilies. It's a shame that they were unable to find out the owners or creators of the pieces.
After lunch we headed over to the GOMA, it seemed to have a bit less work but one room was filled with Japanese pieces. I think this was my favourite piece all day, Woods III, 1991-92 by Shigeo Toya. He's used a chainsaw to carve delicate patterns into the wooden columns, I think there were 30 in all and they had to be seen to be believed.
This little girl in pink had a great time weaving between them. Sue and I both agreed it reminded us of being under a pier, with all the knarly, barnacled wood.
We all loved this piece, it's two deer on top of each other, then covered with a clear resin. It's a bit confronting, as you can guess he's had to chop up and sew together the two taxidermy animals, but you can't see any joins and it's distorted so you don't realise it's two together straight away. You can actually see the fur through the larger spheres. The antlers were absolutely beautiful, jewel-like and delicate.
These ceramics are by Sara Tse, I like them because she has taken everyday items of clothing and dipped them in porcelain. The porcelain penetrates the fibres and forms an imprint as the original garment is destroyed during the firing process. I've seen work before in ceramics which has been created to mimic everyday objects, but I like how she has used the properties of fabric to create them, not just tried to duplicate them.
Ok, last photo - this was possibly my favourite piece from the QRAA exhibition, Breathe Life, 2014, by Kelly-Dee Knight. It's paper, cut into delicate shapes which resemble lungs as well as native flora. She's used pins to create depth, and having cut paper myself with an x-acto for the paper collages I can appreciate how much work has gone into this one. It reminded me a lot of Meredith Woolnough's work, she uses pins, native flora and white frames as well, and it's obviously a good combo as it looks brilliant with both paper and embroidered works.
I crashed Sue's date with her husband Bob after the exhibition and we watched Colin Firth find his fight-scene mojo in Kingsman before I headed home on my very late flight. Thanks so much to Ali and Sue for your company and support yesterday, it really meant a lot.