Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A visit to the city

Not so much about making art but viewing art. I have just returned from a day in the city - I headed down to Brisbane this morning to spend the day with a dear friend who was visiting from Sydney. The weather was sublime - 25 degrees in the middle of winter so we enjoyed our wander along the river and into and through the cultural institutions that hug the river bank.

We visited the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and spent a long time working our way through "My Country, I Still Call Australia Home" - an exhibition of works by Contemporary Aboriginal artists.

In typical fashion I forgot to take my camera - life is way too full to remember details like that - so I relied on my phone camera to record some of my favourite pieces.

I had seen magazine articles and photos of this piece, but nothing prepared me for the power of it.

In Sorry, Tony Albert  uses kitsch items depicting Aboriginal people and spells the word sorry backwards - in reference to how ineffectual the Apology to the Stolen Generations was considered to be by some Aboriginal people.

Across the gallery on the opposite wall was this piece by Bindi Cole I forgive you. Again, in response to the Apology, but in this work, she recognises how important it was for her to acknowledge the apology and forgive people. As Karen said - the walls are talking to each other.


Each letter was made from multiple emu feathers..

Another piece which captured me was this series of tiny bibles, which had been re-worked to incorporate book page sculptures of each of the churches on Aboriginal Missions.  Each piece was called On a Mission from God with the name of the mission in brackets after it. I think these two might have been On a Mission from God (Darnley Island) and (Mappoon 1819).

And as we finished the final gallery I looked out through the entrance/exit  to be re-entranced by Arthur Koo-ekka Pamebagan Jr.'s Flying Fox Story Place. A series of hanging pods/poles which just look beautiful. I would love to have a space large enough to hang something like this...

It is always good in amongst the madness, to stop, take time out with friends, and wander through some art. Even better when it makes you stop and reflect on the world.


  1. looks like a wonderful exhibition --- I saw a doco (on NITV) recently about proppanow which included tony albert --- it was a terrific show - and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone (contemporary aboriginal art is some of the best stuff out there in the arty world right now)

  2. The last installation has brought me to a stop. As you say if only we had a large enough wall space to hang something like this.


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