The Iconic Queensland touring exhibition, showcasing artworks from 28 regional and remote Queensland artists, comes to Warwick Art Gallery from 17 January to 23 February 2019.
Curated by Henri Van Noordenburg, the exhibition challenges perceptions of what Queensland icons are, through the artists’ unique interpretation of their communities, characters and environments. From dribble-castles made of sand to the suburban sight of Nana watering her garden on a sun-drenched day, the artworks provide a unique snapshot of regional life through the eyes of its artists.
Works included in the exhibition span 17 diverse regions, speaking strongly of the state’s high calibre of artistic talent outside of Brisbane.
Flying Arts Alliance Executive Officer, Kerryanne Farrer, was blown away at the quality of the works selected for exhibition this year. Over 200 artworks were initially submitted for inclusion in the Iconic Queensland exhibition as part of the Queensland Regional Art Awards in 2017.
“Regional Queensland boasts a wealth of artistic talent that is proportionally under-represented in the State and National arts sector,” she said. “By presenting touring exhibitions like Iconic Queensland, Flying Arts is honoured to provide a platform that celebrates our regional artists, recognises their creative achievements and presents their work to new audiences across the state.”
Warwick Art Gallery Director Karina Devine is thrilled to host Iconic Queensland at the beginning of 2019.
“This exhibition is the perfect way to start a very inspiring program at Warwick Art Gallery in 2019”, said Ms Devine, “We have scheduled sixteen exhibitions during the year ranging from outstanding touring exhibitions to exceptional local artist exhibitions. Iconic Queensland is an exhibition that will really challenge our thinking about this beautiful state of ours.”
Experience Iconic Queensland at Warwick Art Gallery 17 January to 23 February 2019 open 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Flying Arts is a not-for-profit organisation inspiring the appreciation, practice and professional development of the visual and media arts as a lifetime interest or career throughout regional and remote Queensland, supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, the University of Southern Queensland and corporate partners and benefactors.
Image: The Sandmen Jo St Baker Bamboo Resin and Sand WINNER Flying Arts ‘Art for Life’ Award
To “bloom where you are planted”, credited to Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), is to recognise the potential of embracing life where you are instead of where you think you might be better off. It speaks to that elusive realisation that you have enough and that to achieve a sense of belonging you need to start by making a contribution yourself.
The works selected for the exhibition reflect the model of thriving in and contributing to community and more generally wholeheartedly embracing and living a creative life.
Jean de Courtenay Isherwood (1911 – 2006) left her bohemian Sydney lifestyle in 1974 to purchase property in Moombi and Tamworth. Her paintings are a celebration of natural beauty and extremes of the landscape. In 2004 Isherwood, aged 92, participated in an exhibition called Eighty and Over featuring seven other well-known Australian artists over the age of eighty. Her artwork Flowers in the Centre was included to celebrate this tenacity and artistic spirit.
John Rigby (1922 – 2012) beyond doubt bloomed where he was planted making major contributions to the cultural landscape of Brisbane in addition to creating an oeuvre rich in Queensland imagery and exceptional genre paintings. Rigby won many awards for his work which is held in major collections across the country. Morning Kitchen speaks volumes about the kitchen as the heart of the home and the “calm before the storm” experienced by many women at the break of dawn. The painting incorporates repetitive geometric shapes that are reminiscent of patchwork quilting enhanced by the warm pastel palette. This creates a peaceful picture of quiet domesticity.
Pene Edwards is a Brisbane based painter who continues to produce paintings today that have a very unique perspective of the land. The figurative elements in her compositions emerge from a dimensionless mélange resembling an aerial view of the landscape. The colours are celebratory and joyful applied in a way that suggests the artist’s love of mark making. Continental Memories is a fine example of Edwards’ style with the robust shapes reminiscent of the Australian Red Centre. The work’s title implies a journey and happy travel recollections.
The Ballet Roche (pictured), painted by Brisbane based and Warwick born artist Trisha Lambi, won the Warwick Acquisitive Art Prize in 2009. Lambi is an award winning artist with her studio located in Brisbane. Her work observes people and locations with the two combining to create, in her words, “a journey, sometimes unwelcome and heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but always illuminating”. The Ballet Roche is a particularly personal work featuring the artist herself alongside members of her family.
To the Water is a recent work by Warwick artist Jane Donaldson. Jane is a full time artist with her creative business thriving from her beautiful home south west of Warwick. It is Jane’s poetic imagery, profoundly influenced by home and family, that made her an essential addition to this themed exhibition. As a regional artist Jane is incredibly brave and humble about her success. Her artwork creates a peaceful retreat from the clutter of life.
Warakurna: All the Stories Got into our Minds and Eyes, is a collection of paintings which was produced at Warakurna, a community at the foot of the Rawlinson Ranges in Western Australia, 300 kilometres west of Uluru (Ayers Rock). The works are the product of Warakurna Artists, a thriving art centre in the heart of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.
The paintings in the Warakurna exhibition are more figurative in style than traditional Western Desert art. The artists from Warakurna use their painting to document their history – the coming of explorers, prospectors and missionaries, building roads, missile testing and their return to their homeland.
“These paintings provide first-hand accounts of significant events which shaped the lives of an Aboriginal community and help all Australians understand their complex history,” said Dr Mathew Trinca, the director of the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
The Warakurna exhibition was launched at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, in December, 2012 and is now touring the country.
Western Desert people were among the last groups of Aboriginal people in Australia to have contact with Europeans. Warakurna lay in the middle of the flight path of missiles launched from Woomera in the South Australian desert in the 1960s.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Image: Helicopter Ride with Brooksy to See My Father’s Ngurra (Country) 2011 by Ken Shepherd acrylic on canvas
Acknowledgement: © Ken Shepherd courtesy of Warakurna artists
WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.