BNE Magazine_ISSUE#2_COVER_LR - page 34

Last Word
Local knowledge
After 17 years in New
Zealand, Chris Saines has
returned to a very
different Brisbane
Where are you from?
I grew up on a dairy farm about 10 kilometres
from Myrtleford in north east Victoria.
How long have you lived in Brisbane?
I have lived in Brisbane twice: first, from 1984-
1995, when I moved up fromMelbourne to work
at the new Queensland Art Gallery; and second,
when I arrived back here with my New Zealand
family in April to take up my current role.
Where do you always take visitors when
they come to Brisbane?
We almost always drift down to South Bank at
some point. There is such an incredible variety
of non-demanding things to do there – from
just sitting on the grass in the shade, having a
bit of a soak at the edge of the beach, grabbing
a Nörgen Vaaz ice-cream, or finding somewhere
to eat.
After that, the Gallery is my default setting.
In the time I’ve been here I have tended to take
visitors through the QAG’s collection galleries,
which I love, and pull up in front of a few
old favourites like Drysdale’s
Man feeding his
or Tintoretto’s
The Resurrection
. Then, it’s
over to GOMA for a contemporary hit, where
Cai Guo-Qiang’s
(part of the current
Falling Back to Earth
exhibition) is the new
‘must-see’ work.
What’s your hot tip for visitors?
Brisbane has a far better and more established
public and dealer gallery scene – QAGOMA
aside, and that’s a big aside – than I think
most visitors realise. For starters, between the
Institute of Modern Art (IMA), in Fortitude
Valley, the UQ Art Museum at St Lucia, the
QUT Art Museum and the William Robinson
Gallery in the city, and the Griffith University
Art Gallery at South Bank, Brisbane has an
extraordinarily active and contemporary
public gallery scene. All of them are regularly
presenting major shows and all of them, except
the IMA, hold significant collections, which are
well worth checking out.
Favourite place for coffee?
Banneton Bakery on Waterworks Road,
Ashgrove, which is a short walk from where
we live. They have reliably good coffee, always
happy staff and an incredible array of pastries and
small temptations. We often swing by there on
a weekend, grab a coffee and take home the best
sourdough in Brisbane for a sandwich lunch.
Favourite place for breakfast?
We have been to Crosstown at Woolloongabba
several times and the place never fails to deliver.
It has a great atmosphere, the quality of food
and service never disappoints, and there are some
surprising things on the menu. We’ve sometimes
had to wait for a table but it’s a weekend and
what does that tell you – it’s got to be good!
Favourite meal out?
It just has to be Aria on Eagle Street Pier. We’ve
been there several times and each time seems to
get better than the last. I agree it’s a bit pricey
but the value proposition for a birthday or a
special occasion is unbeatable.
If you were Lord Mayor of Brisbane what
would you do?
I’d get the ferry system to stop outside the
Gallery – full stop. Oh, and I’d move somewhere
– anywhere – the busway that divides QPAC and
the Museum and the Gallery. I would love to see
South Bank and the Culture Centre Precinct more
joined up without the need for an up-and-over
How do you like to travel around Brisbane?
As a driver, the AirportlinkM7 puts a smile on
my face every time. I travelled out from the city
on it today (I’m writing this on a plane) and it
took a heady 20 or so minutes from work – voilà!
When I last lived here the same trip took about
45 minutes, on a good day, inching around the
Breakfast Creek pub corner.
What can people expect to see at the
galleries in 2014?
The spectacular
Falling Back to Earth
and the laid back
California Design
in QAG
will take us through the summer months and
our major collection-based show, will be
the main winter fare.
will be a show like none other we
have done before, with a publication (yes, a few
recipes included) and a cinema program that will
talk about the often symbolic role of food in art
history and its place in our contemporary lives.
Later in the year we are focussing on Japan,
with a major exhibition drawn from the Kyoto
Costume Institute featuring the work of Issey
Miyake, Commes des Garçons, et al. It takes us
from the high European glamour of Valentino a
few years back to the highly structured and edgy
planes of contemporary Japanese design.
Chris Saines
Queensland Art Gallery
and Gallery of Modern
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