Brisbane Airport BNE Issue 3 - page 13

Belinda Kochanowska
The Deliquesce
of Memory I
(2013) at Queensland
Centre for Photography
symposiums and other events; there’s a whole
range of things. Linking them together is that
they are emerging, early and mid-career artists
getting together to create opportunities for
themselves or that community. It’s an incredibly
healthy and proactive system of people working
together,” says Parsons.
Meanwhile, at the Creative Industries precinct
at Kelvin Grove, the Block and the Cube are
centres for programs and opportunities not
only to engage creative students but to exhibit a
whole range of work from visual arts to games
to innovative ideas in design, science and
technology. The latest exhibition is
Shape of
Things to Come
, an annual showcase of students’
work in categories ranging from fashion to urban
and industrial design on until 14 March at the
Block, then available to view online (see
“The exciting thing about Brisbane’s creative
community is that it’s still growing, there’s still
a lot of available space for people to move into
and create their own projects or join programs.
We’ve by no means reached capacity and
there’s an incredible vibe. It’s a very supportive
arts community here where artists very much
support each other; everyone wants everybody to
do well,” Parsons says.
That ‘vibe’ has not gone unnoticed in other
cities, even other countries. Brisbane’s premier
craft gallery, Artisan in Fortitude Valley, was
being asked so often by curators and artists in
other cities ‘what is it that makes local works
so different’ that it conducted a survey to try to
find out. The answer was not definitive, but the
conclusion perhaps can be most simply described
as our sheer guts to have a go. In craft works that
means we’re not afraid to use colour and in other
art forms such as photo-media it also means we
don’t take ourselves too seriously, according to the
director of Queensland Centre for Photography
(QCP) Maurice Ortega.
Ortega recently returned from the Photo LA
showcase where QCP’s allocated space was the
largest of any exhibitor and five times the size of
space it had been allocated at previous shows.
That attitude and approach to creating (art,
products, ideas) is also reflected in how they
are exposed. Artisan’s latest exhibition called
Chain Reaction
(showing until 26 April) called
on someone outside the industry, albeit with
a passion for local art, to get things started.
Elie Moubarak, who with his brothers owns
Gerard’s Bistro, Lychee Lounge and Laruche
Bar, was asked to nominate two Queensland
artists of different hand-made mediums to show
their work, then those two artists were asked to
nominate two more artists each and so on. Works
on show range from furniture pieces to glass
jewellery, textile designs, ceramics and sculpture.
Artisan has four major exhibitions each year
showcasing new, mid-career and established
artists. Later in the year there will be an exhibition
focussed on jewellers’ responses to environmental
concerns through their use of alternative materials
and processes and another exhibition will put open
source design and sharing creations in the spotlight.
Artisan showcases the work of up to 50 artists
a year in various spaces and sells work in its
shop and now online; it also acts as a conduit
between artists and companies or individuals
wanting to commission work; and, as part of
the national body Australian Craft and Design
Centres, it is the conduit between the craft
community and government.
While Artisan is partly funded by government,
other organisations such as Queensland Centre for
Photography are not, anymore. Since its funding
was cut in December QCP will have to find other
ways to fund future appearances at Photo LA
(which has helped build international recognition
for artists such as Marian Drew), its exhibitions
and the books it produces for artists to create a
profile for them among key gallery contacts and
international curators.
The Centre at South Brisbane has a permanent
collection of about 160 photo-media works that
have been donated by the artists and the purpose-
built space also showcases the works of up to 70
artists a year in seven exhibition spaces, each on
display for about four weeks.
Like Artisan and QUT’s Creative Industries
precinct QCP is a champion for its artists, offering
exhibition space through an open application
process, offering educational programs and
providing contact with dealers and curators to help
promote their work.
In April the Queensland Festival of Photography
will see works displayed at more than 70 venues
across the city, with many local photographers
showing their work in cafés, small commercial
and public spaces, as well as major exhibitions
in venues such as University of Queensland Art
Museum, while a conference from 23-26 April will
bring international and local delegates together to
share the latest ideas in photo-media.
The exciting thing
about Brisbane’s creative
community is that it’s
still growing; there’s still
a lot of available space
for people to move
into and create their
own projects
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