State Library of Queensland: Distant Lines

Turns out I didn’t have much time last week to write a blog post so I’m seizing the opportunity now to write a little something. So far the courses have been actually really fun. A lot of cataloguing and information sorting which is exactly what I love doing. I have this one essay where you get to write about an object you own and why you think a particular museum should acquire it. I’ll post about it later 🙂

Anyway, last weekend, on a bit of an impulse, I went back to Brisbane to see my family. While I was up, I decided to check out the exhibitions currently running at the Queensland Art Gallery and State Library of Queensland.

The Art Gallery has a fantastic exhibition on Photographs and Australia. I loved the way there was this conscious decision to not group the photographs chronologically but by theme. I was a little hesitant to visit because I thought it would be this grand Australian narrative. Grouping the images by theme, however, meant it was much more fascinating. I also appreciated the layout and colour-scheme. The walls were painted neutral so not to distract from the photographs. It also made the exhibition seem much more relaxing and less overwhelming. If I had to say something negative… maybe it tried to cover too many themes. Then again this did allow for a broad representation of Australia through photography. Definitely see it if you are in the area!

The second exhibition is being held by the State Library of Queensland called Distant Lines. The entrance to the exhibition space was very powerful – images of Queensland soldiers who fought overseas. We even found my great-great-uncle amongst the many faces.

Distant Lines - State Library of Queensland
Distant Lines – State Library of Queensland

I do not want to sound too critical but the exhibition was a tad confusing. Huge images covered the walls cluttering the already small exhibition space. Pictures hanging on walls were hard to isolate and identify and it honestly was a bit too much. If you can shield your eyes from that the exhibition was quite fascinating. There are around twenty-three stories of soldiers from Queensland who fought in World War I. Accompanying their bio is a case/cabinet filled with their personal objects. This was a really nice way to frame the exhibition and fostered an emotional connection.

Me and J Kenny

I was also not a fan of the middle section that tells the story of school students travelling to the battlefields. It just did not seem to fit into the larger exhibition and really disrupted the flow of the other narratives.

I am beyond excited for this weekend! I will be visiting the wonderful, world-class exhibitions that are down in Melbourne. I have very high expectations so fingers crossed!

To fill you in on what else I’ve been busily working on if you are in the Sydney area make sure you check out my audio guide on Link is below as well as instructions on how to download:

Cover photograph: Kgbo [CC BY-SA 4.0 (

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