Howard Smith Wharves

A huge thank you to everyone who voted on my Instagram poll ‘should I blog about the heritage-listed Howard Smith Wharves?’ The result was 100% yes, so here we go. For those of you who would like to follow me on Instagram, my username is @curateyourownadventure. Or, you can click the Instagram icon on my home page!

Opening in November last year, the Howard Smith Wharves precinct is a new public place in Brisbane filled with parks, restaurants, function spaces/centres and a hotel. Just so you know my bias in this post, I am completely in favour of transforming heritage places if:

  1. The heritage is kept intact
  2. A transforming purpose breathes new life
  3. It prevents any thoughts or plans of demolition
  4. It’s appropriate to do so

There is nothing I love seeing more than a heritage place that has evolved and adapted whilst retaining its historical charm. I lied, I do love seeing dogs that have jobs. But, in terms of heritage, this is what I really love to see.Read More »

Gallery of Modern Art: The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)

Yesterday I visited the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) to see The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9). This is the first time I’ve ever seen this triennial art show. I was expecting maybe two or three rooms displaying a small number of artworks. Instead, I was really surprised that the exhibition is in fact huge and spreads over two floors at GOMA plus has a presence at the Queensland Art Gallery. There were a few artworks in particular that caught my attention, which I will cover in this blog post. First though, here is some context.

Context

The first Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art was held in 1993 at the Queensland Art Gallery. A new show is curated and put on display every three years (no surprises there). Today, and since 2006, the Triennial is held both at the Art Gallery and at GOMA. Both are located in Brisbane’s Cultural Centre.Read More »

GLAM Blog Club: Serendipity

The theme for this month’s GLAM Blog Club is…….Serendipity. When you literally Google ‘definition: serendipity’ you get the following: “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” As soon as I saw the theme, one particular event came to mind that I’d like to share.

Queensland Parliamentary Library Curatorial Project

In 2013 I was approached by one of my lecturers at The University of Queensland to be part of a research project team working with the O’Donovan Collection at the Queensland Parliamentary Library. The O’Donovan Collection is this incredible array of rare books covering all sorts of topics from botany to philosophy and everything in-between. It dates back to 1860, when Queensland Parliament was formed. The collection was amassed to ensure that the Parliament had access to a contemporary series of books and manuscripts. One of the most notable collectors was Denis O’Donovan, Queensland Parliamentary Librarian from 1874 to 1901. He catalogued the collection so that future generations could more easily find information. Yay for cataloguing.Read More »

UQ Art Museum: Second Sight: Witchcraft, Ritual, Power

This evening I attended the opening of Second Sight: Witchcraft, Ritual, Power at The University of Queensland Art Museum. In 2015 I completed my Honours in history focusing on the memorialisation of the Salem Witch Trials in Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I have a very special place in my heart for anything to do with witchcraft. I was really looking forward to this exhibition and jumped at the chance to attend the opening.

Exhibition Aim

Before entering the exhibition, there is a panel explaining why this exhibition has been curated and what it’s hoping to achieve. According to the panel, the historical etchings and contemporary artworks seek to depict or disrupt ideas of witchcraft. Whereas some of the historic pieces have quite stereotypical depictions, the contemporary works delve deeper into themes of gender, nature and sexuality, to name a few.

It worked really well not having the works displayed chronologically. Instead, as the panel states, the exhibition becomes less literal and more open to interpretation. If I were seeing purely historic artworks, I would argue the opposite and hope they would be displayed in some sort of chronological or geographical way.

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Vitra 100 Miniatures Exhibition

Words cannot really express how bizarre it was seeing this exhibition of 100 miniature chairs inside St John’s Anglican Cathedral. For quite some time the exhibition was scheduled to be on display at the Living Edge Brisbane Showroom – hosts of the exhibition. I can only imagine something happened last minute and this was no longer possible. Either that, or the decision was made to make this a truly spiritual experience.

The exhibition contains 100 miniature chairs, all in their own little Perspex box. The first chair is from 1870 and the final, from 1990. They essentially look like doll house chairs – if that helps you to visualise what is meant by the word miniature. There are three components I want to discuss: layout, content, and labels.Read More »

State Library of Queensland: Home: a suburban obsession

In the late 1960s to early 1970s, Frank Corley drove around almost every suburb in Brisbane taking photographs of as many houses as he could. Eunice Corley, his wife, developed these photographs in a makeshift darkroom. The photographs were then handed to salespeople who would try and sell homeowners a special photograph of their home packaged in a cardboard calendar for 85 cents. It is estimated, in today’s money, that this could have been a million dollar enterprise. The photographs that were not purchased, approximately 60 000, were kept by Frank until his passing then donated to the State Library of Queensland.

The photographs have been sitting in archival boxes for years, used occasionally by history groups and for specific research purposes. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the decision was made to make these images public and curate an exhibition to showcase what is in the collection.Read More »

Brisbane Open House Day 2: Walter Taylor Bridge

I have absolutely no idea why, but, I’ve always been fascinated by the Walter Taylor Bridge in Brisbane. I think it’s because when I was younger, I was told that people used to live inside the bridge. This was pretty much one of the coolest things I had ever heard. Since then, I have always wanted to see inside the bridge and learn more about the people who called it home. Luckily, Brisbane Greeters were offering tours during Brisbane Open House. They actually run these tours all year round based on requests. I have added some more information at the end of the post in case you are interested in booking. Read More »