Sally Gabori’s ‘Makarrki’ is layered with memories of home

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori was born by a small tidal creek around 1924 on the south side of Bentinck Island, of the South Wellesley Island Group in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Far North Queensland. Her Kayardild language name, Mirdidingkingathi, means ‘born at Mirdidingki’, her country on Bentinck Island, and Juwarnda means ‘dolphin’, her totem. Gabori…

Art and cars: Kayili artists

Kayili artists Mary Gibson, Mrs Kumana Ward, Pulpurru Davies, Nola Campbell and Jackie Kurltjunyintja Giles have each indulged a love of colour, animating their car bonnet’s surface with shimmering, cryptic, topographical maps of their country, and the ancestral journeys that formed it. Patjarr, home to the Kayili artists, is a small community of around 20–30…

Mannequins strike a pose

The desire to ‘climb the ladder’ of the social and economic order is humorously questioned by Justene Williams in The Vertigoats 2021. Lurid department-store shelving and vivid mannequins create the mood of a hyped-up retail environment. Williams distorts the mannequins’ limbs to draw attention to the ridiculousness of the ideal body propagated by the fashion…

Go back in time to Daphne Mayo’s 1914 Wattle Day celebrations

It’s National Wattle Day on the first day of September, and we’ve been celebrating the Wattle for different reasons for over a century. QAGOMA has a sculpture in its Collection by artist Daphne Mayo that has a special connection to the Queensland Wattle League dating back to 1914. Daphne Mayo (1895–1982) is one of Queensland’s…

Accomplished and capable: Hilda Rix Nicholas ‘The fair musterer’

Dressed in jodhpurs, a short-sleeved shirt and riding boots, Hilda Rix Nicholas’s ‘fair musterer’ is ready for the day’s work. Her nonchalant pose is easy, confident and self-assured; it suggests that she is both an accomplished horsewoman and a capable bushworker, a woman who actively participates in the life of rural Australia. Painted during the…

Elevating photography to an art form

The early 20th century saw the rise of new styles of photography worldwide, which influenced photography in Queensland. Encouraged by advances in film development and camera production, camera clubs flourished. Interest in artistic photography resulted in the formation of the Queensland Camera Club in Brisbane in 1923, with the opening of its first Photographic Salon…