Documenting Queensland’s history through watercolour

Watercolours feature in the earliest records of European exploration and settlement of Australia. Its continuous presence in the history of Queensland art has changed and evolved with shifts in culture, as well as with the demands and innovations of its practitioners. We look at the medium’s important role in enriching Queensland’s visual history. Together with…

Vernon Ah Kee: Elegant drawings

During National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) we feature Vernon Ah Kee, a Brisbane-based Aboriginal contemporary artist who has risen to the forefront of urban-based conceptual art practice. Ah Kee was born in Innisfail, North Queensland and his triptych neither pride nor courage 2006 (illustrated) is part of a series of large-scale hand-drawn…

Vida Lahey: Known for her distinctive flower studies

Of all the works by (Frances) Vida Lahey (1882-1968), she is best known for her depiction of the weekly wash-day, Monday morning 1912 (illustrated). Known as a painter of oils on a wide range of subjects, she was also recognised throughout her career as a watercolourist of distinction for floral still lifes, therefore we have…

O soothest Sleep comes easy in LJ Harvey’s ‘Bed of Peace’

On the occasion of World Sleep Day we take the opportunity to highlight this major work by Lewis Jarvis (LJ) Harvey — carved from Silky Oak with inset panels in Queensland Beech — the Bed of Peace was made for Elsie Harvey [Noble] (1898-1986), the eldest of Harvey’s four children in 1919. It is probably…

JA Clarke’s ‘grand picture’ of Brisbane

Public collections in Queensland have few outstanding examples of the work of our early artists. Of the major works dating from the 19th century, the Panorama of Brisbane 1880 by JA (Joseph Augustine) Clarke (1840–90), Queensland‘s first professional artist and art teacher, is undoubtedly the best known and most significant.1 Visit the nearly 4–metre–long panorama…

Naomi Hobson: Distinctive ceramics

Distinctive ceramic works by Naomi Hobson mark not only a new direction in her art practice, but also a celebration of Indigenous culture and people coming together over great distances. Naomi Hobson is one of a new generation of contemporary Indigenous artists who is already making her mark nationally. Hobson is from the Kaantju/Umpila language…