Ben Quilty’s ‘Captain Kate Porter, after Afghanistan’ is a picture of strength

Ben Quilty is one of Australia’s most visible and most recognisable contemporary artists — known equally as well for his numerous humanitarian activities as for his ambitious impasto paintings. Quilty first came to attention for his images dealing with the risk-taking behaviour that he and his young male cohort would engage in — excessive drinking,…

Margaret Olley paints a room filled with her personality

Australian artist Margaret Olley (1923-2011) worked extensively within the tradition of still life and interior subjects during the second half of the twentieth century, and made them uniquely her own. She established her reputation both locally and nationally with her colourful and vibrant paintings. In 1942 Olley moved from Brisbane to Sydney and enrolled at…

Jonathan Jones creates spectacular installations

Acquired by the Gallery during ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9), Jonathan Jones’s untitled (giran) 2018 is reminiscent of a map of intersecting wind currents, evoking birds in flight, and knowledge, change and new ideas circling above our heads. QAGOMA is privileged to now hold in its Collection this spectacular work. Understanding…

Michael Cook introduces us to his dream-journey

Michael Cook’s photographs have become well known for a whimsical and unique interplay of surrealism and political potency. The ‘Broken Dreams’ series 2010 was one of the Queensland Indigenous photographer’s most important breakthrough works, produced in the first year of his artistic practice. Coming from a commercial background, Cook had long entertained moving into art photography and had been incubating many…

Margaret Rarru and Helen Ganalmirriwuy create timeless forms

Born in farthest northern Arnhem Land, Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra were taught important Liyagawumirr clan designs by their father, and to understand the deep, poetic meanings of ancient creation narratives. When yothu (young), they were also instructed in the cultural meanings of woven fibre objects and a range of weaving techniques. Following…

The beauty of Lola Greeno’s necklaces

Despite the ravages of colonisation, Palawa people have made necklaces of lustrous strings of pearlescent shells collected from the cool waters surrounding Lutruwita (Tasmania) and its islands in a cultural practice extending back thousands of years. Though for most of us a shell necklace captivates with its beauty and mystique, for the makers it is…