Go back in time to a busy corner of the Brisbane River

George Wishart (1872-1921) was born in Brisbane and was taught painting by Isaac Walter Jenner, Brisbane’s foremost marine painter (illustrated below). Wishart also worked professionally as a photographer and was associated with local firm Thomas Mathewson Photographic Studio (see contemporary depictions of Brisbane below). Wishart’s painting A busy corner of the Brisbane River 1897, on…

Back in time: Early Brisbane watercolours

Together with drawing, watercolour was most often the medium of choice for documenting the early years of settlement in Queensland, especially to depict the landscape, chosen for its ability to record fine detail, evoking atmosphere, and most favoured for its portability and convenience. In this watercolour Farm landscape with colonial homestead 1888 Robert S (Saunder)…

A nostalgia for Queensland’s pastoral past

Rose Simmonds’ photography has an important position in the Queensland Pictorialist photography movement. Emerging directly from the International Pictorialist movement which began in England and France at the end of the nineteenth century, local practitioners of this style continued to work in a manner which encouraged the acceptance of photography as a valid art-form. To…

Contemporary Ceremonial art from Aurukun

In the early 2000s, senior Wik and Kugu law men from the Aurukun region on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, Far North Queensland, pioneered a significant contemporary movement: They reimagined their ceremonial visual traditions as contemporary art. Embodying ancestral narratives in a way that maintains spiritual and historical connections between the past and…

Lindy Lee captures one moment in time which cannot be repeated

Brisbane-born Lindy Lee’s engagement with Buddhist thought has become increasingly important to the way that she both conceptually and physically approaches the creation of new works. Reflecting upon the inspiration for her bronze sculptures, Lee cites her desire to extend the traditional Chinese meditation technique of flung ink calligraphy, ‘in which you meditate, then take…

Clouds of purple blooms, a quintessential image of Brisbane

Few works in our Collection have enjoyed as much popularity as Under the jacaranda by R. (Richard) Godfrey Rivers. Painted in 1903, some twelve years after the British-born artist arrived in Queensland, the image depicts Rivers and his wife Selina sitting in the shade of a large jacaranda tree, at that time a landmark in Brisbane’s…