Vale: Mavis Ngallametta

On 28 January, Mrs Waal-Waal Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019), one of Queensland’s most esteemed senior artists, passed away at the age of 74, surrounded by family at her home in Aurukun, in far north Queensland. A traditional owner, elder of the Putch clan and cultural leader of the Wik and Kugu people, Mavis Ngallametta is remembered…

Bask in purple bloom of the jacaranda all year round

Paintings of jacarandas in bloom have become a popular and appealing subject for Brisbane artists, the most famous image of the jacaranda is R. (Richard) Godfrey Rivers’s painting Under the jacaranda, which has achieved enormous popularity since it was painted and acquired by the Gallery in 1903. The image depicts Rivers and his wife Selina…

Tony Albert gives familiar objects a new voice

Tony Albert has obsessively collected what he calls ‘Aboriginalia’ since his childhood. His artistic practice involves collaborating, repurposing and reimagining popular culture paraphernalia, social and political movements, in order to tell the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Recognisable to an Australian society of the not-so-distant past, and drawn from the trinket cabinets of…

The textile designs of Olive Ashworth: A unique Queensland style

Queensland textile designer Olive Ashworth (1915–2000) made a major contribution to Australia’s visual culture. Authors and academics Nadia Buick and Madeleine King have explored the works of this local artist , whose stunning designs are part of the Australian collection. Ashworth was born in Brisbane and educated at Somerville House. After the death of her…

Tony Albert: Visible

Contemporary Australian artist Tony Albert’s exhibition ‘Visible’ not only showcased major works from the last 15 years, it also included new work not previously exhibited. The title of the exhibition speaks to one of Albert’s often used quotes ‘Invisible is my favourite colour’, a response which frames the exhibition. In Albert’s practice, he explores representations…

The Coming of the Light

The Coming of the Light is a significant work by Gordon Bennett (1955–2014), one of Australia’s most influential contemporary artists. Bennett addresses Australian history as it has come to be represented and asks how it might accommodate new voices. The writing is on the wall, portent is thick in the air. In a corner, the surface…