Go behind-the-scenes as we conserve Anthony Alder’s ‘Red-tailed Black Cockatoos’

Large scale paintings from Queensland’s Colonial period are extremely rare. (Red-tailed Black Cockatoos) by Anthony Alder (1838-1915) dated c.1895 shows a male and female pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii), also known as Banksian or Banks’ Black Cockatoo, native to Australia and found in eucalyptus woodlands or along water courses. This species has disappeared…

Mavis Ngallametta found a new home in her painting

Prior to commencing painting, Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019) was a renowned weaver. An elder of the Putch clan and a cultural leader of the Wik and Kugu people of Aurukun, Ngallametta was one of the most well-regarded senior community-based artists in Australia. She made a profound contribution to arts and culture nationally before her passing. Over…

Mavis Ngallametta: Show me the way to go home

Respected elder and senior painter Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019) passed away mere months after QAGOMA confirmed her solo exhibition for 2020. True to her generous character and larger-than-life personality, Ngallametta was determined for the show to go on, even as her health declined. In late October 2019, the artist’s friend and artistic advisor, Gina Allain, spoke…

Installation takes the oyster shell as its subject

Before colonisation, the coastal shellfish reefs in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay — fostered using aquaculture techniques — were a major source of food for Aboriginal people of the region. Over centuries of feasting, towering middens created from discarded shells and bones were impressive sights on the local islands and beaches of the mainland. Megan Cope’s RE…

Conserving Jon Molvig’s works on paper

Passionate and rebellious, Helge John ‘Jon’ Molvig (1923–70) was a relentless artistic innovator, who, in the 1950s and 1960s, attained national recognition. Newcastle-born, Molvig moved to Brisbane in 1955 and dominated the city’s art scene until his death just before he turned 47. With great energy, he created figure studies, portraits and landscapes, making radical…