Margaret Olley follows Conrad Martens in painting the McPherson Range

Margaret Olley (1923-2011) was deeply grateful when in 1962 her close friend, poet and art critic Pam Bell (1928-1995) invited Olley to visit her family home at Aroo station in Boonah (illustrated), just west of Ipswich near Brisbane. It provided Olley with new subject matter for a number of regional landscapes and homestead portraits, not…

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

Vernon Ah Kee is 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 family portraits. On two of the three panels, Ah Kee…

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…