Creating a collection: James C Sourris AM

Julie Ewington and James C. Sourris AM share insights and thoughts on ‘Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris, AM Collection’ / Photography: B Standen

James C Sourris AM, has been a great friend to the Gallery over the past decade. His big-hearted enthusiasm for GOMA and its role in connecting the public with great works of contemporary art is stronger than ever.

The exhibition ‘Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris AM Collection’ profiles donations from his personal collection and acquisitions identified by the Gallery’s curators. As the exhibition draws to a close James wrote to us and reflected…

‘The exhibition has really been a rewarding experience. There is no doubt the actual exhibition has been one of the crowning moments of my career.

My association with QAG|GOMA goes back over many, many years so I have an idea as to how much work and effort goes into the preparation of an exhibition. In preparing for ‘Ten Years of Contemporary Art’, Director Tony Ellwood was kind enough to introduce me to many of the ‘back room’ team who worked on the exhibition. On reflection two words come to mind, ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘dedication’. Each time I left GOMA after visiting Tony and his team I had the distinct impression that the collective feeling was ‘this collection is important and is something special.’ I am indeed indebted to all concerned who worked on the project.

Friends and colleagues as well as peers have been overwhelming in their praise for the exhibition, and in turn their friends have also relayed favourable impressions. In fact many of my friends and extended family had no idea of the extent of my interest and involvement in the arts.

I think one of the joys of this exhibition has been the exemplary selection by Curatorial Manager of Australian Art, Julie Ewington, of some of the finest pieces representing many of the best artists in Australia, and that today these are being seen together by the general public.

Even though the exhibition will be closing shortly, more contemporary works will be acquired. This means that more major works by senior career artists, mid-career artists, emerging artists, community Indigenous and urban Indigenous Australian artists, and video artists will become part of the Collection over time.’

James C. Sourris AM
February 2012

The ‘James C Sourris AM Collection’ comprises both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian works, and a wide range of media including paintings, videos, installations and works on paper, focused on contemporary art in Australia since the turn of the new century. Read more about the artists and the collection in the accompanying publication which is available from the Gallery Store.


  1. It was certainly worth flying up to QAG/GOMA with family and friends to view, at leisure, the James C Sourris AM Collection .

    If the Collection comes nearer to you in future, ” don’t miss it ” !