Laurence Collinson, Australia 1925–86, Cooper’s Park 1945

Charles Blackman and Brisbane’s young artists and writers

Charles Blackman while in Brisbane in early 1948 met the young artists of the Miya Studio, including Laurence Hope, Don Savage, and Laurence Collinson, and the closely affiliated group of Barjai writers, including Barrett Reid. Barrett (known as Barrie) Reid (1926–95), librarian, poet and editor, had an important early connection with Queensland through Barjai magazine.…

The lure of Brisbane’s sun on Charles Blackman

Over several years spent in Queensland, Charles Blackman was nurtured by a series of relationships and profound connections to place, and these inspired some of his most innovative and important works. During his first visit to Brisbane in 1948 Blackman experienced a period of intense personal discovery essential to the launch his career; he found…

Charles Blackman, Australia b.1928, Barnes Auto Brisbane 1952

Charles Blackman’s connection to Brisbane

After resigning from journalism cadetship at the Sydney Sun, Charles Blackman hitchhiked to Brisbane in early 1948 for his first visit. He met the young artists of the Miya Studio, including Laurence Hope, Don Savage, and Laurence Collinson, and the closely affiliated group of Barjai writers, including Barrett Reid, and, most significantly, Barbara Patterson. Blackman’s…

Lyrical Lines: Examining two Drawings by Charles Blackman

The preparation of artworks by Gallery Conservators for the exhibition ‘Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland‘ offered an opportunity to observe Blackman’s deliberate selection of certain materials and techniques to depict his subjects. This exhibition explores Blackman’s formative relationships with Queensland artists and writers that were pivotal in his development as one of Australia’s…

Charles Blackman’s ‘The Blue Alice’

In 1956, Barbara Blackman brought home a talking book machine and one of the first books the Blackmans ‘read’ was Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This was Blackman’s first encounter with the story and, importantly, it lacked any illustrations to impose on his imagination. Barbara came to stand for Alice herself. Her struggle with…

Turning the pages of Charles Blackman’s sketchbook

Sketchbooks have long been used by artists to jot down ideas, contemplate on particular moments and note creative reflections. They are a personal record of inspirational imagery that may later be referred to when developing ideas and composition for other works. Charles Blackman’s Buderim Mt Sketchbook: Civilization versus Eden, dated 1984, affords us a behind-the-scenes glimpse…