The Future Collective – 12 months on

QAGOMA Foundation Future Collective Launch GOMA Cafe Bistro
Launch of the QAGOMA Future Collective, GOMA Bistro, November 2014

In November 2014, the Gallery Foundation launched the Future Collective, a new supporters program for young professionals to get involved in the Gallery’s projects, engage in contemporary art, and connect with others who share a common interest. One year into the program, we asked Future Collective member Danielle Dunsmore to share her thoughts on being part of the group.

The invitation arrived for the QAGOMA Future Collective, piquing my interest. Cool art, groovy people and of course the opportunity to get dressed in arty clothes – too good to resist.

The first event was just after a nasty summer hail storm. I took a friend who regaled me with horror stories of hail smashing her car windows only one day prior … but, frankly, I was listening to Director Chris Saines telling us how we could be part of a brand new collective that would raise funds for artworks – new, contemporary works that would help to build the Gallery’s Collection into the future. I was in.

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Danielle Dunsmore and her guest Karen Black at the Future Collective artist in-conversation and private viewing of ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’, GOMA, July 2015

For almost a decade I have been involved in sponsoring the Gallery in a corporate capacity and when those resources dried up, I was left adrift. Until the Future Collective.

Every subsequent event has been a little bit special, and I have brought along a variety of people: artists who knew more people than I did; friends who joined me recently at the fabulous ‘8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT8) opening; and even in-town out-of-towners who obviously needed to be introduced to Queensland culture.

After a year of events we raised an amazing $29,000 in funds. Gallery curators and program coordinators pitched their projects to us – and we had to choose only one to support. I felt bad not choosing Assistant Director Simon Wright’s amazing live performance program – and then noticed that he wasn’t in the room … phew, I could safely vote for my other choice. (Only later did I realise that he was standing right behind me!)

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Simon Wright, Assistant Director, Learning and Public Engagement, speaking to member Andrew Tynan at the Future Collective project pitch event, GOMA, October 2015

A group of works from Abdul Abdullah’s ‘Coming to terms’ series, both topical and beautiful in its own dark way, was ultimately chosen through a majority vote. The pieces feature in APT8 and at a special Future Collective Pre-Opening Party event we were lucky enough to meet the artist himself.

Abdul chatted to my boyfriend about skateboarding, beer – oh, and art – and then stepped up to give a lovely, heartfelt speech, thanking us for our support. Our pleasure, Abdul. Thank you for creating such marvelous works!

And thank you QAGOMA. I’m here to stay.

Danielle Dunsmore, Future Collective Member

Future Collective end of year celebration
APT8 artist Abdul Abdullah speaks at the Future Collective End of Year Celebration, GOMA, November 2015

This is the second instalment in a series of blog posts by members, so keep an eye out for more anecdotes, stories and reflections on the Future Collective.