You, me, art and everything: GOMA turns 10


Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything is our major, free exhibition headlining the tenth anniversary celebrations for the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) this year. ‘Sugar Spin’ will showcase contemporary works from the collection across GOMA, every delight that ‘Sugar Spin’ offers also has an edge and the complex connections between humanity and the natural world are celebrated and reconceived.

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Carsten Höller, Belgium b.1961 / Left/Right Slide (detail) 2010 / Stainless steel, polycarbonate and rubber mats / Commissioned 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

From 3 December 2016 visit ‘Sugar Spin’ to experience major new commissions such as Nervescape 2016, a large-scale, multi-coloured landscape of synthetic hair by Icelandic-born, New York-based artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, her first work in Australia and largest in the world to date. Nervescape will appear alongside a rich display of more than 250 artworks from the Gallery’s Collection.

Highlights include Carsten Höller’s much-loved Left/Right Slide 2010 that will spiral visitors from the top to the bottom of GOMA, Ron Mueck’s oversized woman In bed 2005, Olafur Eliasson’s interactive installation of thousands of white Lego pieces The cubic structural evolution project 2004, Kohei Nawa’s bubble encrusted Pix-cell Double Deer #4 2010, and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s musical installation of live finches, from here to ear (v.13) 2010.

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Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, France b.1961 / from here to ear (v.13) (and detail) 2010 / Five octagonal structures (each made in maple and plywood), harpsichord strings piano tuning pins, audio system (contact microphones, amplifiers, guitar processors and speakers), coat hangers, feeding trays and bowls, seeds, water, nests, sand and grass / Purchased 2011. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

Our 10-year milestone is a time to reflect on GOMA’s impact locally and nationally, and to look toward its future. GOMA has been a force for cultural change, stimulating our audience’s appetite for contemporary art and ideas. QAGOMA takes pride in a decade of world class exhibitions and programs and celebrates wonderful additions to the state art Collection. It’s only fitting that in marking this milestone the gallery offers visitors of all ages a multi-faceted, sensory and participatory art experience.

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Ron Mueck, England b.1958 / In bed 2005 / Mixed media / Purchased 2008. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

On 3 December we will unveil a series of birthday gifts to the Collection, among them the electrifying Heard by American sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave. This group of brightly coloured sculptural horse costumes will be brought to life by dancers at the GOMA Turns 10 opening weekend and become part of the exhibition’.

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Nick Cave b.1959 / HEARD DETROIT 2015 / Photograph: James Prinz / Image courtesy: The artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

‘Sugar Spin’ will also include many acquisitions secured through the Gallery’s flagship Asia Pacific Triennial series of exhibitions, such as Huang Yong Ping’s monumental skeletal serpent Ressort 2012, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s multi-panel mirror mosaic Lightning for Neda 2009 and Lee Mingwei’s invitation to share intimate stories of how we relate to others in Writing the unspoken 1999.

‘Sugar Spin’ will make full use of GOMA’s unmatched exhibition spaces, taking audiences on a journey from the majestic to the minute, traversing five distinct chapters: ‘sweetmelt’, ‘blackwater’, ‘soaring’, ‘treasure’, and the dramatic finale of ‘cosmos’.

The exhibition will reflect the colour and energy of Queensland, Australia’s sugar state, drawing works from our leading artists together with their global peers. Playful and seductive, ‘Sugar Spin’ will bring moments of joy together with dizziness and a deeper sense of unease. It will reflect the beauty of the world we live in, as well as the complex challenges of these turbulent times.

Nervescape is Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir’s first work in Australia and her largest to date. Part beast, part hair-do, part colour field painting, Nervescape has been created especially for GOMA’s expansive Long Gallery. Like many works in ‘Sugar Spin’ it is super sweet, pumped with colour, energy, and a hint of disquiet.

From 19 November, GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre will present ‘Mirror Mirror’, a free and interactive project that has been developed in collaboration with Arnardóttir. In this immersive installation inspired by the artist’s vibrant and tactile practice, young visitors can create their own extraordinary paper hairstyle and help style a wall of artificial hair-like material.

To continue the celebrations, the Gallery will host the GOMA Turns 10 Summer Festival, an all-ages festival from 18-22 January 2017. The festival will include artist talks, tours, creative workshops, storytelling, a crash course in contemporary art and an all-star line-up of musicians for Summer Festival Up Late, including tailored performances for children.

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