GOMA Turns 10

It’s no secret that the Gallery of Modern Art is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. If you’re in need of a dose of inspiration, entertainment, or bemusement (because hey, modern art) GOMA is currently running some excellent free exhibitions in celebration of their 10th birthday.  These include Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything and A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift. As well as newly commissioned artworks, if you’ve been a regular visitor over the past decade, you might recognise some artworks from previous exhibitions. These are just a few of my favourites from a recent visit to the gallery.

Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything 




‘Nervescape V’ 2016 / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter (Iceland/USA). This bold installation is probably the major drawcard for the gallery right now. Made of synthetic hair,  this multicoloured landscape cascades down the gallery’s cavernous walls. Best of all? You can totally touch it. If you look closely you can also see Left/Right Slide by Carsten Höller in the photo above which are, yes, slides you can ride down. Cheers to interactive art.


‘HEARD’ 2012 / Nick Cave (USA). These wearable sculptures are so fun to look at. While they’re mostly stationary, they do function in a performative manner. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to witness a performance but there’s a video in the gallery that shows them in action.


‘from hear to ear (v. 13)’ 2010 / Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (France). This musical installation featuring live finches is such a unique experience. Around 20 people are allowed into the space at a time to observe the birds. During peak times you might have to queue for a while to gain entry. I went on a  particularly busy weekend and waited about 20 minutes.

A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift

A collection of works including I Never Stopped Loving You’ 2010 by Tracey Emin (the neon sign that you can’t read up there, but I’ve taken a photo of it previously here) and the hyper-real ‘Bad Dad’ 2013 painting by Michael Zavros.

‘In Bed’ 2005 / Ron Mueck (England). 

‘PixCell-Double Deer #4’ 2010 / Kohei Nawa (Japan).

‘Biosphere 02, Biosphere & Biosphere cluster 05’ 2009 / Tomás Saraceno (Argentina).

Pip & Pop ‘ Rainbow Bridge’   


‘Rainbow Bridge’ from ‘We Miss You Magic Land!’ 2011 / Pip & Pop (Australia). I’m a sucker for all things Pip & Pop and couldn’t resist squeezing them into this post. These little dioramas have been featured in different parts of the gallery over time however nothing will ever beat the full room installation for ‘We Miss You Magic Land! a few years back.

Watch & Wear: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian cinematic classic. With the news this week that Foxtel will be remaking it for an upcoming television series I thought it was fitting to revisit Peter Weir’s 1975 film. The film is a visual treat and it’s become a popular reference point for designers and stylists alike. I’ve even bought vintage blouses and dresses purely based on the fact that they looked like something straight out of the film. The above photo is from a deleted scene that I found on the National Film and Sound Archive website but I think it’s so beautiful that I had to lead with it. Here I’ve included some of my favourite stills from the film (it was hard to narrow it down to just a handful) as well as a round up of clothing perfect for recreating a little bit of that Picnic at Hanging Rock magic (or mystery) in your own wardrobes. While the strict Victorian-era dress codes are long gone the style cues of high necklines, flounces, smocks, and pinafores found in the film still easily translate to a modern setting.






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In Film: The Edge of Love

When it comes to films, for me, the costume and cinematography is just as important as the story. Give me escapism and aesthetics any day. I can’t resist the over the top glitz and glamour of a Baz Luhrmann musical or the beauty of a Joe Wright-directed period piece (seriously sometimes I watch Atonement or 2005’s Pride & Prejudice for the aesthetics alone). One period film that’s been on my mind lately is The Edge of Love. While the film itself is, in my opinion, forgettable, the costuming is pretty great. Perfectly coiffed curls and fitted vintage dresses feature prominently but my favourite outfits would be the more relaxed seaside fare – floral tea dresses and chunky knits topped off with wire-rimmed sunglasses, fedoras, and gumboots. Even though the film is set in the early forties, these outfits could easily be mistaken for nineties grunge or even noughties grunge revival. Either way, I’m really feeling these kinds of layered looks for the sunny winter days we’ve been experiencing here in Brisbane. 





[Screen grabs from The Edge of Love (2008) by me]

Sally Gabori Up Close

Hmm… has it really been nearly a month since my last blog post? I guess I must have been in the midst of one of those all too common blog ruts. However, there’s nothing that a trip to an art gallery can’t fix. The Queensland Art Gallery is currently holding a retrospective of the work of the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and it’s something to behold. The exhibition includes the artist’s early paintings as well as her collaborative works with Kaiadilt women. I actually found it quite moving and was struck by how a few brush strokes could evoke such an emotive response. 

Sally Gabori was a senior Kaiadilt artist from Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. She first picked up a paintbrush at the age of 80 and was famed for her use of colour. While her paintings first appear as abstract, they actually depict the land and seascapes of her homeland. I found this article particularly interesting where it mentions that during one of Gabori’s first gallery exhibits, those with a non-Indigenous background approached her work as purely abstract but when her grandchildren visited they were able to pick and name every spot that she had painted. 
While Gabori’s use of colour ranges from the extremely vivid to the almost monochrome, I was particularly drawn to the softer colour palettes in her works. These are a few close up snaps I took of my favourites.  



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Inspired By: La Muralla Roja

Up until recently, La Muralla Roja was one of those things that I’d constantly scroll past on Pinterest or see being used as inspiration-style posts on Instagram, without knowing much about it. Until now. Built in 1973 and designed by Ricardo Bofill, La Muralla Roja is a housing project located in Calpe in the Alicante region of Spain. While other photos of La Muralla Roja seem to showcase its vibrant colour scheme, I’m really drawn to the muted tones in these images shot by Nacho Alegre. Something about the faded pink and dusty blue hues is so soothing. This is definitely something that’s appealing to my design sensibilities right now.

Image credit: vogue.com, edits by me

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