GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art

Queensland is a state that fosters emerging and long-standing artists. The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is known for connecting people and art through a dynamic program of Australian and International exhibitions. The month of July sees QAGOMA encase within its gallery walls the work of 31 artists and collectives from across the state in an exhibition called ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art.’ This will be the gallery’s first extensive survey of current contemporary art practice.

‘GOMA Q’ has been curated by QAGOMA Director, Chris Saines, together with Peter McKay, Curator of Contemporary Australian Art and Bruce McLean, Curator of Indigenous Australian Art. The exhibition came to form after the gallery had received feedback and suggestions made by artists and local gallerists. It was recommended that QAGOMA should draw attention to the art being created in Queensland’s ‘own backyard’ and to re-connect with local artists. The Curators explain; “‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’ is our response to this growing need and a chance for the Gallery to renew our commitment to local art ecology.”

Featuring an exhibition that involves emerging and mid-career artists, it offers audiences an insight into the influences and inspirations that have affected the lives of the artists from the younger to senior generations. Observing the works presented alongside one another allows comparisons to be made between the distinguishable features that have significantly shaped each piece. Social challenges, political views, personal torment, isolation and cultural struggles are a number of themes investigated and transformed through art to relay personal journeys, views and perspectives. Expression is shown though the mediums of sculpture, photography, installation, painting, ceramics, performance and video works.

The selection process involved studio visits and meetings with over 230 artists. The fundamental challenge was to decide on who to include while keeping in mind the aim – to capture the strongest view of contemporary art that is being created at the present time. The Curators explain, “The final group of artists are all adding significant weight and material to the Queensland art scene, meaning that the snapshot offered by ‘GOMA Q’ is extremely at-the-minute.” Jumble by Monica Rohan sees a colourful oil painting suggestive of a constant state of movement. Figures appear to be tumbling, regressing and shifting in a camouflaged cryptic display. Homework by Michael Zavros shows a refined image with vivid clarity that explores the theme of identity. Julie Fragar’s Second Consideration After the Fact illustrates an elaborate construction of elements representative of the artist’s self-reflections and personal influences.

The opening weekend of ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’ will feature a program of events including performances, workshops and artist in-conversation panels. The Curators are hoping that; “This snapshot will give gallery visitors a deeper understanding of what, and who, is driving the contemporary art practice in this state.” Queensland’s current artists will continue to enhance the state’s art culture with their future artistic inquiries and new additions. Emerging artists will rapidly surface and bring with them their contributions to this constantly growing and steadily flourishing art scene.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
11 July to 11 October, 2015

Monica Rohan, Jumble, 2015, oil on board, 60 x 77cm
Courtesy the artists, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

Michael Zavros, Homework, 2014, giclee print on cotton rag paper, 112 x 150cm, ed. of 8
Courtesy the artist