Gladstone goes live with contemporary art

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Gladstone goes live with contemporary art

Gladstone Regional Art Gallery will be the first port of call for a travelling exhibition featuring work by 11 of Queensland?s leading contemporary artists.

Queensland Art Gallery Acting Director Lynne Seear said the exhibition, commencing in Gladstone on February 22, marked an important milestone for the Queensland Art Gallery.

??Queensland Live: Contemporary Art on Tour? is the first activity in regional Queensland to celebrate the opening in November of the Queensland Art Gallery?s second site, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art,? Ms Seear said.

?When completed, Queensland will have the largest gallery of modern art in Australia. Displays will include modern and contemporary Australian, Indigenous Australian, international, Asian and Pacific art collections. ?

The artists represented in the touring exhibition are Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Gordon Bennett, Eugene Carchesio, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Tracey Moffatt, Scott Redford, Luke Roberts, Anne Wallace, Judy Watson and Judith Wright.

Ms Seear said key works by each artist provided insight into current art practice in Queensland, and reflected aspects of contemporary life and experience.

?The exhibition provides a snapshot of the excellence, diversity and achievement in the visual arts in Queensland today,? she said.

The works encompass a range of materials and methods from painting, printmaking, photography and ceramics to installation, film and the latest digital technologies.

The artists range in age from their 30s to their 70s, come from vastly different backgrounds, and have studied and exhibited nationally and internationally. Each has a unique artistic vision and visual vocabulary.

Five artists are Indigenous or of Indigenous descent ? Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Gordon Bennett, Tracey Moffatt and Judy Watson.

Vernon Ah Kee?s powerful digital images, This man is . . . This woman is . . . 2003, and Richard Bell?s blistering works, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie 2002 and I didn?t do it 2002, confront issues of race relations in Australia, while Judy Watson?s atmospheric painting burnt shield 2002 is typical of her paintings of the land, inspired by the ancestral homeland of her grandmother in far north-west Queensland.

Gordon Bennett?s 2004 Self portrait works of digitally manipulated photographs address issues of personal, race and national identity.

Tracey Moffatt, one of Australia?s most internationally celebrated artists, is represented by the photographic portfolio Up in the sky 1997 and short film Night cries 1989, which refer to personal and family relations set in the Australian landscape.

Gold Coast-born Scott Redford?s Surf painting /The reflex 2000 and Surf painting /Modernist house 2000, painted with an acrylic surfboard surface, capture the appeal of contemporary surf culture and the impact of Californian Modernism on Australian culture.

Several artists in the exhibition use more traditional media.

Eugene Carchesio is represented by his suite of delicate watercolours Dead leaves of Tokyo 1999, and renowned ceramic artist Gwyn Hanssen Pigott by the 19-piece ?still-life? group of ceramics, Drift.

Anne Wallace?s oil paintings That was long ago and Sometimes I wonder, from her 2005 ?Song cycle? suite, are spooky, almost surreal, images of modern life.

Luke Roberts?s magical and humorous installation Wunderkammer/Kunstmamera (detail) 1994 refers to the pre eighteenth-century private collections of haphazard yet captivating objects, art works and ornaments which pre-date modern state-run museums.

After its Gladstone showing, Queensland Live will travel to seven regional venues in 2006 and 2007, before it returns to Brisbane for display at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

The construction of the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is part of the Queensland Government's Millennium Arts?Queensland Cultural Centre Project.

Queensland Live: Contemporary Art on Tour will be officially opened on Thursday 22 February at 5.30pm. Floor talks and schools sessions with Queensland Art Gallery staff are scheduled in conjunction with the event. For further information call 4976 6766.

Image:Anne Wallace, Australia b.1970, Sometimes I wonder 2005, Oil on canvas,48 x 57cm

Purchased 2005 with funds from the Estate of Margaret Hockey, OAM through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery