The day the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art opened was arguably the day Brisbane became a truly global city. Ten years on, there’s no doubting the impact of this Australian arts juggernaut. It has helped reshape perceptions of Brisbane while subtly shifting the city’s outlook away from the southern capitals and towards the Asia-Pacific.
To celebrate a decade in Brisbane, the GOMA Turns 10 Summer Festival brings five full days of artist workshops, talks, performances, storytelling, cinema and tours of the gallery’s various art spaces, in addition to its free summer exhibitions.
Here are a few highlights.
Arts & Craft After Dark
Being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you can drink wine and stay up all night, but when did we have to stop playing? Hence, Arts & Craft After Dark. Build a tissue-box spaceship, pasta necklace or prescription pipe-cleaner glasses in this adults-only workshop with comedian Tim Ross and Queensland artist Sam Cranstoun. Yes, there will be wine.
When: 5.30pm Thursday January 19
Cost: $45 for members, $50 for general admission. Includes drink on arrival and all materials. Bookings essential.
Last chance to see HEARD
On Sunday, 30 dancers will bring Nick Cave’s mesmerising HEARD•Brisbane 2016 to life for one last time. Go early to nab a good spot on the grass lawn outside GOMA where the vibrant raffia horses shake, shimmer and run around. Closing the festival, this one will make you laugh, clap and potentially cry.
When: 5pm Sunday January 22
A reverse birthday present from GOMA to you. The gallery is putting on two of its hugely popular Up Late music gigs featuring both well-known and up-and-coming Brisbane acts – and this time they’re free.
On Friday at 3.30pm, Ben Ely from Regurgitator kicks off with a set for kids before rounding out the night with the full band. In between, Yucca, The Goon Sax, The Creases and Blank Realm will all take the stage.
Saturday’s line-up sees indie rock band The Grates begin with a children’s gig at 2.30pm and finish with an hour-long set from 8pm. Joining them in the evening will be Emily Wurramara, Luke Daniel Peacock, I Heart Hiroshima, Jeremy Neale and Cub Sport.
When: 3.30–9.30pm Friday January 20; 2,30–9.30pm Sat January 21
Crash Course in Contemporary Art
Do you have 45 minutes and a desire to better understand art? At 2.30pm on all five days of the festival, GOMA is hosting a free crash course in contemporary art. Head to Cinema B and join Dr Mark Pennings, a senior lecturer of Visual Arts at QUT, for one of his informal, interactive seminars. No question is too stupid – bring them all.
When: 2.30pm daily, January 18–22
Take an Ambassador Tour
As part of the 10th birthday celebrations more than a dozen locals have been named GOMA Ambassadors. Between them, they represent a cross-section of arts and audience diversity in Brisbane. You can join journalist and screenwriter Benjamin Law, musician Patience Hodgson and curator and writer Alison Kubler on the gallery floor as they lead a short tour showing you their favourite artworks and places.
Alternatively, join one of the kids’ tours for a jargon-free experience at 10.30am and 1.30pm daily, or a 10-minute gallery talk at 11.30am and 3.30pm daily.
When: 7.30pm–8pm Friday January 20 and Saturday January 21
Get crafty with kids
Much of the Summer Festival program is dedicated to a variety of hands-on workshops for kids. They can get busy creating collages, animal masks, paper bats and plasticine animals along with the young ones (you can too, if you like), or join author Morris Gleitzman and Indigenous artist Gordon Hookey for storytelling workshops on the Cafe Bistro Lawn.
When: Workshop times vary between 10am and 2.30pm daily, 18–22 January
While you may not have a natural talent for drawing, it’s said anyone can be taught. Pick up a drawing board and pencil on Level 3 of GOMA anytime during the Summer Festival and enter a self-guided drawing session that focuses on contemporary installation and sculpture.
When: All day, January 18–22
Cost: Free, all materials provided