Brisbane’s art scene is on fire, offering a year-round calendar of big exhibitions at the major galleries, and smaller niche ones at the boutique art spots around town. Whether you’re looking to reflect and browse through the work of an established local artist, or be inspired by some of the cutting-edge international contemporary art, have a read below to find out what’s on right now.
At dusk, the Gallery of Modern Art turns into a captivating light installation that illuminates the Brisbane night sky along the bank of the Brisbane River. Commissioned in 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gallery of Modern Art, James Turrell’s Night Life 2018 ignites different coloured panels that compliment the architectural design of the gallery from within the building. Running from sunset to midnight everyday, these blocks of light challenge the viewer and play with perception, engaging the inquisitive mind to examine how we are affected by light. We recommend taking in this installation after work, wander down and have a picnic dinner, listen to some tunes and enjoy bathing in the glow.
24 November until 28 April | free
Featuring more than 80 artists from over 30 countries, The APT9 exhibition brings to life new installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos from the Asia Pacific region. All works will be shown across both gallery space at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Challenging the definition of contemporary art, this exhibition asks the viewer to question and explore its relationship to shifting social structures across the Asia Pacific. These exhibitions take place every three years and contain truly immersive, unique and inspiring art that has not been shown together in this formation anywhere else, don't miss out on this ambitious series this Summer.
The Queensland Art Gallery has spent over 120 years establishing and building the Australian Art Collection. This collection is comprised of local and indigenous artists from different time periods and cultures that specifically focus on themes of geography, country and identity. These key pieces explore the artists environment while revealing a network of connections to their stories of traversal and encounter, of immigration, colonisation and the expatriate experience.
This exhibition showcases work from Albert Namatjira a Western Arrernete-speaking artist from the MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs in Central Australia. A pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art in the 1950's, Namatjira landscape painting style is different from traditional Aboriginal art. He adopts bold colours and approaches his landscapes with a western-style. Hanging alongside his works in this exhibition are the paintings by those he influenced, creating a strong narrative of his work and story as an artist.
From the influence of Japanese art on French Modernism to the representation of daily life, the display explores rich dialogues across time and between cultures, punctuated with contemporary works that engage with these themes and histories.
Waiting on 2019 dates | Free
The walls of the Powerhouse will be covered with the world’s most compelling, controversial and intimate moments, as captured by award-winning photojournalists from around the globe, for one month only. This annual exhibition profiles work from the world’s top press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers, who captured an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the past year, drawing entries from 4548 photographers from 125 countries, submitting 73,044 images.
This exhibition explores the secrets, stories and hidden histories of Queensland's islands, revealing secrets that will reshape our knowledge of past histories and places. Stop a moment, listen closely and hear the whispers of these local peoples voices as they reveal their stories about life on the Queensland islands through photographs, drawings, maps and objects.
Past, present and future. This exhibition marks the centenary of the first forced placement of people on Palm Island. This history and the communities story is showcased through images, memorabilia and digital stories thoughtfully curated and shared with the Brisbane public.
Monkeys: A Primate Story
Go bananas for the world of primates at Queensland Museum’s latest exhibition, Monkeys! A Primate Story. Featuring 60 spectacular specimens and articulated skeletons, come and learn about their evolutionary history of these weird and wonderful mammals.
23 November 2018 - 22 April 2019
Australia’s fashion storytellers, Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson, took a unique approach to fashion, referencing art, travel, film, literature, music and emotions to design and craft a bold aesthetic with daring patterns, innovative materials, meticulous techniques and a sustainable ethos. For the first major exhibition from the Easton Pearson Archive (donated in 2017 by Dr Paul Eliadis, a Brisbane-based philanthropist and arts patron), Museum of Brisbane asked Pam and Lydia to select the designs they felt highlighted the greatest innovations of their design practice and to share the stories behind the evolution of each garment. Expect to see the garments displayed on more than 60 forms along with lookbooks, sketches and more.
2 November – 16 February | Free
Free from constraint, Australian artist Mona Ryder has challenged us with a dynamic and explorative body of work looking at relationships, memory and gendered rituals. Every element is of her hand: from the mussel shells preserved from meals shared with friends, to scarlet stockings borne of Mona’s backyard dye pot, to the furniture and objects she fashions, each piece shares a deeply personal story.
until 22 December 2018 | Free
This showcase of Aboriginal paintings explores connection to country and the influence of the rich landscape of Central Australia. Each work within the exhibition depicts stories of sacred dreamings within the tapestries of the Australian landscape.
For more art exhibitions across Brisbane, use our events calendar to see what else is on.