Now…because my words sound better coming from my hands than my mouth, here’s a round up of the exhibitions I spoke about on today’s show!
FRANZ EHMANN: Here, Where Everything Lands
Spiro Grace Art Rooms
May 20 – July 8 2017
For over two decades, Austrian/Australian artist Franz Ehmann has created works that contemplate food production, consumption and waste. He also makes things out of beeswax. For the last two years, he’s been keeping his own bees & experimenting with both honey production and sticking odd things in beehives to see what the buzzing bumbles will do with them. This exhibition is the result.
Artist talk & honey tasting – Saturday 17 June at 12pm, Spiro Grace Art Rooms
BEN QUILTY: The Last Supper
Jan Murphy Gallery
23 May – 17 June 2017
Ben Quilty is probably the last artist in Australia to need an introduction. His Archibald win for a portrait of Margaret Olley set his flame alight, and a subsequent period as the official war artist for the Australian War Memorial resulted in a suite of works called After Afghanistan that virtually all of Australia saw on its national tour. His friendship with Myuran Sukumaran and passionate appeals for both his and Andrew Chen’s legacy gripped Australia in the lead up to the Bali executions. Since then, he has travelled to Greece, Lebanon and Serbia to document the Syrian refugee crisis. He is more activist than artist these days, though his art remains the primary way in which he relays what he has seen.
His new exhibition at Jan Murphy Gallery, though more abstracted and brighter than we’re used to seeing him paint, remains a tightly wound suite of works dealing with humanity’s depravity, and his frustration at where he sees the world heading.
QUT Art Museum
3 JUNE – 6 AUGUST 2017
Melbourne-based Louise Hearman is known for her ethereal landscapes and ghostly portraiture, which in recent years have seen her win both the Archibald Prize (2017, for a portrait of Barry Humphries) and the Doug Moran National Prize for Portraiture (2014, for a diptych of her partner, photographer Bill Henson).
This exhibition, the first major retrospective of her career, spans 25 years of drawings and paintings, and forms a well rounded study of her dark, beautiful and occasionally disturbing style. Well suited to the meandering corridors of the QUT Art Museum, the exhibition has a very ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ vibe about it, and had me subconsciously whispering Mirandaaaaa, Mirandaaaaa, Mirandaaaa the whole way round.
UQ Art Museum
17 JUNE – 3 SEPTEMBER 2017
I’ll be honest…of all the exhibitions my alma mater could have put up, this was the least likely to me. I always think of UQ Art Museum as the stuffier, more formal, of Brisbane’s institutional museums. Though to be fair, they rarely shy away from weird and wacky, and in recent years have explored a number of difficult works through their exhibitions. Now I think of it, there were stone dildos in the lower exhibition space not that long ago. But I digress…
Nevertheless, an exhibition featuring the work of Art Orienté Objet, who infamously transfused horse blood into an artist’s bloodstream, is an eyebrow raiser. I’m not sure what the oldies who attend the openings at UQ will make of this show, but for a university so heavily invested in scientific research, much of it biological, this exhibition is the perfect fit. Played well, it could open the art museum up to a whole faction of the campus who would never venture through their doors otherwise.