Griffith creatives will showcase Brisbane’s hidden history in a new exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.
The Storytellers has been curated by Queensland College of Art (QCA) alumnus Miranda Hine, and features stories, films and artwork by Griffith University staff, students and alumni.
Griffith at the heart of Brisbane’s creative community
Griffith Journalism lecturer Matthew Condon’s was commissioned to write a short story for the exhibition, which also features an experimental film by Griffith Film School lecturer Dr Debra Beattie and works by Queensland College of Art lecturers Dr Kellie O’Dempsey, Dr Simon Degroot and Dr Bianca Beetson.
Alumni are also well-represented, with work by First Nations alumni Gordon Hookey and Kim Ah Sam.
“Many of Brisbane’s creatives have been through Griffith, and we work with alumni on many of our projects, including in The Storytellers,” Miranda said.
“The creative community in Brisbane is thriving, so it’s a pleasure to bring artists in contact with the public who may not yet have discovered their work.”
Building the foundations for a career in the art industry
Miranda completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the QCA before embarking on a curatorial career.
“I was fortunate to have incredible tutors with their own successful art practices and years of experience, who encouraged us to experiment and explore,” she said.
“This time was pivotal in peaking my interest in museums, arts writing and curation. I was making installation and video work that looked at how to break down ideas of traditional structures of authority, such as narratives traditionally told by museums. So, in some ways, curating is an extension of my art practice.”
Sharing the city’s untold tales
Since graduating, Miranda has curated several major exhibitions at the Museum of Brisbane, including the popular New Woman exhibition, which showcased 100 years of female artists working in Brisbane. She’s also worked with the city’s artists, writers and designers on exhibitions like The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive, Brisbane Art Design festival and The Storytellers.
“Working with so many people who have different stories to share is inspiring and eye-opening. It constantly pushes you to rethink your own perspective.
“I also really enjoy the opportunities to apply creative problem solving every day. No day is the same – one day you could be researching the history of lungfish in Brisbane, and the next you’re installing artworks in the gallery space.”
Alumnus weaves together stories of the city
Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (CAIA) graduate Kim Ah Sam was chosen to be an artist-in-residence as part of The Storytellers exhibition.
Using traditional and repurposed materials, Kim’s weaving process is collaborative, involving storytelling and knowledge-sharing, a practice embedded in First Nations communities.
“This is my first artist-in-residence position, and to be chosen for something like this was absolutely amazing,” she said.
“I’m a people person and I love sharing what I do.
“Weaving is very therapeutic – people would come and sit with me and have a yarn while I worked.
“You could see people from all over the city making connections, there was lots of conversation and laughter.”
As a proud Kuku Yalanji and Kalkadoon woman, Kim’s work reflects her cultural and spiritual identity.
Her artistic practice encompasses everything from drypoint etching to weaving, printmaking and papermaking, and she has used her work to spiritually re-connect with her father’s country, Kalkadoon in north-west Queensland.
“My weaving tells the story of my journey back to country,” she said.
“We have a very emotional and spiritual connection to the land, and that was a big part of the experience I got at CAIA.”