Musicians, composers and artists from Griffith University are part of a blockbuster exhibition at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).
The European Masterpieces show features iconic works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – a collection worth around $1 billion.
From sound installations to live performance and a host of workshops and presentations, Griffith University’s creative arts expertise is adding another dimension to the exhibition.
Musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium perform daily two-hour concerts in the heart of the exhibition and honours student, flautist Rhoslyn Carney, is one of a dozen students being paid to perform during the four-month exhibition.
“People want to interact with the music as well as the art,” she said.
“It’s great to see different art forms enhancing each other, and I think it creates a really unique experience for people coming along to the exhibition.”
Rhoslyn said the opportunity to share music with a wider audience was a highlight of studying at the Queensland Conservatorium.
“For me, performing live and playing for an engaged audience is the end game – when you’re in the practice room, that is what you’re working towards,” she said.
“We are so lucky that we get that complete educational experience at the Con – we’re encouraged to take our music out into the community.”
“I’m always thrilled when I perform, whether it’s at the art gallery or in a concert hall, to see people responding to the music directly.”
Fellow Bachelor of Music student James Tudball has been wowing gallery visitors with weekly violin recitals.
“It’s been incredible, we’ve been given an opportunity to play this amazing music that was composed hundreds of years ago, in the same space where these historical artworks hanging on the walls that were also painted around the same time,” he said.
“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime experience – a little slice of the Met right here in Brisbane.
“I was lucky enough to play on the opening day of the exhibition –we’re getting crowds of 50 to 60 people at a time coming in and listening to that music.
“We’re on stage in a big open studio space in the heart of the gallery, with amazing acoustics.
“The music rings out across the whole exhibition space, and I think it does set the atmosphere.
“You’re looking at these artworks accompanied by music that was composed in the same time period.
“One of the biggest perks is being able to stay on and explore the exhibition after our performances are finished.
“We’re so lucky to get these opportunities – I’ve just come back from a performance with Ensemble Q in regional Queensland, and these performances at GOMA have been a highlight.
“It’s a really good stepping-stone for us as we get closer to graduating and enter the professional music world.”
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Bernard Lanskey said the partnership with GOMA had created exciting opportunities for students.
“The chance to share their music with hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the country is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.
“These kind of performance and engagement opportunities are an integral part of the world-class music education we offer at the Queensland Conservatorium.”
The partnership also includes a unique sensory experience, with Queensland Conservatorium Head of Composition Dr Gerardo Dirie leading a team of students who composed and recorded period music that responds to sensors ‘tripped’ by gallery patrons.
The music syncs with a series of animated replicas of iconic paintings featuring musicians, making it appear as if they are performing together.
In addition, the Queensland Conservatorium has loaned a selection of period instruments to the exhibition, with a flute, viol and viol da gamba showcased in a bespoke display, with text provided by Emeritus Professor Peter Roennfeldt.
Queensland College of Art lecturers are also part of the public programming, from drawing workshops by Dr Bill Platz to lectures by Dr Chari Larsson and Dr Julie Fragar.
European Masterpieces runs at GOMA until October 17.