Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art


A free survey exhibition featuring new and recent work by 19 contemporary artists and collectives exploring identity, heritage and history is showing at the Queensland Art Gallery until January 22.

Encompassing large-scale sculptural installation, photography, painting, video and performance, the stunning exhibition includes work by Robert Andrew, James Barth, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, Megan Cope, Léuli Eshrāghi, Caitlin Franzmann, Heather Marie (Wunjarra) Koowootha, Archie Moore, Callum McGrath, Meuram Murray Island Dance Group, Ethel Murray, Ryan Presley, Obery Sambo, Erika Scott, Vanghoua Anthony Vue, Moilang (Rosie) Ware, Jenny Watson, Warraba Weatherall and Justene Williams.

Embodied Knowledge: QAG

The exhibition presents compelling work by the Queensland artists across a range of themes and styles, as they explore big ideas and tackle challenging questions about their place in the world.

Many of the featured works respond to the specific character of Queensland or challenge its accepted narratives and, in doing so, draw attention to aspects of our state’s history that are overlooked or not well enough understood.

Embodied Knowledge: QAG

Among the highlights are The Vertigoats 2021 Justene Williams’s eccentric installation of brightly coloured, elongated mannequins that explores the surreally extended body; The Reservoir of Cruel Miracles 2022, Erika Scott’s towering sculpture of 40 second-hand fish tanks and found objects evoking a mood of suburban horror; Private views and rear visions 2020-22, an epic new painting by Jenny Watson; and Tracing inscriptions 2020/22, a large-scale kinetic installation and durational mural by Robert Andrew.

Embodied Knowledge: QAG

The tide waits for no one 2020–21, Megan Cope’s installation of cast-glass dugong bones addresses complex social histories tied to the trade and mining exploration of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), while Inert State 2022, Archie Moore’s major commission on the QAG Watermall, calls attention to the mounting number of Indigenous deaths in custody since the 2008 National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

Embodied Knowledge: QAG

Embodied Knowledge also includes Ngau Buai 2022, Moilang (Rosie) Ware’s largest textile to date, referring to her family’s migration from the South Sea Islands to the Torres Strait and The struggle of spokes people 2022, Heather Marie (Wunjarra) Koowootha’s compelling portraits of First Nations leaders and social justice advocates.

Embodied Knowledge: QAG

From 1 December 2022 through 22 January 2023 (from 10.00am to 2.00pm daily) the exhibition will feature Ryan Presley’s Blood Money Currency Exchange Terminal 2018-ongoing. Presley’s participatory installation, initiated in 2018, reimagines Australia’s national currency as a celebration of Indigenous history. Audiences can access the artist’s booth to exchange Australian dollars for Blood Money Dollars - prints designed by the artist, featuring prominent First Nations leaders, social advocates, warriors and writers. All proceeds are shared between charities: Sisters Inside, Murri School, and Carinity Education Southside. Cashless payments only.

Image captions/credits - top to bottom:

1. Erika Scott / Australia b. 1987 / The Reservoir Of Cruel Miracles (work in progress) 2022 / Mixed media / 400 x 362 x 362cm / Commissioned for ‘Embodied Knowledge’ by QAGOMA / Courtesy: Erika Scott / Photograph: Joe Ruckli, QAGOMA

2. Vanghoua Anthony Vue/ Hmong people / Australia b.1989 / Hard-hat Devi(l)-(n)ation #1 (detail) 2017–18 / Hard hat, industrial tapes, cable ties, chains, wire, pom poms, fishing line, nails, washers, funnels, acrylic filler, screws, can tops, foam balls, foil, ropes, conduits, metal stakes, hex nuts, assorted beads, wood and galvanised pipe / 160 x 150 x 100cm (approx..) / Image courtesy: Vanghoua Anthony Vue

3. Robert Andrew / Yawuru people / Australia b.1965 / Tracing inscriptions 2020 (installation view, ‘Overlapping Magisteria: The 2020 Macfarlane Commissions’, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2020) / Aluminium, electromechanical components, rocks, wood, ochre / Dimensions variable / Image courtesy: Robert Andrew and Milani Gallery, Brisbane / Photograph: Andrew Curtis

4. Caitlin Franzmann (artist) / Australia b. 1979 /Man Cheung (collaborating photographer) / Fortunes of the Forest (divination cards) 2017 / digital prints on polymer coated paper / Dimensions variable / Courtesy: The artists, with the support of Brisbane City Council’s Karawatha Forest Artist in Residence Program and the Creative Sparks Fund. The Creative Sparks Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council to support local arts and culture in Brisbane. Courtesy: The artists / Image courtesy: Caitlin Franzmann / Photograph: Man Cheung

5. Warraba Weatherall / Kamilaroi people/ Australia b.1987 / To know and possess (detail) 2021 / Cast bronze / 10 pieces: 10.1 x 15.2 x 3cm (each) / Purchased 2022. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

6. Ryan Presley / Marri Ngarr people / Australia b.1987 / Blood Money (detail) 2010-11 / Watercolour on paper / Dimensions variable / Image courtesy: Ryan Presley and Milani Gallery, Brisbane


QAGOMA is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com

Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art

Queensland Art Gallery

Stanley Place

South Brisbane

Aug 13 - Jan 22

Free entry


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