City in the Sun

Museum of Brisbane

City in the Sun is a fascinating free exhibition at Museum of Brisbane, looking back at how laidback subtropical Brisbane saw itself over the years. Have we moved beyond bikini-clad, pineapple loving images to a contemporary and cosmopolitan city?

From frangipanis to bathing beauties, Brisbane’s subtropical image is firmly planted in the hearts and minds of locals and visitors. Flora and fauna including the Jacaranda tree, poinsettia - Brisbane’s logo, lawn and fruit are all synonymous with the Sunshine State capital and Brisbane artists unpack this colourful image of the Sunshine State capital with their own takes on Brisbane’s evolving identity.

Showcasing over 30 artworks, including 8 significant commissions by local artists alongside historical imagery, the exhibition will follow how the city’s history of migration, tourism, climate, environment, and geographical location has contributed to the image of a sun-drenched city full of exotic plants and people who live under the sun’s glare.

Newly commissioned works from artists Kinly Grey, Christopher Bassi, Laura Patterson, Rachael Sarra, Sam Tupou, Sebastian Moody, Holly Anderson and Rachel Burke are coupled with works by Gerwyn Davies, Michael Zavros, Tracey Moffatt, Scott Redford, and Olive Ashworth.

Look out for the hyper-colourful photographic prints by Tracey Moffatt from her First Jobs series, which reflects on the suburban and nostalgic memories of working in Brisbane during the 1970s.

You can also travel back in time with a film from the National Film and Sound archive from 1954 called ‘Brisbane - City in the Sun’ featuring landmarks including the Oasis at Sunnybank, Brisbane City Hall, Cloudland ballroom and Queenslander architecture. Marvel at Sunshine Psychology, a large-scale light and text work by leading Brisbane artist Sebastian Moody and experience Kinly Grey’s interactive light work which makes visible the body heat of the visitor.

Plus, for a real City in the Sun experience, join family and friends in the 'backyard', complete with an immersive installation by Rachel Burke including flower beds, a tinsel sky, garden swing, bicycle, and cubby house all adorned in her signature sparkled, hyper colourful style.

Museum of Brisbane Director Renai Grace said City in the Sun highlights how Brisbane has created images to define itself as a city.

To understand Brisbane, you need to understand the light and colour that has and continues to shape the landscape, food, fashion and architecture and design ethos. See your city in a new light through the eyes of artists and question how you see Brisbane in this exhibition,” Ms Grace said.

Museum of Brisbane is a valued partner of Must Do

Image credits: Top to bottom

1. Art Colour Transfer Company Pty Ltd, Story Bridge Brisbane date unknown, sticker. Gift of Leanne Kelly 2013, Museum of Brisbane Collection.

2. Tracey Moffatt, First Jobs, Selling Aluminium Siding 1978 from the series 'First Jobs' 2008, archival pigments on rice paper with gel medium, edition of 20. Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

3. Oasis Swimming Pool, Sunnybank, 1951. Courtesy Brisbane City Council Archives.

4. Gerwyn Davies, Island 2017, inkjet print. Courtesy the artist and Jan Murphy Gallery.

Museum of Brisbane

Level 1, Brisbane City Hall

King George Square


From Jun 19, 2021

Free entry


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