Style & Design

The 7 Best Art Exhibitions In Brisbane In July

By Catherine Blake
1st Jul 2019

Brisbane Art Exhibitions

Now that the mercury’s dropped and the rain has started up again, we in the South East are embracing Brisbane winter by spending more time indoors with some even going so far as to put on two whole layers. Two!

Even winter in the sub-tropics is a time of solitude and introspection, so it only makes sense that our culture scene hits the gas when the damp sets in. This July, Brisbane welcomes a whole slew of exhibitionist happenings guaranteed to lock us in a Cameron Frye-esque trance. And here’s the real gag: Admission for all these exhibitions is absolutely free, so you can get your cultural kicks all winter long without dipping into your tax return. 

Bust out the turtleneck and get staring, here are the very best art exhibitions happening in Brisbane this July.

Vis-ability: Artworks From The QUT Art Collection

The art world is famously a visual sport, which is why this latest project from QUT has its work cut out. Conceived of as an opportunity to foster a greater understanding of the lived experiences of people living with low vision or blindness, Vis-ability is a feast of tactile and audio artistry, showcasing alternative ways to interact with artforms. This free exhibition is on now and showing until August 4, so you’ve got plenty of time to check it out. That said, it’s fairly dope so we recommend you make it a priority. 

Where: QUT Art Museum
When: Until 4 August 
Find out more here

Play Me, I’m Yours

If you like a hands-on approach, this one’s for you. A classical sneak attack is waiting to deploy 20 painted pianos in public spaces all over Brisbane. The pianos are all beautifully decorated and emblazoned with the simple directive: Play Me, I’m Yours. As if we needed any further encouragement. The public installation comes courtesy of British artist Luke Jerram, who has been touring the world with his pimped up pianos since 2008. After entertaining and delighting millions of people across 60 different cities, Brisbane is the latest to receive the pleasure of the pianos in residence. The pianos will be available for the public’s free use and entertainment from 5 to 28 July. Keep tabs on the pianos as they get steadily more flash via the Facebook page. To get your hands on one, you can track them on the map, or take your chances in the wild. 

Where: Around Brisbane
When: 5-28 July
Find out more here

Brisbane Art Design (BAD)

Hosted by the Museum of Brisbane, this exhibition is a toothpick chewing, leather jacket wearing, cigarette flicking cowboy, and we are here for it. Featuring the talents of both emerging and established artists and designers, Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a wild celebration of art where it intersects with design and technology. Expect a melting pot of everything from robotics and virtual reality to ceramics and performance art. The BAD Festival officially happened in May, but this particular exhibition won’t be taken down until August, so you have all of July to visit. If it leaves you wanting more, be sure to check out the other BAD exhibition that's still going, Agency by Design at artisan in Bowen Hills. 

Where: Museum of Brisbane
When: Until 11 August
Find out more here

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life

This retrospective casts a loving gaze back on the life and creations of Margaret Olley. Besides her reputation as a formidable artist, Olley’s influence helped nurture the talents of prominent Australian artists William Dobell and Jeffrey Smart, and she became known as a magnanimous creative force, hence, A Generous Life. Having spent a significant part of her career in Brisbane developing her creative identity, QAGOMA is the perfect place to showcase her work and host a bunch of related events including workshops and Up Late events. 

Where: QAGOMA
When: Until 13 October
Find out more here

MELT Portrait Prize

This banger of an exhibition exists at the behest of the MELT Festival of Queer Arts and Culture, celebrating the power and the glory of creative diversity in the LGBTIQ+ community. The MELT Portrait Prize provides an opportunity for artists to celebrate the key players doing good for the alphabet community, both locally and globally. You can come by and treat your eyeballs to the technicoloured wonder every day until MELT finishes on Sunday 7 July. 

Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
When: Until 7 July
Find out more here

World Press Photo Exhibition 2019

Also in the Powerhouse, the World Press Photo Exhibition is back for another year. If you’ve never been, this is one annual exhibition that is well worth checking out. Developed by the World Press Photo Foundation, the exhibition tours the globe with the aim of enlightening audiences and forging fresh perspectives on global issues. It features entries from some of the world’s most respected photojournalists, and acts as a sort of year in review for the global news cycle, as told through the lens of a camera. This year’s subject matter is as broad as ever, ranging from climate issues to political upheaval to athletic excellence. The exhibition will run from 12 July until 4 August at the Powerhouse, so do yourself a favour and visit twice. 

Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
When: 12 July-4 August 
Find out more here

Supernormal Stimuli 

As a gallery/bar on Petrie Terrace, The Third Quarter has winkled itself out as a place where pure creativity flourishes. This makes their Ochre Gallery the perfect setting for Brisbane based artist, Christopher Inwood’s upcoming exhibition, Supernormal Stimuli. Best described as ‘a portal into the algorithmic behavioural traits of the anthropoid’, Inwood has focussed in on the effects of enhanced stimulus on the development of the humans species, rendered in his hyper-realistic style. The exhibition opens Friday 5 July and will be showing until 11 July. 

Where: The Third Quarter
When: 5-11 July
Find out more here

Image credit: Carl Warner, Courtesy of Museum of Brisbane

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