I drive past it, ride the bus past it, cycle past it and each time there are different paintings in the window. This intrigued me. There is such a variety of art and mediums on display that I was curious to see what lay within. So one day I walked there and took myself inside –
There are some very knowledgeable and helpful art consultants there who told me a little of the history of the building and the Gallery, but also about how the Gallery works. The building itself used to house the Old Organ and Piano Shop. It is one of the oldest established Galleries in Brisbane, and has been operating now for 28 years. Margaret Campbell – Ryder is only its second owner and director and given that she has a passion for showing art she quickly changed the way the Gallery displayed it. The window is changed if not every day, every other day – there is almost a sense of anticipation about the new display. Will I like it, will it be my kind of art, is it something that I must have?
Margaret sensibly understands that there are as many tastes as artists, and while she is eclectic in the artists she chooses to exhibit she does cater for many and varied expectations. The Gallery is beautifully organized to lend itself to exactly that, with exhibitions on the main Gallery floor but also a full sized basement which houses more artwork. I hasten to add that I loved not only the artwork but also the beautiful glassware and the bronze sculptures which are dotted around the gallery. It is a Gallery which offers artists of different mediums an excellent outlet to express their creative spirit.
As I enjoyed my initial interaction with the Gallery I went to the opening of their "All Afloat" exhibition, which is on until the 27th of April 2015.
The current exhibition, which has, a bit of a nautical theme, is the work of Dan Mason, Warren Salter and Michael Parker. Dan Mason who acknowledges his love of the ocean and the natural world, displays some large canvasses with sea bottom blues and turquoise light, interspersed with vibrant reds and earthy oranges. His canvasses all bear the most romantic names. "Drawn by the light of the Moon" is the one displayed here. "Two strong hearts" depicts two boats in a mélange of colours that jump out at you and want to make you sail away on them.
Warren Salter draws his inspiration from his family and memories of times loved and lived. His piece called the Boat Builder shows he is not a stranger to strong colours but also vividly reproduces images that are comforting and close to many.
Michael Parker combines wooden slats, which flow and glide in the water he creates upon them. He loves his boats and often accompanies the paintings with a turquoise bluey green copper which he uses to line the bottom of his canvases. Painting was in his family, as were boat building and lakes. I have to confess being terribly drawn to these, particularly the one I have photographed for you here called "Weekend Chill." The rope hanging down from the boat is so well crafted that I was convinced it was three-dimensional. The way he paints the water gives you the stillness of the water on a chilly day.
The Gallery is open weekdays 10 am to 5 pm, weekends 10 am to 4 pm seven days a week. There is parking and a small garden tucked at the back should you feel the need to sit down and reflect on the art before you.
The Gallery is on 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane 4059. Tel no 07 3368 1442