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Lifestyle: a Sunshine State of Mind Exhibition

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by Brian McIver (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and content creator based in Brisbane. Most things I do have to be run past my dog first for approval. Visit my business page at fb.me/lefttowritecomm
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Living and playing in Queensland
lifetyle: sunshine state of mind, queensland state library, brisbane, free, art, exhibition
Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, April 16, 1936. Creator unidentified. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
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The Queensland State Library is hosting an exhibition which takes a look at how perceptions of our lifestyle and identity have changed and developed over the years.

Lifestyle: A Sunshine State of Mind brings together print, canvas, statues and books in an organic look at how the concepts of "Queensland" and "Queenslanders" have affected and been affected by war, sexism, parochialism, the class divide, politics and changes in social values.

lifetyle: sunshine state of mind, queensland state library, brisbane, free, art, exhibition
Come up to Coolness! South Queensland Mountain Resorts (Queensland Government Tourist Bureau) Publisher: Queensland Government Tourist Bureau, Brisbane. David Whyte, Government Printer Ref no: HPT TOU 123, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland


An absolute plethora of different works and artefacts have been brought together, from both private and public collections. They are from the State's rare and restricted collections (some never having been shown before) and all of them tell have a story to share.

lifetyle: sunshine state of mind, queensland state library, brisbane, free, art, exhibition
M. Anderson South Queensland surfing resorts: The Beaches are Calling! ca. 1930-1940 Publisher: Queensland Government Tourist Bureau, Brisbane. David Whyte, Government Printer Ref no: HPT TOU 121, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland


Lurid weekend magazines tell of how the average family yearned to spend their summer days on the beach, enjoying the crystal clear water and warm sand. Tall sunbronzed men, and glamorous women reclining in the shade. Hikers, self-assured and smug, retreated to their idyllic tracks and trails comfortable in their knowledge that there was more perfect place in the world than Queensland. But were these accurate depictions of the real Queensland? You'll have to view the art yourself to decide.

lifetyle: sunshine state of mind, queensland state library, brisbane, free, art, exhibition
Anzac Square under construction, 1931 Acc: 4494, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland


This oil painting shows a view of Anzac Square under construction. The painting was one of the works exhibited in the basement of Griffiths Tea Rooms, Brisbane.

The artist who painted it, Frances Vida Lahey, was born on 26 August 1882 at Pimpama, Queensland, the daughter of David Lahey and his wife, Jane Jemima (née Walmsley). She attended Goytelea School at Southport, studied painting at the Brisbane Central Technical College under Godfrey Rivers, and at the National Gallery School, Melbourne under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin.

These artworks, and many more, come together to form a retrospective journey that can't be rushed - Lifestyle: A Sunshine State of Mind. Luckily, this exhibition is running from now until October, so there's plenty of time to spend an unrushed morning or afternoon drinking it all in.

Some of the material in the exhibition will be refreshed in July, so it will be worth coming back for a second look after this.

The State Library has plenty of paid parking options in the immediate area, and is also easily accessible with public transport.

Bus - Get off at the Cultural Precinct Busway Station in Melbourne Street. (Chartered buses currently have been assigned a temporary set-down area in Stanley Place).

Train - Travel to South Brisbane Station, corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets.

CityCat and ferry - Use the CityCat and City Ferry terminals located at South Bank 1 CityCat terminal.

Bicycle - The nearest CityCycle station is located in Kurilpa Park close to the barbecues.

On foot - The State Library is a short walk from Brisbane's CBD via Victoria Bridge, Kurilpa Bridge or the William Jolly (Grey Street) Bridge.

For details of specific services, plan your journey with Translink here.

Keep up to date with this and other events by liking the State Library's Facebook page.
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Why? A free exhibition exploring Queensland's identity
When: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
Phone: (07) 3840 7768
Where: SLQ Gallery, Level 2, State Library, Stanley Place, South Bank
Cost: FREE
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