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On Earth QUT Art Museum

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by Alison Muirhead (subscribe)
Doting grandmother and grey nomad who should join Volunteers Anonymous and is greatly in favour of a ten day week. So much to do, so little time.
Event: -
What On Earth has happened to our land and its peoples?
What circumstances have impacted Our Earth, Australia, in an era of recognition of environmental change? Several artists of various backgrounds have depicted this in the QUT Art Gallery's latest exhibition, On Earth.



As with all lands that were colonised by invasive races, Australia has been impacted by practices which have vastly altered its landscape as well as its native culture. These alterations are illustrated through a variety of artistic media in a time frame stretching from the late 1800s to 2021.

QUT Art Gallery,On EArth, From Toorak
From Toorak


The indigenous inhabitants of this country have always been one with the land, as opposed to the colonisers who saw it as a resource. Consequently, it has been used and abused by the employment of agriculture and mining practices more suited to the northern hemisphere. The result of these practices is a degraded environment and the destruction of indigenous culture. The most obvious and highly publicised example Is the Murray Darling Basin, sacrificed to cotton. Not only has the river been tamed with weirs and dams, but the drowned country under the captured waters represents almost 60 thousand years of indigenous culture.

QUT ART GAllery,On Earth,Oh my Murray DArling
Oh my Murray Darling


Many artworks reflect the fact that, although man thinks he has the upper hand in his impact on Nature, Nature will eventually have its way. A slogan, once evident on the water pipeline from Mt Crosby to the western suburbs of Brisbane, declared, "Nature is chaos Let it go." Although well-meaning conservationists fight the good fight against feral weeds and animals, it is a losing battle.

Amongst the various installations via video, machinery and sculpture using specially made and found items, the one that stood out for me was two caged tree trunks, symbolic of deaths in custody. The symbolism morphs into the deaths of the River Red Gums, normally common along the Murray Darling system, but whose future is threatened as long as weirs and dams harvest the waters.
QUT Art GAllery,On Earth,Propagate 2021
Propagate 2021


QUT Art Gallery,On Earth
Propagate 2021


I defy you not to be fascinated by an engineering installation as a modern man-made monolith crumbles revealing evidence of the past.
QUT Art Gallery,On Earth,A Connective Reveal
A Connective Reveal


Concerns for the environment are nothing new. Political posters from the 'seventies to the 'nineties cover such topics as the call for the cessation of forestry practices on Fraser Island (K'Gari) to a call for people to speak out about and act on their environmental concerns.


They are most appropriately featured in this exhibition as they indicate that concerns were not confined to one race. The Botanica stage on Saturday May 8 will feature an event called Speaking Up Responding to On Earth. Participation can be booked through Eventbrite.


In tandem with this exhibition is a Texta Book club novel by Tara June Winch, The Yield. Participation in either the face to face or online discussion on May 25/26 can also be booked via Eventbrite.

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Why? To see how the art world views the degradation of the Earth's peoples and places
When: Sunday to Friday 10am to 4pm
Phone: 07 3138 5370
Where: QUT Art Gallery, 2 George St, Brisbane
Cost: Free
Your Comment
That sounds fascinating! I might check out the book sometime as well.
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1233) 40 days ago
Attended a symposium this afternoon presented by some of the artists.It certainly gave depth to their art works. Now looking forward to the Texta book club online meeting when The Yield will be discussed.
by Alison Muirhead (score: 2|294) 40 days ago
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