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Art the size of a cricket pitch shows the magic of Monto
How long is 72 feet? That's just under 22 metres which is the length of a cricket pitch. But what's a cricket pitch got to do with the Monto Museum of Art? Well, it's the same length as the panoramic painting by well-known local artist Gil Jamieson. The panorama, depicting Jays Creek, west of Alice Springs, is to be given new exposure after almost 30 years in storage.
If you've read my previous articles, you'll know I have a soft spot for Monto. To add to the many attractions this rural Queensland town offers, the Monto Museum of Art will be exhibiting Gil Jamieson's 72-foot panorama painting together with a variety of his other works.
Prepaid event and meal tickets are available through Eventbrite.
On the night, special guest will be the Folk/Indi Country musician and generally excellent fellow Jordan Rochfort and some part of the band the Family Jordan. Hot food with meat, fish and vegetarian options will be catered for. Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will be on sale. There is limited seating at the event, however plenty of space. So, you are welcome to bring a folding chair if you wish to sit and listen to the speakers and enjoy the music.
Jay Creek Panoramic Painting. Photo Courtesy of Monto Museum of Art
Gil's son and event organiser, Matthew, recalls Gil telling the story of how it took a week to set up and a week to paint. But Matthew says his painting was probably quicker than that, as he always worked fast, capturing the essence of the landscape. The '72 foot painting' was first exhibited by Georges Mora at Tolarno Galleries in Melbourne in 1973. From there it exhibited twice at the Adelaide Festival and twice in Monto. It was hanging in Monto when Gil passed away in 1992.
Matthew Jamieson bringing Gil Jamieson's Paintings Out of Storage. Photo Courtesy of Burnett Today Website
This is not the first time Gil's works have been exhibited in Monto. The "Resurrection" Exhibition in 2019 saw Gil's paintings hung in the memory laden space of the old picture theatre, The Rex. Project Rex is another example of the power of small communities. It is a not-for-profit community organisation that is restoring the picture theatre in Monto to create a place for all things creative and cultural. It will be a cinema, art gallery and place for micro business to flourish. Coordinator, local grazier and entrepreneur, Carly Baker-Burnham is always planning the next steps for the Rex so stay tuned.
Gil Jamieson Resurrection Exhibition at The Rex. Photo Courtesy of The Rex Project Facebook Page
Even if you're not an art connoisseur, you'd have to attend just to marvel at the sheer size of Gil's painting which is an epic work. It sounds like an excellent night of incredible art, fine conversation, and support for the regional arts community.
Monto Three Moon Silo Art. Photo Courtesy of Australian Silo Art Website
The exhibition nicely coincides with Queensland's school holidays so why not stay a few days? You absolutely must see the painted silos, enjoy Monto's art trail, browse the shops brimming with local and handmade goods, sample the food at the pubs and cafes and maybe even treat yourself to a few nights stay at the bespoke Bloodwood Cabin. You'll discover the people, food, culture, history and beautiful landscape of Three Moon Country is worth the trip.
Murals in the Monto Art Trail. Author's Own Photo.