Museum of Brisbane is proudly presenting the latest solo exhibition by Robyn Stacey, one of Australia's most acclaimed photographers.
Entitled 'Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land', this spectacular exhibition was specially commissioned by Museum of Brisbane and marks a new direction for the artist, who is well-known for her striking photographs of historical collections.
In 'Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land', Stacey explores many of Brisbane's buildings and landmarks through the lens of a camera obscura - an ancient technique used by the likes of Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci.
The camera obscura is a historical form of image making, which works by allowing light through a tiny hole, projecting a scene from the outside onto an inside surface.
Using this age-old technique, Stacey seamlessly wraps upside down and back-to-front images of iconic Brisbane landmarks like the Story Bridge and Boggo Road Gaol around her subjects, creating dreamlike scenarios that provoke the viewer to imagine what might play out within the four walls.
In order to create this special effect, Stacey transformed the interiors of high-rise hotels, offices and institutional spaces by wallpapering them with an image of the world outside their windows.
In this exhibition, Stacey continues to explore the juncture between art and science through photography, the temporary role of certain rooms and the metamorphosis of cities. "Images created by the camera obscura only exist for a couple of hours, as it is dependent on the position of the sun in relation to the room and as light travels in a straight line, it creates upside down, reversed and distorted visual effects, producing surreal and psychological spaces," Stacey said.
"This got me thinking about the ever-changing nature and renewal that is characteristic of the modern metropolis and the rooms and city serve as emblems of transience, with the process of transformation seeping through each image".
"Through the theatrical and distorted view of the camera obscura, a roving, fragmented and fleeting experience of contemporary life is revealed."
Museum of Brisbane Director Peter Denham said the collaboration with Stacey continued the Museum's mission to look at the city through the eyes of its artists.
"I saw Robyn's first work with camera obscura and thought it would be a fantastic coup for Brisbane if she would explore different spaces here," Mr Denham said.
"Robyn's photographs show huge imagination – each image is rich and powerful, capturing how the city is forever changing and making you feel like you are being dropped into the room."
"The exhibition will also feature a live camera obscura, allowing visitors to experience the visual effects produced by this technique,"
A program of events will accompany the exhibition, including artist talks, workshops, and panel discussions.
Highlight events include:
Artist tour with Martyn Jolly
Sat 19 Sep 2015
On this tour you'll be guided by artist, Robyn Stacey and artist, writer and Head of Photography and Media Arts at Australian National University, Martyn Jolly. The pair will share insights into the exhibition introducing Stacey's new body of work and the development of the camera obscura over time.
In conversation with Robyn Stacey and Shaune Lakin
Sun 20 Sep 2015
Robyn Stacey and Shaune Lakin, Senior Curator of Photography from the National Gallery of Australia, discuss how an artist interprets a city and how Stacey's new work captures a unique perspective of Brisbane's community and history.
Camera obscura experience
Sat 10 & Sun 11 Oct 2015
As part of Brisbane Open House visit Hilton Brisbane, designed by renowned Australian Architect Harry Seidler, to experience the magic of the obscura, a live artwork unfolding before your eyes.
Robyn and her subjects exhibition tour
Sat 21 Nov 2015
Hear all sides of the story with an intimate tour led by Robyn Stacey and three of her most arresting subjects, Michael Rayner; Yimesret Gebrewold and Maroochy Barambah, Songwoman and Law-woman Turrbal people.
Children's activity: Sunprints
Mon 28 Sep – Fri 2 Oct 2015
Learn about one of the oldest photographic print-making processes that harnesses the power of the sun in our hands-on children's workshop.
Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land will run from 18 September 2015 to 3 April 2016. Museum of Brisbane is open daily from 10am to 5pm, on level three of Brisbane City Hall – entry is free.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.