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Sam Cranstoun: Impossible Conversations - FREE Exhibition

Home > Brisbane > Art | Community Events | Exhibitions | Free | Museums
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
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Imagined dialogues with historical figures
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)


Have you heard of Sam Cranstoun? He is one of Brisbane's exciting new artists. In his eponymous exhibition at the wonderful Museum of Brisbane, Sam Cranstoun: Impossible Conversations, he examines cultural identity. His beautiful series of watercolour paintings travels through continents and the centuries.

Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)


Sam said he was inspired by Vanity Fair, the popular American magazine which covers fashion, culture and current affairs. In the 1930s Jazz Age, they ran a satirical series entitled Impossible Interviews. Think of Sigmund Freud chatting with Jean Harlow. In this vein, nine contemporary Brisbanites shared conversations they would have liked to have had with famous figures from history; Italian history.

Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)


Sam then reinterpreted these interviews in a series of watercolours that provide hints of these meetings of minds via imagery and text. The audience is then invited to weave their own narratives. This innovative exhibition is FREE and runs until 31 March. It is presented in conjunction with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre to celebrate QPAC's international series featuring Italy's Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company. Now that's what I call mixed media. For further details, see the Museum of Brisbane's website here.

Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)


The selected mix of historical have been "drawn" from the fields of science, politics, religion, and art. The famous Italians depicted include:
Saint Agatha, the Saint of Sicily
author Dante
astronomer Galileo Galilei
adventurer Casanova
an Italian nonno.

Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)


These extraordinary individuals have been paired with locals with an Italian connection. They too are drawn from a variety of walks of life: a Brisbane restaurateur, a retired builder, a student, and an artist. Don't forget to collect a free glossary programme which explains more about the conversationalists, their heroes and Sam's art.

Sam cranstoun, artist, impossible conversations, Italian, vanity fair, mob
Museum of Brisbane (image by May Cross)


Museum of Brisbane
The museum is located on Level 3 (take the specially marked elevator), under the Clock Tower at City Hall, King George Square, Brisbane CBD. You can view one of Brisbane's Beautiful Domes from the museum reception. City Hall and the Museum are wheelchair accessible.

The Museum is open every day from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm with Friday nights closing later at 7.00 pm to allow you a twilight tour. Make sure to leave time to check out the MoB gift shop. You can pick up some bespoke gifts created by Brisbane designers and artist or gourmet goodies from local pantries.

Transport is very convenient to the Museum with both Roma Street Train Station and Central Train Station, just a five minute walk away. There is a major bust interchange underneath King George Square and in Queen Street Mall as well as many bus stops in Adelaide Street. Parking is available under the City Hall with a $5.00 special at weekends and evenings.

Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
Art by Sam Cranstoun (image by May Cross)
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Why? To see an unusual exhibition for free
When: until 31 March
Phone: 07 3339 0800
Where: Museum of Brisbane, City Hall, King George Square, Brisbane
Cost: FREE
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