14 April 2014

A truly remarkable Outing

This morning, we jumped on a bus into town with the U3A Camera Club. Destination the Gallery of Modern Art at South Bank. Now, I might be ever so slightly biased, but I am certain that GOMA at Brisbane ranks amongst the top modern art galleries in the English Speaking World. My well travelled, very arty daughter agrees with me.

Presently, there is one of the most dramatic exhibitions held at GOMA, ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’ presents major new works by a truly global artist, whose large-scale installations and explosion events have made him one of the most innovative figures in contemporary art. Over the past 25 years, Cai Guo Qiang has held solo exhibitions at some of the world’s most prestigious art institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York. Following recent exhibitions in Qatar, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro and Venice, QAGOMA presents ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’ — the artist’s first solo exhibition in Australia and a GOMA exclusive.

Members of the club mingled with the public to capture the exhibits

‘Falling Back to Earth’, presented by Tourism and Events Queensland and Santos GLNG Project, features four installations, including two newly commissioned works directly inspired by the landscapes of southeast Queensland, which the artist visited in 2011. The centerpiece of the exhibition Heritage 2013 — features 99 replicas of animals from around the world, gathered together to drink from a blue lake surrounded by pristine white sand, reminiscent of the lakes of Moreton Bay’s islands.
Animals gather around the lake to drink
At first, it looked to me as if the lake was a coloured plastic sheet, but one of the staff members assured me it is real water. It looks amazing. There is a boardwalk all around the lake for the visitors and sand to the edge of the lake. Visitors are not allowed onto the pristine white sand.

The other major installation, — Head On 2006 — is a striking installation of 99 artificial wolves leaping en masse into a glass wall, on display in Australia for the first time.
Both spectacular and meditative, and presenting a beautiful, thought-provoking vision of our relationship with the earth and with each other, ‘Falling Back to Earth’ is a must-see exhibition. Here, visitors can walk amongst the animals up close, which made perfect subjects for close-up photography.

If this exhibit ever visits your city, I strongly recommend you go and see it.