Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has kicked off 5th birthday celebrations for the Gallery of Modern Art
by announcing the winner of a $1 million sculpture commission and unveiling a model of the new art work.
The Premier also marked the occasion by opening the childrens exhibition we miss you magic land, by Perth artists Pip and Pop.
Its hard to believe that its been five years since GoMA opened its doors here in Brisbane, Ms Bligh said.
Since then more than 3.8 million people have come to the gallery to see works by some of the worlds most influential artists, like Andy Warhol, Valentino and Picasso, as well as Australian and Queensland artists.
GoMA really has helped to transform the cultural landscape of Queensland and set a new standard for contemporary art museums in Australia.
The Premier said she was pleased to announce internationally recognised New Zealand artist Michael Parekowhai had been selected to undertake the Premier of Queenslands Sculpture Commission with his proposed sculpture The World Turns.
The commission celebrates GoMAs fifth birthday in December this year and the 20th anniversary of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) next year, she said.
The finished sculpture, a life-sized bronze elephant tipped on its head and eye-to-eye with a kuril, the local native water rat, which gives Kurilpa Point its name, will be unveiled on the banks of the Brisbane River at GoMA's eastern corner, at the opening of The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in December 2012.
Mr Parekowhais 2006 piece the The Horn of Africa is current owned by the Queensland Art Gallery and has been a popular exhibition piece at the museum.
The World Turns successfully draws connections between the river, GoMA and the adjacent State Library of Queensland; and is simultaneously contemplative and humorous.
Michael Parekowhai has been featured in major international exhibitions and biennials, including the 5th APT in 2006.
The artist was selected from a shortlist of three very highly regarded artists from the Asia Pacific region, who have undertaken significant international public art sculptures.
This commission is being funded by the State Governments art+place Queensland Public Art Fund and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation.
Following the announcement Ms Bligh officially opened we miss you magic land!, created by Perth-based artist duo Pip & Pop (Tanya Schultz and Nicole Andrijevic), and then joined some local five-year olds in cutting a Pip & Pop--inspired fantasy birthday cake.
It is very appropriate to celebrate GoMAs fifth anniversary with a major new exhibition for children as they have been a key part of the GoMA story over the past five years, she said.
GoMAs Children's Art Centre is a recognised leader in providing contemporary art exhibitions, interactive programs, and more recently publications for young audiences.
GoMA has been well and truly embraced by locals and visitors alike and has made significant cultural, social, educational, and economic contributions to Queensland.
Arts Minister Rachel Nolan said the Gallery has fundamentally changed Queensland and the State Government couldnt be more pleased with its results.
Since the Gallery opened almost five years ago, GoMA and the Queensland Art Gallery have hosted blockbuster exhibitions such as Andy Warhol, Picasso and his collection, American Impressionism and Realism, Valentino, and Surrealism, Ms Nolan said.
Almost 50% of ticketholders to these exhibitions visited from outside Brisbane and the five shows collectively contributed more than $47 million to Queenslands economy, meaning GoMA is not just an arts investment but also a great boost for the local economy.
Queensland Art Gallery Director Tony Ellwood said GoMAs newest exhibition, we miss you magic land! was an extraordinary project, the likes of which has never been seen before at the Gallery.
The exhibition has transformed the Childrens Art Centre into an immersive series of magical worlds, made from intricate layers of fluorescent-coloured sugar, glitter, modeling clay, and tiny figurines, inspired by children's stories, creation myths, Buddhist cosmologies, video games and folktales, Mr Ellwood said.
Visitors will be transported as they wander over pathways and bridges, through mind-boggling displays of colour and light to explore a number of different imaginary worlds.