Official Opening of 2015 Brisbane Sculpture Festival and Presentation of The Shillam Award
Thank you, Madam President, for your kind words of welcome. I too acknowledge Shadow Minister Walker and Councillor de Wit.
It is appropriate that this beneficial festival takes place here in Brisbane’s historic Botanic Gardens. Just up the hill from this very Auditorium, opposite the Lookout, installations by Queensland Aboriginal artist Bianca Beetson remind us that people have been gathering on these lands and using art to interpret their surroundings for thousands of years.
Public art by its very nature sparks intrigue. (I am sure you are all keenly aware, as I am, that that intrigue is not always without controversy).
Of all the art forms, sculpture uniquely provides a tactile way of engaging our citizenry in public spaces.
Sculptures enliven our shared corridors. They arrest and divert our attention and mark sites of special significance.
From what I have seen so far, the entries in this year’s Festival certainly fulfil those stipulations, and many will continue to do so until August.
Incidentally, in my previous life I recall one of Sculptors Queensland’s founding members Dr Rhyl Hinwood was commissioned to sculpt a ceramic Royal Coat of Arms for the old courts on George Street. It was taken down and somewhat hastily reassembled in the move to the QEII Courts of Law in twenty-twelve. It now sits slightly but endearingly askew just outside the Chief Justice’s Court in the Level 3 Gallery. I am sure Dr Hinwood would excuse my pointing out that that sculpture I understand still requires repositioning; something I was unfortunately unable to attend to before my departure to Government House.
As your Governor it is an honour to be able to support Sculptors Queensland’s endeavours, and the arts more broadly; your pursuits invariably bind our citizenry in an uplifting way.
I thank the board, staff, volunteers, sculptors and supporters of the Festival and Sculptors Queensland.
I very much look forward shortly to presenting this year’s awards, particularly the flagship Shillam Award named after the redoubtable sculpting duo Leonard and Kathleen Shillam.
Before I do that, and without further ado, I warmly and enthusiastically declare open the twenty-fifteen Brisbane Sculpture Festival.