Official Opening and Foundation Viewing of A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift
Former Governor-General of the Commonwealth and Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce; Mr Scott Emerson MP; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to join you for the opening of this marvellous exhibition, and for an opportunity to highlight the enormous contribution made to QAGOMA by Tim Fairfax AC.
I too acknowledge, with respect to their Elders, the Traditional Custodians of the land around Brisbane.
Over the next ten months, Queenslanders will be able to see, in two “chapters”, a magnificent collection of contemporary art drawn from over 70 works gifted by Tim Fairfax. And I note that “gifted” means the acquisitions have been enabled, not dictated, by Tim.
The exhibition is titled: A World View. That may sound ambitious, but it is apt and, like all good titles, has several meanings.
The artists represented come from a geographical range that embraces most of the continents. As a result, the art works provide us with a rich diversity of perspectives drawn from many cultures and places.
The works, like the world, vary in scale from those encapsulating the small and intimate to those that tap into the idea of the vastness of the universe we inhabit.
And because we are dealing with the extraordinary human capacity for imagination and creativity, some of the works can be appreciated on both of these scales simultaneously.
The exhibition might also be said to be a world in itself, a “world” of experiences and interactions triggered by the art works. In some cases, visitors can become part of the works, moving in them and even through them.
A further element of Tim’s vision is his support for the Children’s Art Centre Program which encourages young people – who, after all, represent the next generations of artists and gallery visitors – to engage actively with works on exhibition, and with the creative process.
Tim’s support for the annual Kids on Tour program and, more broadly, for regional programs, enables people in this vast State’s regional areas to share in this opportunity to engage with works of art.
As Governor (and currently Administrator of the Commonwealth), I share with Tim the awareness that there is no less appetite in rural, regional and remote parts of our huge State for encounters with art – and no less creative urge – than there is in the larger urban centres. If anything, the opposite is the case.
Tim’s gifting is by no means his only contribution to QAGOMA. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his first formal involvement with the galleries as a member of the Board of Trustees.
In addition, Tim has been a member of the QAGOMA Foundation since 2000 and, from 2012, its Chair. His energy and leadership in these roles have contributed enormously to the Foundation’s great success in raising funds for collection development.
Quite how Tim manages all this, given his involvement in many community organisations and his business interests, has long remained a mystery to the rest of us: though, with conviction, tonight I suggest the key, which is Tim’s wonderful support from Gina. Ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in acknowledging that?
As Patron of the QAGOMA Foundation, I speak on behalf the executive, staff and supporters of QAGOMA, and as Governor of Queensland, I speak for all Queenslanders, and as Administrator, on behalf of all Australians, in thanking Tim, with Gina’s support, for his outstanding contributions to these galleries and, through them, to Queensland’s communities.
Philanthropy in general, Tim’s and Gina’s giving in particular, has enabled QAGOMA to develop even more strongly the stature and character of its contemporary art collections. It has encouraged new generations to discover the joys of engagement with the visual arts.
We can only hope that the satisfaction they derive from this is on a par with our great respect for and gratitude to them.
My tribute tonight would be incomplete without further reference to Gina. Together, Tim and Gina epitomize enduring values important to contentment in our society, not the least of which is giving, and giving generously. They are extraordinary Queensland contributors.
Returning to task! Kaye and I very much enjoyed previewing this exciting collection earlier tonight, and it is with the greatest of pleasure that I now officially open A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift. Thank you.