QAGOMA Foundation Annual Dinner
Our 24th Queensland Governor and 25th Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce and Mr Michael Bryce; our Foundation President, Mr Tim Fairfax; Members of the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees; QAGOMA Director, Chris Saines; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It gives me great pleasure, with Kaye, to join you for this annual dinner of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art Foundation.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and express respect for their Elders, past and present.
As we continue to celebrate GOMA’s extraordinarily beneficial and enriching story, 10 years on, the Foundation could not have chosen a more fitting focus for its 2017 Appeal than bringing to life James Turrell’s ‘Architectural Light’ commission.
I acknowledge and thank everyone who has already made a contribution to help bring this long-awaited vision to reality, including the Queensland Government, Paul and Susan Taylor and the Neilson Foundation.
GOMA is an icon of South Bank, and this installation will reaffirm its place as a literal – as well as metaphorical – beacon of City and State cultural capability.
This Foundation sits at the intersection between QAGOMA and the community, and the ongoing support of everyone here tonight is vital to ensuring this institution continues to evolve and inspire, to challenge, to delight and enrich our community.
We gather at a time of fervent activity and intense excitement for the Galleries.
In an exhibition The Australian newspaper described as “the most ambitious rehang of QAGOMA’s 200-work Australian collection since the gallery opened’, “Your Australian Collection: Reimagined”, for example, is shedding new light and opening new narratives on our history… something which did not escape the attention of His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, during his impromptu visit of this exhibition, as it was being hung, in late September.
The Aboriginal Masterworks from the Holmes à Court collection currently on display are mesmerising and deeply enriching.
And Gerhard Richter’s “The Life of Images” will no doubt be an extraordinary testament to this gifted artist, whose technical virtuosity and rigorous practice makes him such a towering figure in contemporary art.
While these Exhibitions are unquestionably wonderful drawcards, GOMA’s true strength lies in the breadth of its permanent collection.
Given that more than 43% of the Gallery’s collection comes from Foundation sources, I say simply, on behalf of the people of Queensland, and on behalf of everyone who visits the Galleries, in increasing numbers – ‘thank you’.
May I particularly publicly thank those supporters who gave so generously through donations and bequests, and gifted artwork, in this record year for the Foundation. Also it is appropriate to mention with gratitude the support of the late Win Schubert and the support of former Chair, the late Professor John Hay, both of whom will be sorely missed.
I am very proud to be your Patron and Governor, and on the occasion of this annual dinner, I hope, as does Kaye, that all of you will continue to be involved in the QAGOMA Foundation, and through it, engaged in the cultural life of Queensland.