Official opening of the Royal Queensland Art Society Biennial
Thank you, Madam President, for your warm welcome tonight. I too acknowledge our special guests at what is a historic event for the Royal Queensland Art Society.
For 130 years the Society has supported our Queensland artists – a remarkable achievement and one which is certainly worth celebrating.
The impressionist era, one of the most studied and successful passages of time for Australian art, was a tribute to our harsh countryside when the first Queensland National Art Gallery was opened with the Society’s support back in 1895.
In fact, many of the iconic images from this time – raw portrayals of Australian pastoralists and their struggles on the land – remain as relevant today as they were then, given the effects of our State’s ongoing drought.
It is only fitting then that the Society, this gallery, and its many exhibitions continue to be committed to our established Queensland artists and our emerging talents.
Kaye and I had the privilege of viewing the Queensland Figurative exhibition earlier, and it is truly wonderful to see a showcase of the best our State has to offer.
We are very much looking forward to the awarding of prizes in a matter of moments, and we wish you all the very best.
Like the famed impressionists some 130 years ago, you have created two-dimensional works which elicit a response.
And while we do not all share the same response to a work of art, emotion is part of the very fabric – in many cases quite literally the fabric of canvas – of what you create.
Looking to the weeks following Queensland Figurative, this wonderful artistic initiative includes exhibitions of drawing – a tribute to the inaugural Gallery Director, Mr Harold Richardson, and his wife Agnes – and a celebration of our State’s young artists in October.
I congratulate everyone involved in this tremendous trio of exhibitions, from the Brisbane Branch members for their organisation, to the State body – from Rockhampton in the north to the Gold Coast in the south – for all of their ongoing support.
Thank you also to the artists of all ages who have put their works on display for our State to see.
You are all playing a role in the advancement of art in Queensland.
And so it is now, with the greatest of pride and pleasure, that I declare the Royal Queensland Art Society Biennial officially open!