Official Opening of the Access Arts’ Exhibition Journey to the Other Side
Access Arts Chair, Justice Bradley; Chief Executive, Ms Pat Swell; KPMG Queensland Chairman, Mr Michael Miller; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands around Brisbane, extending respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
As Patron of Access Arts I am proud to be joining you on International Day of People with Disability.
I always have great pleasure in attending these Access Arts’ exhibitions, not only to enjoy and appreciate the marvellous artworks, but also to meet our artists and understand the journey that has brought them here.
For 37 years, Access Arts and their enthusiastic supporters have been providing those who live with disability or disadvantage opportunities to develop and share their creative talents.
The Access Arts’ workshops programme provides a safe, social environment for artists to explore and develop their skills and abilities. So, in March this year it was of great concern when the coronavirus threatened to derail this valuable community activity.
Thanks to the organisation’s well-honed teamwork, workshops quickly transitioned to an online format, and it was tremendous to see that 545 workshops were successfully delivered despite the challenges.
The visual arts are integral to every community. Creative endeavours have the power to transform lives.
We often see art succeeding, where words fail.
Through art, new voices are found, and can enlighten audiences with alternative perspectives to the world we share.
Tonight, we are privileged to be viewing the work of so many talented Queenslanders.
The pieces were created at the Brisbane Outsider Artists’ Studio or as part of Professional Artists’ Workshop Programmes, and many reflect the impact COVID-19 had on the artists’ lives during 2020.
I imagine it was, at times, extremely challenging to express your creativity in an online, locked down world.
This exhibition demonstrates how you achieved equanimity and meaning through your art during that difficult period.
I once again applaud KPMG for their ongoing commitment and generous contribution to this annual event. Without this impressive exhibition space, our artists and their work would remain hidden from the broader Queensland community.
Now is perhaps a good time to gently remind you of another important objective of this exhibition.
Art is also about matching artworks with happy owners! – and every artist here tonight is very keen to sell their work!
In a moment we will join our gifted Queenslanders and “Journey to the Other Side” as they share their stories with us.
But now, it is a great honour as Governor and Patron to declare officially open the 2020 Access Arts’ Exhibition.