Flying Arts Alliance Regional Arts Awards and Reframe Exhibition Opening
Chair, Flying Arts Alliance Board, the Honourable Anthe Philippides SC; Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Councillor Bob Manning OAM; CEO Cairns Regional Council, Ms Mica Martin; Deputy Mayor Councillor Terry James; Queensland Symphony Orchestra Chair, Mr Rod Pilbeam; QSO Chief Executive, Ms Yarmila Alfonzetti; Arts Queensland Director of Partnerships and Investments North, Mr Stephen Ung; Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts CEO, Ms Tracy Hart; Chair of Camerata, Dr Pamela Greet; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Cairns, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today.
I thank Gudju Gudju Fourmile for his Welcome to Country.
When Graeme and I attended the Queensland Regional Art Awards in Cairns in February last year, I had been Governor of Queensland for not quite four months.
That was my very first official visit to Cairns, and one of the most memorable experiences was to present a patronage certificate to the Flying Arts Alliance.
I was also honoured to officially launch the marvellous 2021 touring exhibition, Paint the Town, at the Court House Gallery before it headed off on its two-year journey around the State.
This year, I am delighted to be here to see how artists living in regional, rural and remote Queensland have responded to the 2022 challenge to reframe their view of our rapidly changing world.
Despite the challenges of recent years, and particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, our State’s artists demonstrated the type of resilience for which Queenslanders are so well known, submitting an unprecedented two hundred works for Reframe – a marvellous result.
As Patron, I have also been very pleased to see the Alliance adopt the Ekphrasis Challenge for the third year, in partnership with Queensland Poetry.
To present those twelve-line poems alongside the award-winning works is particularly fitting for this year’s theme, because the poems also encourage viewers to reconsider – to reframe – their response to our world and its challenges.
I congratulate and thank the Board, staff, and judges who worked so hard to ensure the success of this year’s tour.
Residents of Charleville, Longreach, Blackall and Moranbah have already had the chance to see the exhibition, and I am confident the people of Cairns will respond with equal interest over the next few weeks.
I also acknowledge and thank its principal supporters, the Queensland Government and Holding Redlich, as well as Creative Partnerships Australia, the award partners, and the many other sponsors and donors, including your Cultural Patrons, Tim and Gina Fairfax and the Fairfax Family Foundation.
Finally, I congratulate the award winners, but also thank and commend each of those two hundred entrants and wish them well for their future development as artists.
Every one of them has helped make the Queensland Regional Art Awards a reality and has kept Merv Moriarty’s dream alive. Thank you.