Queer, Blak and Here
Dylan MooneyIt’s about telling our story of resilience, thriving, survival, how far we’ve come as a people, what we’ve achieved… and where we’ll be in the future.
Dylan Mooney is a Yuwi man from Mackay, a Torres Strait Islander man from Erub and Badu Islands and an Australian-born South Sea Islander. Dylan works across painting, printmaking, digital illustration, and drawing.
These portraits deftly illustrate issues affecting the artist’s lived experience. He narrates his identity as a proud, queer, Indigenous man. Subjects stand proudly and defiantly, gazing out at the viewer. The combination of digital technology and social commentary unites the artist’s sense of optimism with a profound understanding of both historical and contemporary issues.
Fiona FoleyFiona Foley is descended from the Badtjala people of Thoorgine or K’gari (Fraser Island). She is one of Australia’s most senior Indigenous artists and academics. Her concept for this artwork was developed in homage to the encyclopaedic knowledge about ‘country’ which is at the heart of traditional Aboriginal societies. The work includes images of native flowers, bees and plants; an iconic anthropological photograph of an Indigenous man from the Queensland rainforest harvesting native bee honey; relevant words for the bee in two local Indigenous languages; and 3D native bee sculptures, representing the distinctive native bee itself. Foley also references the healing properties of honey and its important use in Indigenous food and ceremony as a source of medicine and energy.
Fragments of Redlands: the eucalyptus
Tamika Grant-IramuIn these prints, Tamika Grant-Iramu finds ways of connecting with the different threads of her Torres Strait Islander, Papua New Guinean, and European heritage, referencing carving techniques and storytelling aesthetics.
Tamika’s practice focuses on often unnoticed, minute aspects of the natural environment and native flora from which she creates relief prints with a diverse range of organic patterns and forms.
Tamika’s work came to prominence in 2018, when she was recognised as a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). Drawn from 308 entries, Tamika’s work was selected amongst the 66 that were unveiled in the NATSIAA exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory (MAGNT).
Vinyl-cut on Hahnemuhle paper
Deb MostertUnder the auspices of the Delta Society Australia, friendly volunteers and their canine sidekicks form therapy teams for hospitals, workplaces, schools, and other facilities. At the Queensland Children’s Hospital, we are grateful to receive these visits several times a week, facilitated by the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
This portrait is of Nanook, an Alaskan Malamute who was a larger-than-life member of the therapy dog team at Queensland Children’s Hospital from May 2016 until his untimely death from illness in May 2020. The artwork honours and celebrates the impact therapy animals have on the lives of the children and young people who are treated at the hospital. Nanook was affectionate, friendly, dignified, loyal, playful, and calm and dearly loved by all who encountered him.
The painting is by Deb Mostert who is well-known as a local artist who captures the depth of character of the animals she portrays.
Oil on linen
Koala as Object
Deb MostertThis artwork is part of a series titled Animal as Object – nature and culture, which Deb worked on after extensive research at the Queensland Museum. She has explored the concept of animal as object in the context of both museum taxidermy and ‘the souvenir’.
Deb Mostert has been a practising artist for over 30 years. Her latest artistic endeavours have incorporated science concepts and new research on global and environmental changes, including those that impact bird populations. Deb has exhibited widely in Australia and her work is held in many collections, including the Ipswich Art Gallery, Redland Art Gallery, and HOTA collections.
More from this artist:
- Wallaby as Object
- Turtle as Object
Our endangered bernaysii
Elisa Jane Carmichael (Language group Ngugi)Elisa Jane Carmichael is a Quandamooka woman who honours her salt-water heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country. She embraces traditional techniques, and expresses contemporary adaptations through her weaving, painting, photo media and textiles.
Each of Carmichael’s pieces capture and re-imagine stories passed on from her elders and promote cultural continuity of traditions that were almost entirely lost to the impact of colonisation. Our endangered bernaysii depicts an orchid that is at risk from loss of habitat and unsanctioned harvesting.
Ochre, raffia, lomandra
James AngusJames Angus decided to make his daughter a mobile shortly before her birth. He found the process calmed his nerves and the sculpture embodied his hopes for the future. He used a geometry textbook for reference, paper mâché and enamel paint. The artist drew on this very private experience to design this large-scale mobile for the hospital. A mobile is a familiar object, which plays an important role in early childhood development.
It provides an optical experience that can be alternately relaxing and stimulatory, scientific, and playful.
Seduction Suite (Iced VoVo, Tim Tam, Vegemite, Aeroplane Jelly)
Ian Waldron (Language group Kurtjar)The first paid form of artwork Ian Waldron made was for advertising in Supermarkets. He created posters for shop windows, to promote new products and special offers. He says this work taught him about composition and to balance colour, and to use text to help the viewer make a personal connection. Without my background in advertising, I don’t think I would have such an insight into how the audience responds to visual stimuli.
These works obviously reflect on Ian’s background in sign writing and ticket writing, but they also reference food rations, used as payment to Indigenous men on stations for their work throughout history.
Ian worked in advertising and various industries before studying Visual Arts at the Northern Territory University in the 1990s. Throughout his art practice he pays tribute to the story of the Kurtjar people in his homeland of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Ian has worked prolifically in his studio in Far North Queensland over the last years. Ian was the winner of the 2010 Glover Prize, Tasmania, and has been selected as a finalist three times in The Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. His works are held in numerous private and public collections nationally.
Archival ink on polycotton
Naomi Hobson (Language group Kaatju/Umpila)Artist Naomi Hobson is known for her photographs, ceramics, and fiercely colourful paintings. Her practice is informed by her deep connection to Country, and her experiences growing up with her Grandparents, camping ‘out bush’ for months at a time and visiting places to help keep them alive and healthy. She was born and lives in Coen, a small community of 300 people, located west of the Great Dividing Range on the Cape York Peninsula.
This work may appear to be an abstract composition, but it is a highly personal record of County, and of the cultural and ecological significance of the Cassowary. Naomi’s vivid colour palette references the bright environment in Cape York and signifies family, Ancestors, and stories.
Namoi Hobson held her first solo exhibition in 2013 and was a finalist in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Awards, as well as many others.
Acrylic on canvas
Hunting in the Swamp
Adrian King – Language group: Lama LamaAdrian King was a member of the renowned Lockhart River Art Gang which gained recognition as a unique, contemporary Indigenous art movement in the 1990s. This painting is about Adrian’s connection to ‘Sandbeach’ country and culture.
The artist typically uses brilliant colours to depict the vibrancy of the rainforest and reef in his work. His landscapes depict charming scenes of outstation life or favourite fishing or hunting spots and they express the importance of ‘getting back to county’.
Adrian’s painting involves the meticulous placement of details. He closely observes how things are organised and how people fit into the picture of life.
Acrylic paint on canvas
Joanne BraddyJoanne seeks to identify the strength of the human mind and investigate a range of emotions through her work. She aims to have viewers connect with her work, by focusing on the human face, and conveying expression in the eyes. She hopes to raise awareness of the struggles and strengths of people dealing with mental illness and depression.
Joanne has described her artwork as reflecting her journey from darkness to light, from the pain of mental illness to discovering that art could help her ‘find her voice’. The artist found she could open up about her challenges when she started studying art. She said she found it empowering. I was a shut-away, shy, and troubled person, but I found, through art, who I was and what I wanted. Joanne is passionate about sharing her story and about learning to celebrate and live with the light and dark.
Warual and Waru Kazi
Brian Robinson – Waiben, Thursday Island, Language groups: Kala Lagaw and WuthanthiBrian’s work for the hospital is based on the journeys of turtles and their hatchlings along the Queensland coastline. Waru Kazi means young turtle. The artworks tell the stories of three Queensland turtle species – Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead turtles. A focal point of the building’s landscaped entry precinct, the etched concrete discs are scattered around the ground plane in a way that emulates the compelling journeys of the hatchlings on the way to the sea. The artworks use visual and textural elements, reflecting the natural environment of Queensland’s east coast and Great Barrier Reef and incorporating the intricate extensions of traditional motifs, animal tracks and land, sea and air patterns prevalent in Torres Strait Islander cultures. Their circular shape also reflects the shape of petri dishes used in medical research and the bird’s eye view one would see when looking through a microscope.
A Little Community
Emily FloydA Little Community is a site-specific installation responding to the dynamic tree-form architecture of the Queensland Children’s Hospital. A sculptural branch extends from each floor of the atrium, populated by young and adult Eclectus parrots, a species whose habitat extends from the Pacific to the North Queensland rainforest. I wanted to make an optimistic, colourful artwork and the beautiful markings of the Eclectus parrots offered great inspiration. The higher branches in the building are populated by male parrots, whose green colours offer camouflage in the tree foliage; below in the lower levels the female Eclectus like to search for berries, seeds and fruit, as part of their healthy high-fibre diet. Their markings range in the red colour spectrum.
Children are the most perceptive and astute audience for contemporary art. I wanted A Little Community to be readily accessible, speaking directly to a new generation of techno savvy, expert communicators. In some well-known desert island and pirate stories, the character of a parrot could be said to be a bit like a device for recording the adventure, a living iPod. “’Now that bird,’ Treasure Island’s Long John Silver says of his parrot Captain Flint, ‘is, maybe, two hundred years old… She’s sailed with England – the great Cap’n England, the pirate. She’s been at Madagascar, and at Malabar, and Surinam, and Providence, and Portobello… She was at the boarding of the Viceroy of the Indies out of Goa, she was, and to look at her you would think she was a baby.’”
Helga GrovesRiver Branches represents a collage of elements referring to the significance of the Brisbane River and the flora and fauna of Queensland.
Each individual panel reveals a layering of three elements. The first traces topographical sections of the Brisbane River and its tributaries. The second element, embedded within the river lines, uses text quoting interesting facts and figures sourced from Queensland Museum publications. The third element, an overlay of individual multi-coloured forms from the natural world, acts as the dominant visual motif. The forms were initially created from the process of ink blotting onto folded paper, a craft activity which is very familiar to children. The shapes resemble bats, cicadas, sea creatures, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, flowers and leaves, resulting from firsthand observation and research undertaken at the Queensland Museum.
The Queensland Children’s Hospital, the LEGO version
Ryan McNaughtThe LEGO models of the Queensland Children’s Hospital were made in 2011 by Ryan McNaught, aka The Brickman. They were commissioned from Australia’s only certified LEGO Artist as a way of introducing patients, families, staff and community members to the design of the new hospital.
When the models were unveiled, long-term patients of the Mater and Royal childrens’ hospitals helped The Brickman put the finishing touches on the buildings.
The models, which include LEGO patients, doctors, nurses, ambulances and helicopters, took Mr McNaught about a month each to build, working 12 hours a day. He used architects’ plans, artists’ impressions and 3D renderings of the hospital to create the LEGO version. Each model comprises more than 170, 000 pieces of LEGO.
The Brickman is a former Melbourne IT worker who was talent-spotted by LEGO after he made a replica of an A380 aircraft and posted it on the Internet. He was invited to the United States to become certified as a professional designer of LEGO commissions and is now one of only 13 people licensed worldwide to produce these interesting works of art.
Stormie MillsPink bunnies first appeared at the Brisbane Festival in 2014, at various inner city locations. After the festival, a bunny was donated to the hospital and has guarded the entrance ever since. The 4 metre tall sculptures relate to characters that appear and reappear in the artist’s practice. They don’t have faces so people are free to project their own thoughts and feelings onto the artwork. For the artist, Brisbane itself is a bit like a rabbit warren, divided into zones by the meandering river. He describes Brisbane as so many different things, “really old buildings and new buildings, older people and younger people, beautiful Queenslander homes and big, gleaming skyscrapers; suburbs with apartment blocks and just up the road you are surrounded by bushland.”
Fibreglass and acrylic paint
The Glad Tomorrow 2014-2018
Tony Albert – Language groups: Girramay, East Cape region, Kuku Yalanji, East Cape regionThis sculpture acts as a constellation of cross-boomerangs flowing around the columns on Raymond Terrace at the entrance to the Queensland Children’s Hospital. The cross-boomerang is a unique motif that comes from Tony’s Country in the rainforests of North Queensland. It is a symbol of protection. The artist designed the motif to welcome children, their families and friends into the hospital.
Sculptural installation: hard wood, acrylic paint, stainless steel
Me Me Dreaming 2014
Richard Bell – Language groups: Kamilaroi, Kooma, Jiman, Gurang GurangThis series of paintings and prints includes highly coloured panels in which many layers of the words ‘Me, Me, Me’ are repeated, like a chant of self-affirmation. The artist has altered the perspective of the paintings so that from some angles the words read ‘We, we, we’ as a reminder that individuals need communities and vice versa. The artwork depicts the cathartic experience of artistic self-expression and art’s positive function in the developing child, from childhood to adolescence and beyond.
Acrylic paint and digital prints on panel
Megan CopeMegan is a descendant of the Quandamooka people from Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island. She explores the impact of settlement on Aboriginal people by studying old records such as maps and planning documents. Each location she paints is an important site in local Indigenous history. Megan overlays the maps with her own painting (including in this case the beautiful blue waters of Moreton Bay) as a way of reclaiming the land and sea for her people. Many of the places she chooses to paint are familiar to families as favourite holiday destinations.
Maps, Indian ink and acrylic on canvas
Guutu (vessel) 2013
Shirley Macnamara – Language groups: Indjilanji/AlyewarreBorn in North-west Queensland, Shirley Macnamara spent most of her childhood moving between remote cattle stations across Camooweal, the Alyewarre Lands, and surrounding Country. She draws inspiration from her beloved bush country and favours using natural materials to create woven objects working mostly with Spinifex, a native grass that grows in abundance throughout remote Australia. This material that embodies strength and utility; to Shirley, Spinifex signifies the resilience of her people, and the many uses this natural material has for them. Traditionally, Spinifex and its resin have medicinal and spiritual applications.
Twined spinifex, natural ochre, resin and synthetic polymer fixative
Danie Mellor – Language groups: Mamu/NgadjonjiDanie was born of Aboriginal and Anglo-Australian heritage and he maintains strong links with his mother’s Country on the Atherton Tablelands. His meticulous works on paper capture subjects which remind of a tropical paradise, but always with a sting in the tail. For instance, the artist depicts this scene as a literal ‘golden age’ in the rainforest. However, the butterflies perched on the trees, although they bear the colours of Aboriginal sovereignty, are in fact ‘Monarch’ butterflies, which arrived in Australia as recently as the 1870s.
Mixed media on panel
Gary Namponan – Language groups: Wik-Alkan/Wik-NgathanAurukun is situated on the western side of Cape York Peninsula. It is one of the larger communities, established as a Presbyterian mission in 1904. The Wik and Kugu Arts and Crafts Centre is an important community hub. Artists of Aurukun are famous for their sculptures, the most popular among them being camp dogs. This series of prints immortalises the famous Aurukun dogs in a new medium, printmaking. In almost all Aboriginal communities throughout Australia, dogs dominate the landscape. They roam the streets in packs and lie in the shade; in the evening, they seek out an ‘owner’ to feed them leftovers. Collectively they are known as ‘camp dogs’ and in the case of Aurukun, have the name ‘Ku’.
Etching on paper with added colour
Eric Norman – Language group: ThaayorreEric Norman is an artist and traditional owner from Pormpuraaw, an Aboriginal Community located 700 kms northwest of Cairns on the Cape York Peninsula. Eric was born in Pormpuraaw and went to school there. He paints the wetlands (Pambe) around his homeland and shows how the rainy season brings the country alive with flowers, grasses and birds.
Acrylic on canvas
All ya come small one 2010
Tari SagigiTari Sagigi, who has Torres Strait Islander heritage, was a founding member of the Wei’num Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and Crafts Corporation. She learned printmaking as part of a program to equip remote area artists with a range of techniques to breathe new life into stories about land, language and culture. At the time Tari was a young mother of two and her main inspiration came from the strength, calmness and love her mother passed on to her.
Etching on hanemuhle paper
Mornington Island Birri (Sea Eagle Markings) 2014
Wayne WilliamsWayne was born at Lardil and is a senior cultural custodian and a member of a big extended family. He has travelled widely as a traditional dancer and his artworks always depict the stories he is entitled to depict, passed down from the teachings of his grandparents and his knowledge of Birri country, the home of the sea eagle. In many ways for men of Wayne’s generation, painting has become a way to sing and dance again. Designs he carried on his body to countries and audiences around the world are now put on canvas as a symbol of cultural identity.
Acrylic on canvas
Healing Rock Vessel #3 2019
Elisa Jane CarmichaelLeecee is a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka Country (Moreton Island/Moorgumpin and Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland). Her practice honours her cultural heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, utilising traditional techniques and expressing contemporary adaptations, through the mediums of painting, weaving, photography and textiles. Leecee comes from a family of artists and curators, and works closely with her female kin to revive, nurture and preserve knowledge and cultural practices.
Synthetic polymer on canvas
Marlene Holroyd – Language groups: Kugu and ThaayorreThis whimsical sculpture is made from ‘Ghost nets’ – nets that are discarded by commercial fishing boats and then wash up on reefs and beaches, often with a detrimental impact on marine life and ecosystems. People from many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the region collect and repurpose the nets, for both artworks and utilitarian purposes. Aside from the fun and interesting items such as this sculpture, there is a serious environmental message in these works.
Ghost nets, found materials, acrylic paint
My home my people 2014
Elizabeth Queenie Giblet – Language group: UmpilaElizabeth Giblet, known as “Queenie” by all at her Lockhart River community, is one of the respected Old Girls, a senior Umpila woman who was born at the original mission station at Lockhart before WWII. Her paintings often depict her stories of weaving and body painting associated with ceremony. However in this artwork she paints the distinctive grid-like pattern of the streets and homes in her community, and its proximity to sea, sand and tropical forests.
Acrylic on canvas