Sculpture at the Queensland Art Gallery

This was published more than 12 years ago

Attitudes and opinions change and evolve.

You know that feeling you get when you stumble upon something you wrote in the distant past and it's terrible? There are many cringe-worthy bits of immature writing on this website (and I'm probably still creating more).

As well as the mere cringe-worthy, there are also opinions and attitudes expressed that I no longer hold and am, frankly, embarrassed by. (Please don't go looking, they're deliberately hard to find, but left for the sake of posterity.)

I hope if you've stumbled across some here, you'll give me the benefit of the doubt.

For a good few months now, the Queensland Art Gallery has had a good portion of its sculpture collection on display. Something to be seen all too rarely for my liking. A few months back I enquired as to how long this collection would be on display and was worryingly informed that it was ‘just a space filler.’ So get down there while you can still see it!

I’ve managed to make my way down there to see it a few times now, and last weekend I finally made the time to add Sculpture at the Queensland Art Gallery to my growing collection of sculpture photography.

A dark bronze statue with a green patina. A woman, with her head back looking up to the sky, holds her hands to the sides of her face. Her face is in focus and her elbows are out of focus in the foreground.
Spring Awakening by Harold Parker, sculpted 1913, cast 1993

Although it’s mostly bronzes on display, there are a good variety of artists and styles to see, including the likes of Auguste Rodin, Harold Parker, Jacob Epstein and one or two unknown Romans/Ancient Greeks.

I’m endlessly fascinated with the Bloomsbury Group, whose members and associates seem to crop up everywhere in 20th century art, literature, politics and philosophy. One of the sculptures on display is a portrait by Jacob Epstein of his daughter Kitty. Kitty (Kathleen) Garman, happens to share a name with her mother, Epstein’s long time lover and second wife. Kathleen was one of the three Garman sisters, famous (in part) for their bohemian life styles and complex personal relationships with prominent artists, and intellectuals of the time. At one point Kathleen was shot and wounded by Epstein’s wife Margaret, however the affair continued, with Margaret even encouraging her husband into other affairs in the hope that he would soon get tired of it all and come back to her.

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend taking the time to see this exhibition before they all, sadly go back into storage (or on loan).