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Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s-1980s

Vida Lahey, Art and nature

Vida Lahey, Australia 1882-1968 / Art and nature 1934 / Watercolour over pencil Support on cardboard / Gift of the Queensland Art Fund 1950 in memory of Miss Madge Roe (1891-1938) / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © QAGOMA

Cover

Publication: Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s–1980s

Transparent

Inspired by the delicate nature of watercolours, Executive Chef Josue Lopez has created a mouth-watering lunch special to coincide with ‘Transparent’.
Hervey Bay scallop ravioli, charred red pepper salsa and basil oil is available 10am – 3pm daily from the QAG Cafe until 20 July / $20.00 includes a glass of house wine

22 March – 20 July 2014
Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
Free

Opening Hours
Daily: 10.00am – 5.00pm

‘Transparent’ explores the long and diverse history of watercolour painting in Queensland. The exhibition brings together over 150 watercolours from the Gallery’s Collection, demonstrating the enduring appeal of the medium. Used by early settlers to depict the landscape, by later artists to evoke the growing city of Brisbane and by wartime artists to record daily activities, the medium of watercolour is portable and adaptable, perfect for capturing quick impressions.

It demonstrates the medium’s important role in Queensland’s visual history from its earliest colonial beginnings. The 1980s is considered by some to be watercolour’s most exuberant and expressionistic decade following an intense period of creativity in the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition falls into major groupings: the early colonial era and late nineteenth century, modern watercolour developments in the early twentieth century, the challenges of World War Two, and the more recent development of a local strain of expressionism. The exhibition includes the watercolours of Joe Rootsey which show the powerful connection of Aboriginal Australians with the land. The unique qualities of the medium are revealed in the considerable achievements of Queensland’s watercolour artists who occupy a significant place in the history of Australian art.

Artists featured in this exhibition include Conrad Martens, Harriet Jane Neville-Rolfe, J.J. Hilder, Vida Lahey, Kenneth Macqueen, WG Grant, Joe Rootsey and Joy Roggenkamp.

Read more about 'Transparent' on our blog | 'Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s-1980s'

Guided Tours

Daily 2.00pm | Let our Volunteer Guides share their knowledge and passion for art while taking you on a tour. Tours are free and take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  

Publication

Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s–1980s presents the first comprehensive survey of the Gallery’s watercolour collection, bringing to light many never before seen works from our substantial holdings from the mid nineteenth century to the 1980s. The beautifully illustrated publication includes a curatorial overview of the artworks, a conservator’s insight into fine artist papers and biographical notes on the artists. Artists include: Douglas Annand, Bessie Gibson, WG Grant, Douglas Green, JJ Hilder, Vida Lahey, Kenneth Macqueen, Conrad Martens, Harriet Jane Neville-Rolfe, Joy Roggenkamp, Joe Rootsey, James Wieneke, and many more. 

QAG Cafe Lunch Special

Executive Chef Josue Lopez has created a mouth-watering lunch special to coincide with ‘Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s – 1980s’. Enjoy Hervey Bay scallop ravioli, charred red pepper salsa and basil oil. Includes a glass of house wine. 

Available 10am – 3pm daily
$20 per person

No bookings required 

Programs and Events 

‘TRANSPARENT: WATERCOLOUR IN QUEENSLAND 1850s-1980s’ QUEENSLAND WEEK FLOOR TALK
11.30am Tuesday 3 June | Gallery 4, QAG
Join Michael Hawker, Associate Curator, Australian Art, QAGOMA, as he reflects on the works in the ‘Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s-1980s’ exhibition, with a specific focus on the medium’s important role in documenting Queensland’s history. Free, no bookings required.

QAGOMA 50+ HALF DAY COURSE
‘TRANSPARENT: WATERCOLOUR IN QUEENSLAND 1850s-1980s’
10.30am – 1.30pm Friday 6 June | QAG
Celebrate Queensland Day on Friday 6 June in this half day course and draw inspiration from the ‘Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s -1980s’ exhibition. Engage with and examine the unique qualities of the watercolour medium in Queensland’s artistic history in an exclusive hands-on workshop and conservation talk.

  • CONSERVATION TALK: WATERCOLOUR INSIGHTS
    Join Samantha Shellard, Conservator, Works on Paper, QAGOMA for a tour and in-depth discussion focussing on the qualities of the watercolour medium and the techniques displayed in the exhibition.
  • HANDS ON WORKSHOP: ‘A TRANSPARENT MEDIUM’
    Try your own hand at the watercolour medium in this hands-on, en plein air watercolour workshop with Hadieh Afshani, artist and lecturer, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.  Tailored especially for beginners, participants will explore techniques showcased in the ‘Transparent’ exhibition from blending, stippling and wash off to masking and layering wet on wet and wet on dry. Take part in a qualitative investigation into paper, pigments and tools to develop an understanding of colour temperature, find out about the importance of white, and achieve perspective through paint application. 
QAGOMA would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Canson Australia for the supply of watercolour materials for the workshops.
Please note that  bookings for the QAGOMA 50+ Half Day Course have now reached capacity. To place your name on a waiting list for the course, please email your name and phone number to 50plus@qagoma.qld.gov.au.

$40 General admission / $35 QAGOMA Members^ / Catered to beginners, no experience required / All materials and the workshop session are included in the price / ^A valid QAGOMA Member or Foundation card required

SUNDAY INSIGHTS
Explore 'Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s - 1980s' from a fresh perspective with monthly talks and events.

2.30pm Sunday 15 June
Colonial artists depicted Queensland as both wild and civilized, usually with a muted colour palette. In the 20th century Australian-born artists demonstrated a closer affinity with the landscapes they lived in, from farmland to the lush tropics.  Join Peter Spearritt, Professor of History, The University of Queensland, in the ‘Transparent’ exhibition, as he explores how these artists help us to understand the Queensland they sought to paint. 

Past Programs and Events 

Opening Weekend | Saturday 22 March, 12.00pm  | Gallery 4, QAG
In-conversation: Reflecting on the region | Michael Hawker, Associate Curator, Australian Art, QAGOMA reflects on the works in ‘Transparent’ with Glenn Cooke, Queensland heritage expert.

Opening Weekend | Saturday 22 March, 1.30pm | Lecture Theatre
Conservation talk: Bringing watercolour to light | Join Samantha Shellard, Conservator, Works on Paper, QAGOMA in this exploration of watercolour materials, paints and paper throughout history. 

Sunday Insights | Sunday 13 April, 1.30pm | Explorations of country: Joe Rootsey
Bruce McLean, Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, QAGOMA, examines the watercolours of Joe Rootsey in the ‘Transparent’ exhibition.

Hands-on watercolour workshop: ‘A Transparent Medium’
11.00am – 2.00pm Sunday 18 May 2014 | QAG
On International Museum Day, draw inspiration from the ‘Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s -1980s’ exhibition in this hands-on, en plein air watercolour workshop with Hadieh Afshani, artist and lecturer, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Tailored especially for beginners, participants will explore techniques showcased in the ‘Transparent’ exhibition from blending, stippling and wash off to masking and layering wet in wet and wet on dry. Take part in a qualitative investigation into paper, pigments and tools to develop an understanding of colour temperature; find out about the importance of white, and achieve perspective through paint application.  QAGOMA would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Canson Australia for the supply of watercolour materials for the workshops.  

Sunday 18 May, 2.30pm | Working with watercolour paper
On International Museum Day, join Samantha Shellard, Conservator, Works on Paper, QAGOMA for specialist insights into the medium of watercolour paper.