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Book Club


On display in GOMA from 11 July until 11 October 2015, 'GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art' will reflect and contextualise the dynamic character of Queensland art today, showcasing more than 30 artists of all generations working across the spectrum of themes and media. It will challenge expectations and demonstrate, with conviction, the inspired, innovative and inventive. Our reading list for June – October has been selected to provide Book Club members with insights into contemporary Queensland writing and stories. To join the discussions hosted by our Book Club Facilitator, Eve Jensen, please call the office to book in for one or all five sessions, or simply read along at home.

The Art Spirit

May Book Club

Robert Henri

The Art Spirit (1923)

Thursday 21 May | 10.30am or 3.00pm
Saturday 23 May | 10.30am

One of David Lynch’s favourite books, The Art Spirit by North American artist Robert Henri (1865–1929) is an inspired look at teaching, happiness and finding fulfilment through art. Also hailed as an extraordinary teacher, Henri mentored and influenced a generation of American artists. The Art Spirit embodies his teachings, with advice, critical comment and personal philosophies on art and the happiness that can be found through the arts. This combination of philosophy and arts teaching complements David Lynch’s holistic philosophies, as well as being an instructive book for any art lover.

Heat and Light

June Book Club

Ellen van Neerven

Heat and Light (2014)

Saturday 20 June | 3.00pm
Thursday 25 June | 10.30am & 3.00pm

Hosted by Eve Jensen, QAGOMA Book Club facilitator

Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award, and shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize, this critically-acclaimed work of fiction, takes readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical yet achingly real. Over three parts, young Queensland author, Ellen Van Neerven takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. Her ‘stories evoke mystery and sensuality in equal measure, while the vivid portrait of landscape leaves the taste of dust in your throat and fear in your heart.’ Australian Book Review

Thea Astley

July Book Club

Karen Lamb

Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather (2015)

Thursday 23 July | 10.30am & 3.00pm
Saturday 25 July | 3.00pm

Born in Brisbane, and educated at the University of Queensland, Thea Astley (1925 – 2004) is of one of Australian’s most respected and acclaimed novelists. Over a fifty-year writing career, Astley published more than a dozen novels and short story collections, including The Acolyte, The Slow Natives and Drylands. In Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather, Karen Lamb draws on an unparalleled range of interviews and correspondence to create a detailed picture of Thea the woman, as well as Astley the writer.

The Ash Burner

August Book Club

Kári Gíslason

The Ash Burner (2015)

Thursday 27 August | 10.30am & 3.00pm
Saturday 29 August | 3.00pm

Written with extraordinary grace and sensitivity by Brisbane writer Kári Gíslason, The Ash Burner explores beauty and desire, grief and loss, and the search for one’s true self. Growing up with his father in a small coastal town, all Ted knows about his mother is that she died when he was a boy. His father brought them halfway across the world to start anew, but her absence defines and haunts their lives. Ted eventually finds a sense of belonging through poetry, art and an unlikely friendship, but must learn to negotiate the boundaries of love, and come to terms with a legacy of secrets and silence.


In September and October, we will continue our focus on contemporary Queensland writing to celebrate 'GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art', on display in GOMA until 11 October 2015. From November we delve into stories and writing from across Asia and the Pacific for an 'APT8' focused reading list.

SEPTEMBER: Inga Simpson's Nest (2014)
OCTOBER: Matthew Condon's Three Crooked Kings (2015)

Pre-order your books to avoid disappointment — please contact the QAGOMA Store on (07) 3840 7290 at the beginning of the season.

To register for any of the Book Club sessions, please book online or call (07) 3840 7278 (places are strictly limited – book early to avoid disappointment) / $10 per meeting for QAGOMA Members / $15 Members' guests (includes coffee and tea and sweets).


Saturday 5 September | 3.30pm | Karen Lamb | GOMA
Sunday 6 September | 10.30am | Kári Gíslason | GOMA

In partnership with Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) (2–6 September), we are delighted to invite you to attend exclusive discussions with two authors featured on our 'GOMA Q' reading list; Kári Gíslason, author of The Ash Burner (2015) and Karen Lamb, author of Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather (2015).  Both sessions will provide you with an opportunity to hear insights into their newly released works, as well as their writing practice more broadly. There will also be opportunities during BWF to hear from authors featured on our forthcoming APT8 reading list – visit bwf.org.au from July for details.

Bookings required, places are limited / $15 Members / $20 Non-Members / Includes light refreshments / Book online or call (07) 3840 7278 to RSVP by 21 August