West End local Belinda Macartney has recently returned from the country of her childhood, PNG, where she visited with Don Wotton Curator of PARADISE PALETTE – An Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea. Her story is below.

“I was overwhelmed to see a sign welcoming me ‘home’ at the airport. After many years’ absence, the urban-scape has changed but the warmth and generosity of its people remains. When I signed the Visitors Book at my old primary school as ‘past pupil’ the headmaster beamed broadly.  Now I have the privilege to help showcase the creative talents of artists from the same streets I walked as a school girl.”

It’s the art exhibition that has everyone talking. Over 40 street artists from Port Moresby will be showcasing their contemporary artworks embracing a wide selection of art media. Several of the artists will be in attendance during the exhibition to greet and share their talents, culture and life stories with visitors to the gallery.

The Royal Queensland Art Society Inc is a not for profit organisation established in 1885, to be a broad church for all forms of art, hold exhibitions displaying a wide variety of styles, themes and media, provide networking opportunities and education for artists, support emerging artists, and encourage the appreciation of art.

 As a community space, the commission on sales is 11% incl. GST to cover costs, while curator Don Wotton does not take any commission—leaving the majority of proceeds from sales to be sent back to the artists.

The opportunity to have their work shown in Brisbane and media promotion in their home town of Port Moresby respectively opens doors to a wider audience and encourages the art practice of these self-taught established and emerging artists.

A key feature of the exhibition will be a display of decorative tapa cloth from Oro Province, situated along the northern route of the infamous Kokoda Trail. Learn the process of tapa cloth manufacture, and the cultural importance and significance of the tribal designs that adorn the cloth, from Rodrick Vana who will be presenting regular demonstrations during the course of the exhibition.

Come and be energised by the vibrancy and momentum captured in the paintings produced by Albert Ipu, Gima Segore, Gigs Wena, Peter Wena, Morgan Lavapo, Elisabet Kauage and Ambane Siune among others.


WHEN: The ‘Paradise Palette’ exhibition launches on Tuesday 27 August, with the Official Launch on Thursday 29 August

WHERE: Royal Queensland Art Society Gallery, 162 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane 4000

The exhibition runs till 16 September and will be open daily from 9.00am – 5.00pm.

After hour viewings for groups of 5 or more are available by appointment

More details HERE.

Event proudly sponsored by Brisbane City Council​


Images of Don Wotton and Belinda Macartney with artists in PNG

All images by Don Wotton. Not to be reproduced. C.

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