Queensland art spaces reopen
Following floods and severe tropical cyclone, public galleries suffer surprisingly little damage
By Elizabeth Fortescue. Web only
Published online: 16 February 2011
Brisbane: The Queensland Art Gallery and the adjacent Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) reopened on 16 February, following the floods in late December and early January that caused Premier Anna Bligh to declare three quarters of the state of Queensland a disaster zone. Both galleries overlook the Brisbane River, which burst its banks. Museum staff scrambled to move works of art from the building’s ground floor as the level of the river rose. No works of art were damaged. GoMA’s major summer exhibition, “21st Century: Art in the First Decade” (until 26 April), has now reopened. It has already doubled the museum’s average daily attendance.
Surprisingly little damage has been sustained by public art galleries in far north Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Yasi, which tore across the coast at Mission Beach at midnight on 3 February. Mission Beach, a popular tourist destination 138km south of Cairns, and nearby Dunk Island Resort, suffered catastrophic damage.
Cairns Regional Gallery suffered “no damage whatsoever”, said Tricia Davey, the gallery’s marketing manager, despite the building being only one block back from the esplanade.
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville experienced delays in mounting its latest exhibition as a result of the cyclone, said Eric Nash, the gallery’s audience development manager. Gallery staff had sandbagged the building and shifted works to the upper floor. At Pinnacles Gallery in Thuringowa, Anthony Edwards, the operations manager, said the gallery had lost power but was otherwise unscathed. “We dodged a bullet,” Edwards said.
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