Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ipswich Excursion

Patricia Harper, Beaded Vessel
As Brisbanians often like to smugly remember, Ipswich was once in fierce competition with Brisbane to be the state capital. With its rich mineral deposits and churning river, Ipswich may well have been chosen. To think we might have been MoI Workspace instead of MoB Workspace! However it was not to be, and Brisbane was chosen for its deeper river/bay port, its IKEA outlet and some might say, more moderate climate.

Last week we took time out of the studio for a long train trip out to Ipswich to see if a terrible mistake had been made all those years ago. Well not really - we went to see Quadrant, an exhibition in the Ipswich Art Gallery as Friend of MoB (FoM) , Patricia Harper was exhibiting her gorgeous beaded vessels, bracelet (pictured) and wall works with 3 other artist/teachers: Lorraine Kitching, Marcelle Little and Dennis Magee. Patricia's stunning vessels enchanted us with their intricate and fantastical construction and brilliant colour. They contrasted with several upscaled works in the show including a neon necklace wall piece that lit up the space with an eerie glow.

We rather liked the gallery which incorporated the old town hall into a modern very spacious new gallery. I was attracted by the walls which were made out of coal from the local mines sandwiched in between glass. Very environmentally sound.

Another FoM , the blue-headed art critic, Florence Forrest, came along for the ride and we lingered over a leisurely brunch before hitting the thrift stores, Liana mining a rich vein of her own: plastic knitting needles. Believe me she has quite the needle fetish as she dragged us from one store to the next. When we eventually made it back to Brisbane we were a bit wilted after our outback adventure but full of tales to tell .

Quadrant ends 23 March 2007 and is at Ipswich Art Gallery d'Arcy Doyle Place, Nicholas st, Ipswich CBD.