Fibro Coast opened at University of Sunshine Coast Art Gallery on Thursday June 12th and runs until August 16th. There’s an interesting mix of objects, photos, memorabilia, and historical and traditional artworks, which sounds like a very eclectic exhibition, and it is. However co-curator John Waldron and Dawn Oelrich from University of Sunshine Coast Art Gallery have done a wonderful job putting together this large and complex exhibition and it looks good.
On opening night exhibiting artists Judy Barrass and Corrie Wright welcomed visitors to the gallery with a projection performance on the copper walls of the gallery that included imagery and drawings of fibro houses and furniture from the 50’s and 60’s.
There is an extensive public programme to augment the exhibition. It includes:
Film screening – The Place at the Coast Sunday 22 June 2014, 2pm to 4 pm
Discussion Forum – Fibro Coast Thursday 31 July 2014, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Walking tour – Moffat Beach Sunday 3 August 2014, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The full programme with descriptions and list of speakers can be found on at http://www.usc.edu.au/community/art-gallery/exhibitions/2014/june/fibro-coast
After a successful showing at Gold Coast Arts Centre Fibro Coast exhibition will open in a new format at University of Sunshine Coast Gallery on June 12th presenting material from local private and public collections, artworks, architectural drawings, contemporary and historic photographs, ephemera, objects, and oral histories documentaries. There is, in short, something for everyone. More information can be found on the Gallery website or at BlueSkyView.
My work for Fibro Coast includes video and a series of small, evocative, paper structures reminiscent of reliquary boxes.
In wandering around my neighbourhood of Noosa photographing fibro houses for the project I was very aware that we are fast losing this part of our heritage. Many of the houses I photographed were for sale, not as houses but as development sites. Sometimes all we have left is piecemeal, blurred images, small fragments of the past. I have collected some of these fragments and boxed them as precious objects might be housed in a reliquary box, a tiny shrine to the past.
Here a snapshot of some of my works shown in the Gold Coast portion of the exhibition. Some of these will also be shown on the Sunshine Coast
The fibro beach house has been an important part of Australia’s iconic beach culture for more than three generations. Not only are these dwellings among the most loved and recognised of mid-twentieth century Australian design, they also hold the stories and memories of the many families who settled or holidayed on the beach. They are central to Australia’s beach and holiday heritage.
The Fibro Coast Projectwill deliver a shared exhibition at the Gold Coast City Gallery (Feb/March 2014) and University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery (May/June2014). The exhibition will present material from local private and public collections and comprise; artworks, architectural drawings, contemporary and historic photographs, ephemera, objects, and oral history documentaries.
A unique part of the project is a local artist intervention that will see projection and installation artists collaborate with house owners and community collections and prepare work for the exhibition and public programmes.
In the Northern part of the Sunshine Coast artist Judy Barrass will be seeking owners and buildings to help her develop artworks that respond to the theme. Judy is a local artist who has lived in Noosa for over 15 years. She has been involved in a number of projects that blend heritage and art, on the Sunshine Coast and in Maryborough and Ipswich. One of her major concerns is that many of the heritage buildings which give the coast its character, especially those in areas near the water, are being demolished for townhouse and other developments. Through her work for this project she hopes to bring back some memories of the post-war expansion into the coast, when life had a simpler and more relaxed flavor.
The curator of Fibro Coast for the Sunshine Coast is John Waldron from Blue Sky View. John can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you would like to contribute your memories to the project, if you have a house you think could be included, or if you have any questions please contact Judy Barrass via email at
Highfield House in northern Tasmania offers up its history in layer upon layer of wallpaper. Peeling, layered, scratched, stained and marked with the passage of time the walls and surfaces of Highfield House are a beautiful story of changing styles, aspiration, decay and renewal. A video of images taken on a visit to the house in 2009 has been uploaded to YouTube http://youtu.be/LEXfzhZCc2A
The Collective Insites project has been over now for some time, but before I wrap it up on this blog I should congratulate everyone involved for achieving a GAMMA Award for one of the best projects in 2011. Read about the awards at http://www.magsq.com.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=868.
Collective Insites is also now featured as a case study on the Arts Queensland website at http://www.arts.qld.gov.au/docs/collective%20insites%20case%20study.pdf.
There’s possibly more I’ll post about collective Insites. I have a lot more images I should sort out and post and hope I can get to do that soon.
In the meantime I’m going to start using this blog to feature other works and projects that take a creative approach to history.
An extended version of the catalogue essay with an introduction to the project and a section on the work of each of the artists is now available in e-book format at all major e-book retailers including the Kindle store on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel. The book can be easily accessed in all e-reader formats as well as PDF and HTML by visiting the Smashwords publishing site at this link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/60135 or through any of the e-book retailers above.
The funding available through the RADF grant was augmented by a generous donation from Downer EDI that allowed the production of a printed package that included a small fold out colour catalogue and an artist card for each of the artists. The whole was enclosed in a vellum envelope and was a much sought after memento of the exhibition. The full text of the catalogue essay by curator Judy Barrass is available in the pages on this site (above or right).