Thursday night marked the official opening of the exciting new ‘Brisbane Modern Art Gallery’, and I was invited along for the opening group exhibition.

The gallery, established by artist Emma Golder and her husband Andrew, is situated on the corner of Brunswick and Malt Street, right in the heart of the Valley’s arts district. With the old Malt Street Church and the Story Bridge as a backdrop, it is pretty hard to miss.

The cultural importance of this newcomer on the Brisbane art scene was highlighted by the presence of Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, Governor of Queensland, who officially opened the gallery in front of a large crowd of art lovers, artists and VIPs. In her speech (her first for an art gallery), she expressed her delight in the fact that Brisbane now has a brand new iconic gallery with a wealth of local creative talent, and she encouraged the guests to support the artists and the new gallery by not only admiring but also acquiring the works on display.

Emma Golder also said a few words, expressing her amazement that so many of her artists lived and worked in Brisbane, but had previously only showed their work interstate or internationally. She also mentioned how excited she was to now be representing such high caliber talent. After her speech she presented Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC with a beautiful ceramic vessel from her own Every Cloud Has a Golden Lining series.

Emma now represents some of Australia’s most talented emerging, mid-career and established artists through a mixture of painting, ceramic and bronze. The painters represented include Alexandra Matthews, Colley Whisson, Craig Addley, Francesco Villicich, Jadie & Lee, Jane Donaldson, Jane Hodgson, Lee Wise, Michael Keller, me and of course Emma Golder herself. The sculptors include Anne Mosman, James Lamar Peterson, Joe Ottaway, Megan Puls, Michael Jones, Mollie Bosworth, Patrick Moroney, Shannon Garson, Sophie Moran, Terry Bouton, Tracey Lanesbury and Zygmunt Libucha.

The night offered me a great opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the other represented artists, and to see their work on display. I was very impressed by the diversity and quality across the board, and pleased to see some of my own work displayed alongside so many great artists. The invited guests also seemed very impressed with the group exhibition, and not surprisingly, many of the paintings and sculptures disappeared during the evening.

I also had the pleasure of presenting Her Excellency with a limited edition print from my ‘New Farm in a Different Light’ series, which I hope she will enjoy in her private collection for years to come.

I sincerely hope that all Brisbane art lovers will come out in force to support this great new venture, as it truly is an exciting new addition to the Brisbane art scene.