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Art on James, Brisbane

In a first for Brisbane audiences, the James Street fashion and
lifestyle shopping precinct in Fortitude Valley is becoming an art
gallery until 9 June. Louise Martin Chew gets out and about.

A range of contemporary art and design experiences may be had at Art on James – indoor and outdoor, static and live. Contemporary art, sculpture and design from the city’s leading art galleries is presented in stores, creating the ’James Street gallery’.

A program of events has also been designed to stimulate interaction between art and artists, commerce and design.


Phoebe is Dead/McQueen by Michael Zavros

Kicking off the week, Leo Schofield conversed with this year’s Archibald Prize winner Ben Quilty and 2010 Moran Prize winner Michael Zavros. Themes of masculinity in their work were canvassed in the newly renovated Harveys restaurant (31 James St) on Wednesday June 1.


Ben Quilty’s Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Margaret Olley

A live painting performance from Ben Quilty on Thursday June 2 resulted in an aerosol mural that remains in place at James Lane until 9 June. The mural is one of a series of outdoor art happenings visible on the street, including Natalya Hughes’s elegant totems also in James Lane, and painted laneways as street art by Stefan Dunlop and Ari Athans.


Inside the stores is work that playfully interacts with the viewer, including colourful sculpture by Michael Doolan (EEC Lighting, 15 James Street) and Simone Eisler’s moody photographs that explore an interest in science and species evolution in ZOMP Shoes (38 James St).

“An Afternoon of Art & Fashion” (Saturday June 4) features Art On James curator Alison Kubler in conversation with Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson of Easton Pearson.

Unpacking the collision of art and commerce, Kubler suggested, “Increasingly fashion has looked to art for a commercial and cultural edge, setting trends but also establishing fashion as an art form in its own right.”

This innovative program is designed to strengthen the dialogue between design and art and fashion and lifestyle retailers.    

For the full events calendar and details of participating galleries, artists and stores, see jamesst.com.au


Art on James


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