A new program for Queensland artists News

A new program for Queensland artists

IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

30 May 2019

IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (JWCoCA) is a new program dedicated to Queensland contemporary art.

Arts Queensland has created a new gallery space from a former commercial tenancy and supported the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) to develop the one-year pilot program of visual art exhibitions. From June 2019, IMA Belltower will take place in a new purpose-built 90m² corner gallery space at the intersection of Brunswick and Berwick Streets.

IMA Belltower will present five exhibitions over the twelve-month program, as well as moving-image artworks projected on the building’s façade.

The first exhibition opening on 22 June 2019 is by Mandy Quadrio, alongside a new public projection work by Sebastian Moody. Other artists in the program include Robert Andrew, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, and Janet Fieldhouse. The program is curated by Freja Carmichael, a Ngugi woman belonging to the Quandamooka People of Moreton Bay, who joined the IMA in 2018 as Visiting Curator. It will present some of the most exciting voices from around the state, and support the development of a number of new artworks by Queensland artists.

An open call out will give outstanding early-career artists from Queensland the opportunity to develop an exhibition or façade projection and receive support to present their work to the highest standard during the pilot year.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the new corner gallery is the first space to open as part of a JWCoCA redevelopment, funded by the Queensland Government.

“This refurbishment addressed the arts sector’s need for creative spaces, and increased the JWCoCA’s cultural value even further, offering more opportunities to local talent.

“It’s great that the IMA will curate this new space for the next 12 months. The IMA Belltower program is already looking to be a fantastic body of work that will feature a mix of new and established artists telling Queensland stories.

“This is what we wanted to see for the JWCoCA – contemporary Queensland work being presented and celebrated,” Ms Enoch said.

The name of the IMA’s new program makes reference to the tall ‘bell tower’ corner space of the 1913 factory building. Designed by architect Walter Carey Voller for bread makers Automatic Bakeries, the site is a heritage-registered example of Fortitude Valley’s industrial history.

Since 2001, the IMA has been located at the JWCoCA, Fortitude Valley, as one of the original arts tenants who helped bring the centre into being and shape Brunswick Street as a cultural destination.

The IMA is Australia’s oldest independent contemporary art space, established in 1975. The IMA’s mission is to promote experimentation and research by diverse Australian and international artists and share their work with wide audiences. The IMA concentrates on commissioning new works by Australian and international artists at pivotal points of their practices and exhibiting these works in solo and group exhibitions.

Contact press@ima.org.au for media enquiries.

IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and the IMA is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Carol McGregor, 'Skin Country', 2018. Installation view: 'The Commute', 2018, Institute of Modern Art. Photography: Markus Ravik.