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Your Ultimate Guide to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

Your Ultimate Guide to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

Did you know that the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane houses over 17,000 artworks, making it the largest gallery of contemporary art in Australia?

From iconic pieces to cutting-edge installations, GOMA is a haven for art enthusiasts. 

Today, explore the evolution of this cultural gem in the heart of Brisbane, as we guide you through its interesting exhibits, engaging programs, and the dynamic contemporary art scene that defines the city. 

QAGOMA: The Two Main Galleries

Most of you have heard of QAGOMA and wonder what that is—well, it’s basically the combination of the two main galleries in Brisbane: the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.

Now, these galleries aren’t just your run-of-the-mill art spaces. They’re like the dynamic duo of the Brisbane art scene, working together to bring you the best in contemporary creativity and cultural experiences.

Situated side by side in the Queensland Cultural Centre, these architectural marvels are a sight to behold.

With the Queensland Art Gallery or QAG tracing its roots back to 1895 and finding its permanent home in South Brisbane in 1982, it’s been a foundation of the city’s cultural landscape for decades.

And then there’s the Gallery of Modern Art or GOMA, a relatively young but vibrant addition to the scene since its opening in 2006. With its sleek design and avant-garde exhibits, GOMA has quickly become a must-visit destination for art lovers near and far.

Together, they form QAGOMA, a powerhouse of creativity and innovation. From timeless classics to cutting-edge contemporary works, there’s something here to inspire and delight visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

So, the next time you find yourself in Brisbane, make sure to swing by QAGOMA and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of art and culture that awaits within its walls.

Gallery of Modern Art An Overview

Once just a dream, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), owned by the government of Queensland, has transformed into a busy hub of contemporary creativity. It’s like the city’s beating heart for all things art.

The Gallery of Modern Art is the largest gallery of modern art in Australia, boasting a staggering collection of over 17,000 artworks. 

It isn’t just a place to admire pretty pictures though. It’s a cultural cornerstone—sparking conversations, pushing boundaries, and challenging perspectives. 

From thought-provoking installations to jaw-dropping exhibitions, there’s something here for everyone, whether you’re into surreal sculptures or vibrant paintings.

Ready to dive into the world of contemporary art? Read more to see what’s in store for you at GOMA!

How to Go to Gallery of Modern Art

Getting to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is a breeze with a variety of transportation options at your fingertips.

Whether you’re cruising in your own car, hopping in a taxi or ride-sharing, catching a bus, or even strolling or cycling, there’s a convenient way to reach this artistic haven.

For those taking public transport, Gallery of Modern Art sits right next to the Cultural Centre Busway station, just a short walk from the South Brisbane train station, and within easy reach of the South Bank CityCat and Ferry terminal.

If you’re in the area, hop on the free South Brisbane bus loop (route 86) which conveniently stops right outside the gallery. 

Watch out for those distinctive green and white bus stops. It runs daily every 10 to 15 minutes from 10 in the morning to 11 in the afternoon, making it a hassle-free option.

For those who love biking, there are 10 bike racks scattered around the Queensland Cultural Centre, perfect for parking and securing your trusty ride.

Bikes are also allowed on Brisbane trains, CityCats, and ferries, so feel free to pedal your way to GOMA.

And if you’re feeling up for a stroll, why not take a scenic walk across Victoria Bridge or Kurilpa footbridge from the Brisbane central business district? It’s a picture-perfect route that sets the mood for an art-filled adventure.

The best time to go to the Gallery of Modern Art depends on a few factors, but here’s the lowdown to help you plan your visit like a pro.

For starters, consider the spring months (September to November) for delightful weather and blooming surroundings.

Brisbane’s subtropical climate during spring offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds, perfect for exploration of Gallery of Modern Art’s exhibits and outdoor spaces.

As for the best time of day, early mornings and late afternoons provide a quieter and more serene experience at the Gallery of Modern Art. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, weekdays, especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays, are your best bet.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast as well. Brisbane can experience occasional showers during spring, so be prepared for brief spells of rain which may add a charming touch to your visit.

If you’re planning a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art, here’s the scoop to make your trip smooth sailing.

  • Entrance Fees: Here, you can get in for free! That’s right, no need to worry about breaking the bank to enjoy some incredible art.
  • Parking: Luckily, there’s multiple options! You can park in the Cultural Precinct car parks under the Queensland Art Gallery or State Library of Queensland, both accessible via Stanley Place. 

If those fill up, there are alternative car parks at South Bank Parklands and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

  • Restrooms: When nature calls, fear not! Restrooms are available onsite to keep you comfortable throughout your visit.
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair access is available via the street-level entrance on Stanley Place or through the lift from the Stanley Place car park beneath the State Library of Queensland. Wheelchairs are available onsite for visitors to use.

Let’s talk about some friendly reminders for your visit to the Gallery of Modern Art. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Photography: Feel free to snap away! Photography is generally allowed in the gallery, but be mindful of any specific restrictions in certain exhibitions.
  • Food and Drink: While you’re welcome to enjoy snacks and drinks in designated areas, please refrain from bringing them into the galleries to help preserve the artwork.
  • Baggage: Small bags and backpacks are totally fine, but for larger items, there are storage facilities available near the entrance.
  • Mind the Artwork: We know it’s tempting to get up close and personal with the art, but please resist the urge to touch or lean on the pieces. 
  • Respectful Behaviour: GOMA is a place for inspiration and reflection, so let’s keep it friendly and respectful for all visitors. That means no running, shouting, or disruptive behaviour, please!
  • Guided Tours: If you’re interested in diving deeper into the art, consider joining a guided tour for some insider insights and fascinating stories behind the exhibits.

The Gallery of Modern Art is where art from across the globe comes together to tell stories, provoke thoughts, and inspire imaginations.

Let’s take a peek at what makes this gallery’s collection truly exceptional:

  • Indigenous Australian Art: You can dive into the rich culture of Indigenous Australian, where artistic expressions from the world’s oldest continuing culture come alive.

This collection celebrates the diverse voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially those from Queensland.

  • Australian Art: From the colonial era to the modern movement, this Australian art collection is a journey through time and creativity. Here, you can explore paintings, sculptures, and more from Australian artists spanning centuries.
  • Asian Art: With over 1,000 works from the late 1960s to the present, this collection offers a glimpse into the vibrant art-making contexts of the region. Here, youll hop on an odyssey through the Contemporary Asian art collection.
  • Pacific Art: This collection of contemporary Pacific art is unique in its depth, reflecting the commitment to fostering cultural exchange and understanding.

With roots tracing back to the establishment of the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Gallery of Modern Art continues to champion the voices and visions of Pacific artists.

  • International Art: Travel the globe without leaving the Gallery of Modern Art, as the collection of works from Europe, Africa, and the Americas invites you into a world of artistic exploration. 

From early European masterpieces to modern European and American treasures, there’s something here to capture every art enthusiast.

Buckle up for a whirlwind tour of some of the captivating exhibitions at the Gallery of Modern Art. These are just a taste of the diverse and dynamic displays waiting to be discovered:

  • Fairy Tales: Step into a world of enchantment and wonder with the Fairy Tales exhibition. Here, you can lose yourself in the magic of whimsical narratives, fantastical creatures, and timeless tales reimagined through contemporary art. 
  • Birds of Passage: This exhibition explores the themes of migration, displacement, and belonging through the lens of avian symbolism.
  • Jakkai Siributr: Dive into the intricate tapestries of Thai artist Jakkai Siributr. Through a blend of traditional craft and contemporary expression, Siributr’s works weave together stories of identity, spirituality, and social commentary.
  • Small Figures: Don’t let their size fool you – the Small Figures exhibition packs a powerful punch! Explore the intimate world of miniature sculptures, where every tiny detail holds a story waiting to be discovered.
  • Natalya Hughes’ The Castles of Tarragindi: Journey into the realm of memory and nostalgia! Through an exploration of suburban landscapes and childhood dreams, Hughes invites viewers to rediscover the magic hidden within the everyday.
  • Hiraki Sawa ‘O’: Here, you can experience a dreamlike world of shifting perspectives. Get ready for a mesmerising journey through the realms of memory, time, and imagination.

Aside from kid-friendly exhibitions like Natalya Hughes’ and Jakkai Siributr’s, the Gallery of Modern Art is bursting with activities to spark creativity and imagination for families with children of all ages.

Here are some of the kids’ activities in the gallery:

  • Children’s Art Centre: Dive into a world of wonder at the Children’s Art Centre, where exhibitions and activities are crafted in collaboration with artists to engage young minds and inspire budding artists.
  • Art Starters: Open for young Picassos aged 4 to 12! Available in autumn and spring 2024, each tour offers exciting adventures and hands-on experiences that will ignite your child’s passion for art.
  • And guess what? The tour content is repeated across all dates in a season, so you won’t miss out on the fun!
  • Art Play Date: Got toddlers aged 1 to 3 years? Bring them along to Art Play Date, where little ones can explore, play, and discover the joys of art in a safe and stimulating environment. 

Available in autumn, winter, and spring 2024, this program content is repeated across all dates in a season, ensuring plenty of opportunities for your tiny tots to unleash their creativity.

  • Art Explorers: Designed for children aged 3-5 years, Art Explorers offers a hands-on exploration of colours, shapes, and textures that will spark your child’s curiosity and imagination. 
  • Available in autumn, winter, and spring 2024, this program content is repeated across all dates in a season, so there’s always something new to discover.

e destination for families looking to ignite a love for art and creativity in their little ones. 

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