Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) have done something that no other Australian airport has done before; appointed its first ‘Artist-in-Residence’. Robert Brownhall is one of Australia’s most renowned realist painters and for 6 months he will be lending his skills, talent and artistic eye to recording life and moments at Brisbane Airport.
Brisbane Airport Corporation has a long-term commitment and relationship with the arts and the local artists.
“BAC invests heavily in Brisbane’s art scene as the city is rapidly becoming known as a cultural capital and we want to play a part in that. The role of the ‘Artist in Residence’ is to develop a suite of sketches and paintings depicting everyday events, people, architecture and changes at Brisbane Airport.” BAC CEO Julianne Alroe says.
Brisbane Airport has one of the country’s largest collections of public art displayed throughout the terminals and airport precinct. More than 100 pieces valued at over $10 million have been commissioned and acquired by the airport over the years. Mr Brownhall’s artwork will be displayed at an specific exhibition with one piece chosen as a permanent addition to BAC’s extensive public art collection.
Philip Bacon of Brisbane’s Philip Bacon Galleries expressed his views on the Artist-in-Residence program.
“The BAC’s support for the arts in Brisbane is exemplary, and this inaugural ‘Artist in Residence’ program is further proof – if proof was required – of the importance they place on the role of the arts in defining a city, a state, and a nation. A visual artist such as Robert Brownhall is in a unique position to record an exciting time for Brisbane Airport, and for Brisbane generally.”
Robert Brownhall is a realist painter who, over the years, has developed a unique style and a birds-eye view of scenes, with strong connections to place, moody nocturnes, board sweep panoramas and gritty vignettes of urban life. He has captured urban cityscapes in and around Brisbane, including the Gold and Sunshine Coast, and all the way down to Sydney. Gold Coast has always played an important part for the artist. As a keen surfer, he has driven down to our local surfbreaks ever since early 90’s and quite often stayed afterwards to draw and sketch the local life – beaches and the surf breaks, modern and retro architecture and the everyday life on the Coast.
“As I make the painting it becomes a unique interpretation of the real scene. Looking at a finished painting is like looking at a memory or a dream about a place.” Brownhall has described his work.
Brownhall’s style of painting and his realism has been described as “not slick”. His brushstroke is visible and forms an integral part of the work. It is as important to him as that of the figures or the light. He has depicted the psyche of the cities and has added his own interpretation and presence into it. And I believe that this is what we can expect from his “airportscapes” as well.
“It’s an honour to be chosen as Brisbane Airport’s very first ‘Artist in Residence’. It is an incredible opportunity to showcase my work to visitors from all over the world I cannot wait to get out there and started,” Mr Brownhall said.
“Airports are fascinating places. Some areas are bustling with human activity others have exciting and dramatic architecture. I also like the large long windows that feature the landscape and the great skies of South East Queensland. “
Robert Brownhall has started his residence already. If you are flying in or out of Brisbane Airport, keep your eyes open and chances are, you might see him sketching by a gate, at customs or in the lobby. An exhibition of his work at the airport will open midyear.