ephemeral traces Brisbane's artist-run scene in the 1980s

2 April 2016 – 26 June 2016

Jeanelle Hurst
Highrise Wallpaper 1988 
Documentation of the project ‘InterFace 88: City as a work of art’, Brisbane. 
Collection of Jeanelle Hurst. Reproduced courtesy of the artist.

ephemeral traces provides the first comprehensive analysis of artist-run practice in Brisbane during the final decade of the conservative Joh Bjelke-Petersen government. The exhibition focuses on the scene that developed around five key spaces that operated in Brisbane from 1982 to 1988: One Flat, A Room, That Space, The Observatory, and John Mills National.

Drawing on artworks, documentation and ephemera, the exhibition provides a contextual account of this progressive artist-run activity, examining collective projects, publications and the spaces themselves, as well as organisations such as the Artworkers Union and Queensland Artworkers Alliance. A counterpoint to Michele Helmrich’s earlier exhibition Return to sender (UQ Art Museum, 2012), which focused on the artists who left Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era, this exhibition is about the artists who stayed.

Curator: Peter Anderson

Catalogue essay



Friday 8 April 6.15 for 6.30 pm
opened by
Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh
Executive Co-Directors and Curators of the Institute of Modern Art


  • UQ News story here

Peter Anderson’s work was supported by a Siganto Foundation Fellowship granted by State Library of Queensland for research conducted in the Australian Library of Art.

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This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.