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City in the Sun at Museum of Brisbane. Artwork: Christopher Bassi (left), Rachael Sarra (right). Photo: Toby Scott.

City in the Sun

City in the Sun provided playful reinterpretations, evocative re-imaginings and quiet reflections, proposing exciting images of Brisbane’s subtropical identity today.

There are many examples of Brisbane defining itself by its warm and humid climate. From the early 20th century, organisations such as the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau (established in 1907) began to capitalise on the city’s climate and geographic location to promote Brisbane to the world. Using images of the sun, fruits, flowers and waterways to depict a destination of subtropical leisure and sunshine, promotional material began to selectively piece together an identity that would continue to represent the city for decades to come.

Brisbane’s contemporary artists continue to create their own representations of subtropical Brisbane. City in the Sun (19 June 2021 – 18 April 2022) featured artists who work with constructed realities, carefully staged photography, layered visual symbols and tactile experiences to capture ideas of identity and place.

By challenging, reclaiming, celebrating and moving beyond the carefully constructed tourist images of the city, these artists considered who and what is missing from those interpretations. Each shared their diverse perspective, presenting alternative views of Brisbane: ones that strove for a more genuine connection with place and the city’s complex identity and histories.

City in the Sun at Museum of Brisbane. Video: PixelFrame.

Explore the work of commissioned artists

City in the Sun presented contemporary artworks with historical imagery, featuring newly commissioned works by Holly Anderson, Christopher Bassi, Rachel Burke, Kinly Grey, Sebastian Moody, Laura Patterson, Rachael Sarra and Samuel Tupou alongside works by Olive Ashworth, Michael Cook, Sam Cranstoun, Gerwyn Davies, Tracey Moffatt, Tori-Jay Mordey, Holly Neilson, Easton Pearson, Scott Redford, Luke Roberts, Elizabeth Willing and Michael Zavros.

Watch & Listen
City in the Sun
Go behind the scenes with these City in the Sun artists!

Artist in Residence

Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra were Artists in Residence at MoB as part of City in the Sun from July to August 2021.

During the residency, Camerata’s eight-piece ensemble responded to artwork in the exhibition, adding layers of interpretation for Museum visitors.

After four weeks of musical play and composition, the residency culminated in an exquisite series of performances. Explore this musical adventure, titled Camerata’s City in the Sun, created and performed by Camerata.

Camerata’s City in the Sun was developed and presented as part of Museum of Brisbane’s Artist in Residence program, supported by Tim Fairfax AC.

MoB Kids and MoB Learn

As part of City in the Sun, a range of MoB Kids activities and MoB Learn Experiences were developed.

Playful Plant Pals is a MoB Kids activity that invites you to take a leaf out of artists Christopher Bassi and Laura Patterson’s book to explore how flora has shaped Brisbane’s subtropical identity. Using simple craft supplies, the activity guides you through a step-by-step process to create a Croton, Monstera Vine or Bird of Paradise from your home studio.

For MoB Learn, three unique Learn Experiences were developed with artists Kinly Grey, Sebastian Moody and Samuel Tupou. Each of these educational programs tap into the process and purpose of each artist’s practice to create memorable learning experiences for students and educators.

Kinly Grey in their studio. Photo: Charlie Hillhouse.

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  • This project was supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
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Watch & Listen
City in the Sun
Go behind the scenes with these City in the Sun artists!
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