Museum of Brisbane

Artwork up close: Maisie and Bab’s Garden Sketchbook


In Silver six pairs of Queensland’s finest visual artists created new artworks inspired by our city. Each duo – a leading photographer and artisan jeweller – explored the use of this precious metal during the creative process to shed new light on the historical significance of silver in art forms.

“Marian Drew and Barbara Heath commenced their collaborative conversation around their mutual interest in gardens both remembered and re-imagined. Maisie and Bab’s Garden Sketchbook presents an installation of 51 discrete, three-dimensional objects made from recycled 925 silver, modelling clay, wood, pigments, plaster, and wire (silver, copper and galvanized). The artwork takes its inspiration from Victorian images and historical watercolours of Brisbane gardens and in particular the artwork and entries from the diaries of Elsie May Ramsay, all belonging to the City of Brisbane Collection. The objects are abstract, amorphous and vibrant in colour, and reflect the texture of daily life much like the naive watercolours that inspired them. They refer to a variety of gardens, forms, silvering timbers and materials that are familiar yet strange to the viewer. The objects have been arranged on a pivotal line on the shelf representing the metaphorical and literal views of the garden. The installation is illuminated by a sky blue photographic backdrop featuring silver lined clouds suggesting, perhaps, that a change is on the horizon. The artists have explored the social order of plants within the domestic garden (rather than the scientific order) as a comment on the social role gardens played as a place for community engagement. Gardens were a place to meet and support community members through the process of propagation of mainly hardy ‘introduced’ species of plants much like the people themselves.” – extract from Silver publication, available to purchase from reception.

Visit Silver, open until 27 April 2014.