Museum of Brisbane

Review of Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land

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Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land review
Natalie Perkins
16 Sept 2015

Last night I went to the opening of Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land and it was my first time back in the city for a long time. Since I moved outside the city I was confronted with almost a different place, Brisbane never stands still. Even the title of Robyn’s show references a city of the past, the much loved Cloudland Dance Hall, unceremoniously demolished when I was 2 years old. It lives on in the memories of my parents but people my age mostly know it as an apartment complex… or the nightclub given the same name. (My sister got married there!) Brisbane moves on quickly.

Her photos use the camera obscura technique to project vistas of Brutalist biscuit coloured buildings of the 70s and 80s, sea green skyscrapers of the 90s, and the brightest and bluest skies scattered with clouds that seem to be the only permanent fixture of Brisbane’s skyline. I remember places I’ve lived in her photos, buildings I have walked past daily as a young adult, and strange new environments that have been created since I moved from the inner city to the bayside.

People of my generation have an uneasy relationship with the city. We grew up imagining a life somewhere more exciting, made adult lives sometimes here, sometimes somewhere else. I never really realised how much I love Brisbane until I was 25, and greeted the city skyline cresting hills from various suburbs on my morning drives to work.

If you live in Brisbane you should go see Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land and ponder the life you’ve lived in the streets you’ve driven or walked, from rooms you’ve never even been into.

 

Natalie is an artist/ maker from Brisbane who has fond memories of performing in an Eisteddfod in Brisbane City Hall when she was 10. Her website is fancyladyindustries.com, but fortunately it does not feature her singing.

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