Brisbane Arcade now proudly boasts a series of innovative spaces on the heritage arcade’s Gallery Level dedicated to emerging art and fashion now known as The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade.
Just a short walk upstairs or by lift, the Arcade’s Gallery Level is where visitors can wander beneath Brisbane Arcade’s celebrated clerestory windows alongside the balcony balustrades which overlook the ground floor of the heritage arcade and now immerse themselves in emerging art and fashion thanks to The Galleries.
The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade not only support emerging artists and fashion designers but pay tribute to Brisbane Arcade’s distinctive art and fashion history. These dynamic spaces are also presented in synergy and keeping with Brisbane Arcade’s extremely unique #madeinBrisbaneArcade and #uniquetoBrisbaneArcade identity.
Reigniting Brisbane Arcade’s artistic flame, The Galleries emerging art spaces consist of two dedicated gallery spaces with commercial art available for sale along with one live working artist studio. The artist studio space is where a rotating portfolio of high-profile artists paint and create in the Brisbane Arcade space and can share their work and creative processes with Arcade visitors.
The Galleries emerging fashion space is a ready-made retail space that has already welcomed an impressive line-up of emerging Queensland fashion designers since it opened in 2022, all of whom are trying their hand at presenting their label in a bricks and mortar retail store.
A throwback to history with The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade…
Brisbane Arcade has been home to Queensland’s royalty of fashion designers since 1924 and where many of Queensland’s biggest names in fashion have had their career start including names such as Lydia Pearson of Easton Pearson fame, Gwen Gillam, Harvey Graham.
Arguably Queensland’s most fashionable and glamour destination, Brisbane Arcade’s legacy has been a style rollcall of fashion designers past and present.
Brisbane Arcade’s art legacy is also hugely significant and The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade presents an opportunity to re-visit the Arcade’s connection to art and artisans.
In February 1952, The Johnston Gallery – one of Australia’s most notable privately owned commercial art galleries – opened in the Arcade’s former bomb shelter on the basement level to showcase contemporary art in Australia. This celebrated private gallery was nationally renowned and exhibited a roll-call of significant artists including Sir Sidney Nolan, Robert Dickerson, Lawrence Daws, Margaret Olley, Charles Blackman, Ray Crook, Arthur Boyd and Donald Friend.
The Johnstone Gallery was much cherished as a focal point of artistic and social life in Brisbane.
70 years on, in 2022, The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade is an exciting new frontier of art for Brisbane’s oldest and grandest shopping Arcade.
The Galleries – FASHION
Brisbane Arcade’s fashion pop-up component of The Galleries is presented in partnership with Brisbane Fashion Month – Queensland’s largest annual showcase and network of local fashion designers and labels.
The fashion designer pop-up at The Galleries speaks to the Arcade’s rich history and fashion legacy. From being a hub of workrooms between the wars to the slick sartorial showrooms at the end of last century, Brisbane Arcade has provided a stylish start for numerous Queensland design icons.
Now, emerging design stars pop up in a space ready-made for fashion, introducing their collections to a new audience.
Brisbane Fashion MonthDdirector, Laura Churchill said “Providing the opportunity for a city retail presence is a great initiative by Brisbane Arcade and one that is so valuable for our community of emerging designers. There are many barriers to retail for designers when launching a business, so for them to be able to come in to a beautiful, functional space and present their brand alongside some of the biggest names in fashion in Brisbane is incredible. “For customers, the opportunity to discover a new fashion label, meet the designer and get that first- hand insight into these local brands is also really special.”
One local Brisbane fashion designer, Chamani Weerasekara designer of eponymous label CHAMANI has already featured multiple times in Brisbane Arcade’s The Galleries fashion space and in Brisbane Arcade’s Spring Show in September 2022 says: “Growing up in Brisbane, the Arcade has always been synonymous with the most amazing quality, bespoke, high-end fashion. It’s such an honour to be amongst Brisbane’s royalty in fashion and to share the space with some of the city’s most iconic, nationally and internationally renowned brands and beloved designers.”
Chamani the label is described as a purpose-driven, conscious-luxury label and lifestyle movement which aims to uplift and empower marginalised women, all through a common love of timeless, thoughtful fashion.
Teshani McManus, founder of Luna Sun – a label which is proudly ethically made in Australia, cruelty free, slow and sustainable fashion – was another designer to feature in Brisbane Arcade’s The Galleries in 2022 and says: “It’s such an honour to have had the opportunity to have my label Luna + Sun in the Brisbane Arcade amongst some of Brisbane’s best designers. Brisbane Arcade has several fashion brands that have paved the way for slow fashion and brands that I look up to as a new designer. It was an incredible opportunity, and I also took part in the Brisbane Arcades Christmas on the Mall recently which was so much fun and it really helped us reach more people. Thank you Brisbane Arcade and Brisbane Fashion Month for this incredible opportunity.“
Designers are available to meet in-store Wednesday – Saturday from 10am-4pm and by appointment.
The Galleries – ART
The Galleries art spaces consist of one commercial gallery and two studio where visitors can wander, admire and purchase world class art.
Jodi Curnow-Baker – Producer and Curator for Kairos Projects says: “It’s so exciting to see these Brisbane Arcade spaces alive with art – paintings, drawings and sculpture which intrigue, inspire and give us a perspective on life we may not have considered or seen ourselves.
Each week our artists bring their creativity to the space and create something new for us to enjoy so it’s well worth a regular visit The Galleries – emerging art and fashion spaces to appreciate their talent and skill.
Further, it’s so rare to be able to see such talented artists at work or have the opportunity to speak directly to them about their artistic and creative processes. At the moment we have Garry Dolan and Thomas Glenn working here while also offering one on one classes for visitors interested in developing their own skills.
Not all of the artists we exhibit work in The Galleries. In addition to the live working artist studio space and gallery showroom, we have a beautiful formal gallery space that allows us to showcase sculpture and artists from outside Brisbane such as Aboriginal artist, Louise Numina from Central Australia and master sculptor, Janna Pameijer from Maleny.“
One of the artists painting and creating in Brisbane Arcade’s The Galleries is Garry Dolan who says: “The Galleries studio is such a creative space. It fantastic to work here in Brisbane Arcade and meet the variety of people who come in. This is very much a unique opportunity as an artist to work and exhibit in a heritage space in the heart of the city.”
Featured artists on show in The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade include:
Garry Dolan is an established artist with work in permanent collections including the Australian War Memorial and a major exhibition, ‘The Kangaroo and the Eagle, Friends and Allies 1908 to 2018’ commissioned for The Pentagon in Washington, USA. Currently, his artistic process focusses on the liquidity, grace, and beauty of ballet.
One of the celebrated Numina sisters, Louise Numina Napananka is an Anmatyerre artist from Ti Tree, in the Utopia region of central Australia. She grew up on Stirling Station, near Tennant Creek, and holds a Diploma in Fine Arts, Northern Territory University. Taught as a child by her renowned aunties Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre, her work draws on the ceremonies and stories from women’s law, food gathering, and bush medicine. Louise Numina Napananka has collaborated with fashion designer Pia du Pradal, and her work has been featured in exhibitions in Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, and Ballarat.
A draftsman and painter, Thomas Glen holds a Diploma of Visual Art and Bachelor of Fine Art (Griffith University) and has refined his scholarship through studying the methods of Baroque and 19th Century painters in Florence, Italy. Heralding the influence of past masters, Thomas Glen’s work focuses on form, anatomy, and atmosphere with a contemporary presentation.
Cartoonist Sean Leahy’s work currently appears in more than 150 publications worldwide. A year after beginning his career while still at high school, Sean Leahy became Australia’s youngest political cartoonist. His cartoons have been published in newspapers across the country and the world, including The Times and The International Herald-Tribune, and are held in collections including Steven Spielberg’s and the Vatican.
Selected work by master sculptors from Sculptors Queensland
Sculptor Peter Steller turns salvaged timber into art, using natural lines of the grain to enhance and transform each piece into a unique sculpture. He has exhibited extensively and his sculptures grace many homes around the world.
A sculptor since 1978, Janna Pameijer works predominantly in clay, but also bronze, steel, and aluminium. She works figuratively and explores native fauna – reflecting her early years in rural Queensland – and co-founded Queensland Wildlife Artists. Community projects include directing a Hands on Art wall mural, Lutwyche, sculpture trail figures in Charters Towers, and decorative clay motifs for the Maleny Community Centre pavement. She has built a stone house in Maleny, and completed commissions including a pair of life-sized aluminium dolphins for a fountain gate in NSW shopping centre.
Graham Radcliffe – Phoenix Sculpture Garden
The late Graham Radcliffe worked with marble and onyx sourced from Italy to create the Phoenix Sculpture Garden and gallery at Mount Glorious, SE Queensland. With over 100 marble and bronze indoor and outdoor sculptures, the garden combines nature’s beauty with Graham Radcliffe’s life’s work to fulfil a vision of peace.
Artists are available to meet in-studio Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10-2pm, and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday by appointment.
The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade spaces are found on the Gallery
Level of Brisbane Arcade:
ART: Shops 16, 22 and 23
FASHION: Shop 12
The Galleries – emerging art and fashion in Brisbane Arcade was also featured on Ch7 Weekender website;