Treat your eyes to two decades worth of Queensland photography at this new online exhibition
Looking back, the year 2000 seems a simpler time – the Y2K scare was behind us, the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony introduced us to a high-flying Nikki Webster and robo-dogs and flip-phones were the must-have toys of the moment. Two decades on, our home state and the world in general has undergone some massive changes. We’ve been through a lot – even if you don’t include this year! State Library of Queensland has curated a time-capsule of the past two decades for its new online photography exhibition TWENTY, so you can look back at the past 20 years and reminisce on the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Launching online Monday June 15, TWENTY is a spell-binding photography exhibition reflecting on the last – you guessed it – 20 years in Queensland. The 200-plus photo collection of documentary-style visuals covers both pivotal events in history to simple everyday life moments that occurred in Queensland over the past two decades. There’s everything from natural disasters such as the 2011 floods to community protests on human rights, political issues and environmental concerns, as well as iconic celebrations of art and culture such as the Livid festival (1989–2003). The exhibition will also dive into Queensland’s architectural history and its millennial transformation from our favourite old-style Queenslander homes to a more modern design, as well as our state’s natural landscapes including deserts, rainforests, coral reefs and mountain ranges, plus an insight into interstate working life.
The 56 photographers featured in TWENTY – including Mick Richards, John Gollings, Jo-Anne Driessens, Marc Wright and many others – represent the enormous bounty of talent in Queensland’s photography community. Some are well-known, some are just starting out, but all are extremely gifted – each have contributed breathtaking photographs that reflect our sunny state in the new millennium.
On Wednesday June 17, you’ll be able to delve deeper into the the exhibition’s work and hear from award-winning journalist Kerry O’Brien as he reflects on the importance of documentary photography and pivotal moments in the past two decades of Queensland history captured in this spectacular time-travelling exhibition. Now all you have to do is hop online on Monday and scroll through some history.
Image One: Camel musterer Artie, also known as ‘The Wizard’, on Charlotte Plains Station near Cunnamulla, Queensland, 2014. Dean Saffron. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Image Two: Audience at the Pig City concert, Brisbane, 2007, Leif Ekstrom, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Image Three: Girl holding a placard with an image of David Attenborough, reading:’Do it 4 David’; 2019, Hamish Cairns, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Image Four: Looking south along Surfers Paradise Avenue near the corner of View Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, 2013, John Gollings, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Image Five: Dance party reveller under red lighting, Brisbane, 2003-2004, Marc Wright, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
This article was created in partnership with our friends at State Library of Queensland. To learn more about the TWENTY exhibition, head here.