Once upon a time in Brisbane
Once upon a time there was a building nestled in a quiet suburb of Brisbane’s south. It was a creative building starting out as a Queensland TAFE college in 1972 followed later by the Queensland College of Art (Griffith University) and finally a campus of Southbank Institute of Technology.
Walking the corridors of this building for me is both a peaceful and almost meditative act; far more precious than the celebration of old masters and glorified art academics that grace the walls of our public funded galleries. No, this is a constantly revolving canvass, and although there are rules as to what is painted over and what remains, once those rules are broken, it is fair game for anyone.
All these lives have since given way to what I like to describe as a new set of creative minds, those that are not held back by classical definitions of art and design, a free flowing message to the rest of society that refusal to conform is the new black and that no amount of Government crackdowns will prevent artists from being artists. (It is now punishable by law to create un-commissioned Street-art in public areas in Brisbane, with a maximum sentence 7 years in prison).
These Artists and Designers have created their own world within the boundaries of a building that was built around academic rules of education and art practice. It has been turned it on its head creating an ‘armageddon like’ celebration of all that is wrong with modern life and modern art collecting, they are on the battle lines of art and conformity, laying down their own rules and shrugging off anyone that disagrees with their philosophy of free art and expression.
By doing so they have given an old building life, maybe not a life 90% of Brisbane’s population agrees with, but a life none the same, one I feel more at home in than the clean aluminium and glass of a big country town trying to be a city. This is the Brisbane City the world will never see, but it is there, you just need to look.
Daniel Groneberg is an artist, street photographer, coffee fanatic, and cheese addict; he has been addicted to the smell of darkroom chemicals since the age of 13 and can be found wondering the streets and abandoned buildings of Brisbane.
Daniel is a proactive member of the photographic community and holds affiliations with The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), Australian Commercial and Media Photographers (ACMP), Queensland Centre of Photography (QCP) and is a Co-Founder of the Brisbane Camera Collective, a common ground for Brisbane photographers & photographic artists to showcase their work.