Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art And Everything, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

Queensland Art Gallery’s 10th anniversary celebrations is ‘Sugar Spin’, featuring over 250 contemporary artworks exploring light, space, architecture and the senses.From brand-new immersive works to large-scale visitor favourites, the exhibition reflects our complex connections to the natural world with an explosion of colour, sensation and spinning delights.

Major new artworks include Nervescape, a multi-coloured landscape of synthetic hair by Icelandic-born artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter, and the electrifying Heard by American sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave, a group of vibrant sculptural horses brought to life by dancers.

‘Sugar Spin’ also marks the return of Carsten Höller’s much-loved Left/Right Slide, spiralling visitors from the top floor of GOMA to the bottom; Ron Mueck’s oversized In bed; Olafur Eliasson’s interactive installation of thousands of white Lego pieces The cubic structural evolution project; and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s musical installation of live finches, from here to ear (v.13) 2010.

Complex connections between humanity and the natural world are celebrated and reconceived in ‘Sugar Spin’ as it draws visitors between distinctive chapters – sweetmelt, blackwater, treasure, cosmos, soaring – establishing a dramatic itinerary through GOMA’s unique exhibition spaces, reflecting the urgent challenges of our day, as well as the beauty of the world we live in.

Sugar Spin
Aptly named Sugar Spin, the gallery’s main exhibition is a “reflection on a time when truth is spun and sugar coated, attention spans are short, trust is fractured, and we are eager for one sugar hit after another”.

Created to play with ideas of abundance, dizziness and disorientation in five contrasting chapters (sweetmelt, blackwater, treasure, cosmos and soaring), the exhibition explores light, space, architecture and the senses. From brand new immersive works to large scale visitor favourites, Sugar Spin reflects our complex connections to the natural world with an array of colours, sensations and spinning delights.

From the moment you step through the wide, glass doors of the gallery this exhibition will entice you, as glimpses of the greatness that lies within become immediately apparent. While a wall to your left offering small windows that hold miniature, sugar-sweet worlds may captivate you initially, it will be the view straight ahead that will eventually demand your attention and draw you further into the gallery. Indeed, whether it is the twin steel slides that spin seductively from the top floor to the ground, filling the void ahead, or the splash of brightly coloured fur that creeps from around a corner high up on the wall it is clear from the get go that things are about to get interesting.

Interesting is definitely an understatement though. Sugar spin is spread generously over two levels both of which are overflowing with engaging, immersive and interactive artistic creations. Some are new, some are old favourites, all are incredible and thought provoking. With most of the pieces being room-sized, the gallery has afforded the artists a full canvas to impress with – and impress they do.

Nervescape by Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir
Commissioned by the gallery, Nervescape is Shoppy’s first work in Australia and the largest in the world to date. Her teetering mound of synthetic hair starts from layered clumps on the ground floor that continue up the wall, climbing high and reaching almost to the gallery’s 3rd floor ceiling before disappearing off around a corner. Designed to reflect her fascination with hair and her belief that the way we style it is one of our greatest reflections of self-expression.

From here to ear 2010 by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
The incredible creation by musician and artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s three columns constructed of suspended and intertwined coathangers is masterful. Both a visual and audio treat, haunting music plays in the background as 24 small, live finches fly between them.

Left/Right Slide by Carsten Höller
Head to the heights of level 3, grab a mat, brace yourself and prepare to be exhilarated. The somewhat unrestricted squeals of delight echoing throughout the quiet gallery spaces is contagious.

The cubic structural evolution project by Olafur Eliasson
Metres upon metres of pure, white Lego fun is there to be both played with and admired. With our great Brisbane cityscape view behind it, grab a bench space and see what creation you can be inspired to add to the display.

Enchanted Spaces by Nusra Latif Qureshi
Choose between four different templates and use the outlines of the animals on the light table to draw your own unique image.

Heard by Nick Cave
Visitors are welcome to walk in and around the colourful herd of sculptured horses as they are seemingly brought to life by the visual dancers and music on the screen behind them.

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is an art museum located in the South Bank precinct of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The gallery is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre.

Queensland Art Gallery was established in 1895 and moved to its current residence at South Bank in 1982. It was joined by the Gallery of Modern Art in 2006 and the galleries now house a globally significant collection of contemporary art from Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is the Queensland Art Gallery’s second building, and is the largest gallery of modern and contemporary art in Australia. It complements the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) building, situated only 150 metres (490 ft) away. Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art also houses Australia’s first purpose built cinematheque. The building was designed by Sydney architecture firm Architectus.

The experience of a visit starts when the striking architecture of our riverside galleries comes into view. Glimpses of Brisbane continue to anchor you to our subtropical city from inside each gallery, while ever-changing exhibitions, programs and events broaden your horizons.

Queensland Art Gallery is also home to a Children’s Art Centre that presents interactive artworks for kids and families, a cinema that celebrates film from around the world, plus gallery shops with art, books and cultural curios to take home. Every visit is a conversation starter, and our outdoor cafes and award-winning restaurant offer places for stimulating discussion.