What are your plans for the upcoming weekend or are you in need of an adventure?
If you are in need of new plans as your old ones have fallen through or your trying to figure out where you can take your significant other on a random date, than I have an idea in mind for you. It includes a day of Indiana Jones’ exploration but if you can’t fathom the idea of rolling around in the mud, what about an underwater adventure with the cast members of Finding Nemo.
Still not sold on the idea, how about secretly ticking off your bucket list by having a selfie with a dinosaur? If you are saying yes to one or all of the above, boy do I have a destination in mind for you and it all can be achieved by stepping onto an escalator.
The place I have in mind for those who wish to become Indiana Jones for a couple of hours or a day, The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) encourages you to plunged yourself into a dinosaur stampede or frolick with turtles and fish amongst the coral of the Great Barrier Reef.
If spending time with Crush from Finding Nemo and learning how he came to be 163 years ago doesn’t interest you, there is always the possibility of coming up close and personal with Bruce (the shark) while keeping your fingers, toes and limbs still attached.
Apart from offering a dinosaur stampede to those with small children or the bigger kids who wanted to discover dinosaurs and swimming with Crush on dry land, GOMA is an incredible place to explore as it offers of wide range of interests. From touring the lands of the Northern Peninsula off the tip of Queensland and travelling thousands of kilometres in a matter of seconds, you can find yourself diving amongst coral and fish to seeking shelter while learning about the history of the wars, Australia has been apart of.
As to my story and how I came to be found sitting amongst the relics of a Pacific Islander woman’s brightly coloured Sunday best after a brief stampede of school children, I have always been a returned lover to the incredible and exciting world of GOMA. Of course, after having accidently stumbled across the giant building I never knew existed until that day.
Located near the heart of bustling Brisbane CBD and within the claimed lands of South Bank, the thing that caught my attention wasn’t the architecture of the building. Where old meets new or the pristine newness of an incredibly large white building, filled with modern day glass. Although that was lovely, my attention was caught and held by an ginormous banner of a woman’s body wearing a corset and what appeared to be a stocking set.
With a 150 years of lingerie being the headliner, I jumped off the nearest train stop that was within walking distance of GOMA (Southbank Parklands for those travelling South of Brisbane) and willingly entered the world that GOMA knows how to perfect.
Unlike the 150 years of lingerie exhibition where I discovered the lingerie from eras gone by was 75.00 dollars (Au) to enter, there are new exhibitions for the general public which are transitional and rotated out for newer exhibitions every 3-6 months. After many visits and falling back in love with each exhibition, they are detailed in the most implicit and simple way so the meaning, picture or text can be easily understood.
My personal favourite so far would be the exhibition of Indigenous Elders with family members as it left me questioning and thinking about what I’d seen and be taught long after leaving GOMA. For the Indigenous Australians and how they were affected by pictures, videos and stories of their elders, made me think about what I’d been taught in primary and high school about the Indigenous people of Australia and how an elder passed.
For I had always been made to believe each different aspect of being labelled as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, they weren’t allowed to speak of their elder as it was forbidden once they passed into the Dream Time. It also brought around me sitting there whilst staring at these photos, why a part of our history hadn’t been taught by a traditional elder and instead was based on ‘white man tales’.
So when discovering that these people were deeply touched on what their elder in the family had done, this new knowledge left me confused. But then, that’s what GOMA is known for doing as you find yourself bringing up what you discovered over breakfast the next day or at your next dinner party.
Speaking of being confused, remember how I mentioned you can have that naughty little selfie with a dinosaur? There are two things I forgot to mention when speaking of said dinosaur selfie and they are: you have the option of a full dinosaur for your selfie or you can be like me and wish to take a selfie with a 2 metre tall dinosaur leg.
Being that the case when trying to take my selfie with said dinosaur leg, I soon discovered much to my horror that I was really short in height for I had either taken the top of my head with all leg or my eyes and what can be only described as being the ankle. This of course left me in a completely different ball game of being confused after the Indigenous exhibition, for now I was stuck with trying to figure out how to take a selfie/photo with Mr. Leggy as there was no one around to give a helping hand.
That was until I discovered a little ledge that has a big enough gap to insert your phone between the information box and glass casing in the dinosaur area of GOMA.
However if you do come across someone who understands how to work a camera and pounce on them, I promise they will not bat an eyelash at your request for a photo. For you will soon discover that plenty of people will ask you take a photo of them or their family. Or if you aren’t interested in a photo/selfie, I seriously suggest checking out the graphic installation of what would have been, a real life dinosaur stampede.
Instead of finding yourself screaming while trying to outrun a predator or giant leaf eater, you can watch in utter fascination as dinosaurs run across the room before coming back down to earth with a realistic, solid outlay of dinosaur feet embedded into rock. What’s even more exciting is the feeling you get knowing you are within centimetres of ground that once belonged in another time. It is simply mind boggling to say the least, Dearest Reader.
Now as to the completed dinosaur if you don’t wish to take a photo next to Mr. Leggy, there is this little beauty. Having dealt with the modelling world, I’d say his left side profile and contouring is what the younger generation would claim as being ‘on point/fleek’. But in a more serious manner, he reminds me of the T-Rex from Night At The Meusuem, minus the teeth and was quite the charmer.
As to timing and days for exploring, I tend to place my visit of exploration either on a Monday or Wednesday and within the early hours of the morning. Mainly because school excursions occur towards the mid-afternoon, which can be pretty loud with hundreds of students running around and it fits in with my college timetable for tutorials and lectures.
For those who don’t particularly deal well with children of any age, attending during the week is more peaceful. As weekends tend to be more directed towards parents with little children or babies in prams, who like many of us need to escape from the house for a couple of well deserved hours. So if you find yourself out of ideas for a date of quirkiness or simply need to fill in a couple of hours before a tutorial, GOMA is your destination.
Not only will you find free exhibitions that prove to be interesting or the chance to encounter a real life shark whilst keeping all of your limbs, GOMA proves to not only be an area of learning but also holds the ability to keep your mind interested as you inhale, soak up and explore the history provided as you willingly put on the hat of Indiana Jones.
The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10am–5pm
Until next time,