OUT: Nervous Laughter / Papergirl Brisbane / Aureate

I'm not sure if it's because of the cool, breezy and welcoming nights we've been having, or the need to get out and express ourselves as we settle back into routine, but Brisbane's night scene has been buzzing with a kind of electricity that everybody wants to share.  

As such, Friday night brought us an almost-overwhelming smorgasbord of arts events.  Our first stop was the Nervous Laughter group exhibition at Anne Street's Bleeding Heart Gallery.  Disguised with the facade of an old Queenslander, Bleeding Heart is the kind of venue where a relaxed, chatty atmosphere and good acoustics make you want to hang around.  

The latest exhibition featured seven emerging Australian artists all playfully exploring and twisting notions of traditional fine art into their mediums of choice.  Standouts included large oil paintings of black-and-white, celebrity-esque portraits, and minimalist water colour works where accompanying extracts of internal dialogue were played out in scenes with delicately coloured animals.  Drop by Bleeding Heart to check it out anytime before the exhibition closes next Friday, March 22nd!

Our next stop was just a few streets away at Bean Cafe, which had been crafted into a cosy one-night-only exhibition space by the crafty folk at Vegas Spray - arguably Brisbane's most innovative artist-run initiative.  We'd been keeping an eye on their latest venture, Papergirl Brisbane, since they opened submissions to everyone in general and no-one in particular late last year.  You didn't have to be a committed creative to participate in this one - just draw/photograph/sketch/scribble/write/print something creative and original onto paper and post away.

In Vegas Spray's own words, the goal of Papergirl was to:

1.  Collect artwork and writing.

2.  Exhibit all submitted pieces of work.

3.  Deliver all the work to random people via bicycle.

On display was an impressively diverse and substantial range of works; some by familiar names, some by international ones, and all strung up around Bean cafe - there was a real community vibe.  Maybe you'll spot one of these citizen artworks pasted-up around the city over the next few weeks - keep an eye out.

Joseph Fraser / 17 / School Student + Photographer

1. What's the most exciting thing that happened today?  
I discovered this place!

2. Best part of tonight?
The cultural diversity of the images and the diversity of the mediums.

3. Last arts event you attended?  
GOMA APT 7.  My favorite was the Vietnamese 3D installation of the skyscraper.

4. Favorite place in Brisbane?  
GOMA - it's always changing.

5. Something you're looking forward to?  
I'm a student ambassador for La Boite, so I'm looking forward to their year of theatre!

Our last stop for the night (before dinner at PJ's Steaks - woo!) was illustrator Danish Quapoor's Aureate exhibition opening at West End's The Box.  As a word, aureate denotes or relates to the quality of gold, and this concept was certainly ubiquitous in Quapoor's exhibition, and even in the costumes of some attendees!  Though most of the featured works were made using only a nikko marker and gold ink pen drawn onto the humble mediums of pull-down blinds and cabinet doors, this exhibition was a visually-engaging testament to the illustrator's talent.  To sweeten the deal, there was plenty of free alcohol and gentle acoustic music.

Jeremy Staples / 31 / Cultural Scene Planner and Kelly Purnell / 24 / Biology Student

1. Tell us a bit about what you do?
J: I travel, inspire creativity, host art workshops, and am a part of The Staples.
K: Full-time student.

2. Most exciting thing about today?
J: Booked art workshops taking place in Canberra and Tasmania in June. One's a Japanese printmaking working, the other a zine making one! I also had a meeting with comic collective ZICS (Zine and Independent Comics Symposium).
K: The Synchrotron!

3. Best part about Aureate?
J: We're both from Toowoomba, so here to support friends and to support this great artist-run initiative at The Box!
K: Catching up with friends from Toowoomba.

4. Last arts event you attended?
J: Dinosaur Jr, a friend won tickets.
K: I can't remember, there's always something going lately!

5. Favorite Place in Brisbane?
J: Anywhere along the river in a secluded spot where you can sit and be creative and have a drink.
K: The Australian species part of the Mt Coot-tha botanical gardens!

6. What arts related event are you looking forward to?
J: A film about this B-grade actor by the guy who used to run Trashvideo... but then there is so much culture happening in Brisbane where it's not possible anywhere else! For example, we were able to organize this bicycle festival where the community could just all come together.   It wouldn't have been possible in Sydney or Melbourne because there's such a hierarchy there.
K: A gig on at 199 Boundary street tonight.

Find out more about Jeremy's awesome projects including his latest, the Pop Up DIY Workshop Bicycle here!