Media releases

View current and recent media releases from the State Library. For more information about any of these stories or about earlier releases, please contact Marketing and Communications on +61 7 3842 9847 or by email to communications@slq.qld.gov.au.

 

11 Dec 2017

State Library highlights Queensland’s spirit of innovation

State Library highlights Queensland’s spirit of innovation

Explore Queensland’s unique history and culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation in State Library of Queensland’s upcoming exhibition, Magnificent Makers.

Opening to the public on Saturday 9 December, the exhibition profiles the lives and works of a group of remarkable Queenslanders who thought outside the box to craft pioneering creations from the late 1800s to the present day.

Using the technology available to them at the time, the innovators profiled in Magnificent Makers made significant developments in the areas of education, sport, leisure, clothing, photography, medicine and scientific research.

Their creations range from the weird and wacky to the functional and philanthropic.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said that as custodians of Queensland’s collective memory, State Library of Queensland is uniquely placed to share insights into our state’s past.

“SLQ’s extensive collections house more than just published works, photographs and newspapers, with the repositories holding original materials and personally donated items including blueprints, signage, objects, clothing, digital stories, and more,” Ms McDonald said.

“Our collections tell a story unlike any other, and Magnificent Makers tells the story of Queensland’s early inventors and creators, their personal tales, and how they contributed to the advancement of the state through their work.”

“The stories of our early innovators are fascinating and heart-warming in equal measure, and I’m sure this exhibition will serve as inspiration for a new generation of Queensland entrepreneurs.”

One of the most intriguing items on display in the exhibition is an intricate Braille globe for vision-impaired children invented in Queensland in the 1950s by Richard Frank Tunley.

Tunley, known as the ‘Fairy Godfather of Blind Children’, dedicated his life to improving outcomes for vision-impaired children and adults, producing Braille globes and maps, as well as being instrumental in implementing compulsory education for deaf and blind children.

A Queensland Library Foundation funding grant was recently announced which will enable SLQ to use photogrammetry and 3D printing technologies to create an exact replica of the Braille globe able to be touched as the original was intended to be experienced.

Modern day pioneer, Wayne Denning will also be showcased in the exhibition. Wayne, a proud Birri Gubba man from Blackwater, is founder and managing director of Carbon Creative, an award-winning creative agency that gives Indigenous Australians a space and a voice in today’s creative landscape.

Magnificent Makers is free and open to the public in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery from Saturday 9 December 2017 until 3 June 2018. For more information, visit slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on.

Interviews and images are available upon request.

Media enquiries
SLQ Marketing & Communications
communications@slq.qld.gov.au | 07 3842 9847

Magnificent Makers
9 December 2017 – 3 June 2018
Open daily 10am–5pm
Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, level 4
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct
Free entry

27 Nov 2017

2017 Young Writers Award winners announced

2017 Young Writers Award winners announced

The winners of Queensland’s most prestigious award for young writers were revealed on Saturday 25 November as part of the inaugural Young Writers Conference at State Library of Queensland (SLQ).

Jonathan O’Brien, a writer and creative producer from Graceville, and Eight Mile Plains teenager, Gina Song, were presented with their prizes by State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald at a special ceremony.

Jonathan O’Brien, 21, won $2,000 and membership to Queensland Writers Centre in the 18–25 years category for his clever and original entry, Every Idea I Had For My Australian Literature Short Story Collection. The judges praised the story for using “an experimental form to take chances and surprise the reader,” declaring it “the stand-out entry this year”.

Gina Song, 17, received $500 and membership to Queensland Writers Centre in the category for writers aged 15–17. The judges said her story We Cut Strings was “the clear winner” in this age group because it “contained a powerful metaphor,” and the characters were “balanced with beautiful detail to give the story a strong, narrative progression”.

The 2017 runners up are Zarin Nuzhat, 22 from Kuraby, and Jesse Hyden, 17 from Redlynch in North Queensland.

Ms McDonald said State Library was proud of its long history of nurturing emerging literary talent in Queensland through the Young Writers Award, which has been running for more than 20 years.

“The award is a platform to recognise and encourage the literary aspirations of young people, and champion the stories of Queenslanders,” Ms McDonald said.

“The Young Writers Award has laid the path toward publication for some of the state’s most exciting new literary talent, including former winners and finalists such as Shastra Deo, Rebecca Jessen and Lech Blaine, who returned to State Library to share their expertise at the Young Writers Conference.

“The Young Writers Award supports and promotes writers at a critical stage of their professional and artistic development and is just one of State Library’s many commitments to fostering a strong writing community in Queensland,” Ms McDonald said.

SLQ received more than 320 entries for the 2017 Young Writers Award from across Queensland, with 20% of entries coming from regional writers based in the likes of Goondiwindi, Cecil Plains, Taroomball, Longreach, Mackay, Mount Pleasant, Proserpine, Mission Beach, and Redlynch.

The 2017 Young Writers Award winners and finalists are:

Writers aged 18-25
Winner
Every Idea I Had For My Australian Literature Short Story Collection by Jonathan O'Brien, 21

Runner up
Mango Chutney by Zarin Nuzhat, 22

Highly Commended
Return by Grace McCarter, 25
how to: save the world by Eliza Copeland, 22
A Dance of Paper Cranes by Alison Utting, 19

Writers aged 15-17
Winner
We Cut Strings by Gina Song, 17

Runner up
The Lucky Country by Jesse Hyden, 17

Highly Commended
Tie a Knot by Daniel Scott, 17
Anh Nhu by Jenny Nguyen, 16
Mutiny on the Boundary by Campbell Glaves, 17
Roses and Thorns by Kate Lockyer, 17

The Young Writers Award is open to Queensland residents aged 15 to 25 years. Winning stories are available online at www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards/ywa. The 2018 call for entries will open mid-year.

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson | SLQ Marketing and Communications
07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

Interviews and images are available upon request.

26 Oct 2017

$10,000 Fellowships to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers

$10,000 Fellowships to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers

State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) black&write! Fellowships are now open for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers nationwide.

The two black&write! Fellowships offer unpublished and published authors the chance to each receive $10,000 prize money, professional manuscript development with SLQ’s black&write! editing team and a publication opportunity for their final work.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch encouraged aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers to apply.

“black&write! Fellowships have been a cornerstone in the career pathways for some of our most exciting new voices in literature who are sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories in diverse and innovative ways,” Ms Enoch said.

“2016 Fellow Claire Coleman recently released her debut speculative novel Terra Nullius to strong critical acclaim, with a second print run already commissioned by black&write! publishing partner Hachette Australia.

“In previous years, black&write! Fellowships have helped elevate the careers of writers such as Ali Cobby Eckermann, who recently made history as the first poet to win the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize from Yale University in the United States.”

Alumni also include Sue McPherson, whose winning manuscript Grace Beside Me was published in 2012 by Magabala Books. The popular coming-of-age novel is now being transformed into a NITV/ABC ME series, currently filming on location in Queensland’s Scenic Rim and slated for release in 2018.

black&write! Fellowships are open to unpublished manuscript entries in the form of a novel, young adult novel, short story collection, poetry collection, or children’s book.

In previous years, Fellowships have been awarded to manuscripts as varied as Bakir and Bi, a children’s book written and illustrated by aunt-and-niece duo Jillian Boyd and Tory-Jay Mordey; Ruby Moonlight, an historical verse novel by renowned poet Ali Cobby Eckermann; science fiction adventure Rift Breaker from comedian Tristan Savage, and young adult paranormal romance Rise of the Fallen by Teagan Chilcott.

In 2018, black&write! continues its partnership with Hachette Australia, the Australian arm of the international publishing house.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said SLQ is proud to help foster a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing community.

“black&write! is a national project and the first of its kind in Australia. Supporting new talent to share their stories is central to State Library’s commitment to nurturing a culture of reading, writing and ideas,” Ms McDonald said.

“We are extremely grateful to the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, and Hachette Australia for supporting this vital initiative.”

Entries for 2018 black&write! Fellowships are free to submit, with applications closing on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

More information and application forms can be accessed via slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards.

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson | SLQ Communications
07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

Interviews and images are available upon request.

20 Oct 2017

Jabu Birriny (land and sea) showcases the artistry of a unique Queensland community

Jabu Birriny (land and sea) showcases the artistry of a unique Queensland community

State Library of Queensland (SLQ) will share the contemporary stories of Far North Queensland’s Yarrabah community with an insightful showcase opening on Sunday 22 October 2017.

Jabu Birriny (land and sea) is the culmination of a collaboration between SLQ and the artists of Yarrabah, who are widely regarded for their distinct weaving, ceramics, textiles and prints embodying their connection to Country.

Located on the shore of Cape Grafton, Yarrabah is a dynamic Aboriginal community surrounded by tropical native bushland and mountain ranges united by sandy coastlines and coral reefs.

On show at SLQ will be works from 2017 NAIDOC Artist of the Year Elverina Johnson, as well as Yarrabah Art Centre members Philomena Yeatman, Edna Ambrym, Valmai Pollard, Ruben Ambrym and Michelle Yeatman.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said that the project has allowed SLQ’s kuril dhagun team to foster a close connection with the people of Yarrabah, supported by Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct and the local Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

“We uncovered more than 100 collection items here at State Library, reflecting the daily life and landscape of Yarrabah; we also had the privilege of sharing these photographs during visits to the community,” Ms McDonald said.

“Enabling this increased access for community members also provided State Library with the opportunity to update information within the collection. It was wonderful to identify Yarrabah residents in our photographs, including one treasured image featuring the mothers of some of the Jabu Birriny (land and sea) artists.”

As well as the vibrant prints, intricately woven vessels and textured ceramics on display, the showcase includes images from SLQ’s collection and a series of digital interviews featuring the participating artists, which will also be available online.

Ms McDonald said it was paramount for SLQ that the collaborative curatorial approach to building Jabu Birriny allowed space and time for the artists to tell their stories in their own words.

“The video portraits provide a very personal perspective into each artist’s creative practice and approach to incorporating their histories and home of Yarrabah into their art works.”

Elverina Johnson is looking forward to visiting Brisbane with her fellow artist Aunty Philomena Yeatman for the opening of Jabu Birriny.

Together they will offer insights into their artistry through a guided tour of the showcase and hands-on workshops exploring the techniques behind Yarrabah’s celebrated weaving and basket making practices.

“Yarrabah is blessed by the natural abundance and beauty of our land and sea environment. As artists, we honour the traditions and stories of our culture and ancestors, and it is very special for us to share this with visitors to kuril dhagun,” Ms Johnson said.

Jabu Birriny (land and sea) is just one way in which State Library is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, community groups and individuals in Queensland to ensure their stories are collected, preserved and shared,” Ms McDonald said.

The showcase will open in kuril dhagun at SLQ from Sunday 22 October. For more information, visit jabubirriny.slq.qld.gov.au.

Jabu Birriny (land and sea) has been co-curated with Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct, a branch of the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council.

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson | SLQ Communications
07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

Interviews and images are available upon request.

Jabu Birriny (land and sea)
22 October 2017 – 4 March 2018
Open daily, 10am–5pm
kuril dhagun, level 1
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct
Free entry

Yarrabah Artist Tours and Workshops
21 October 2017, 10am-1pm
kuril dhagun, level 1
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct
$30, includes artist-led tour of Jabu Birriny

6 Oct 2017

State Library to replicate and digitise rare Queensland-made Braille globe

State Library to replicate and digitise rare Queensland-made Braille globe

An intricate Braille globe invented in Queensland in the 1950s will be reimagined for a new generation of Queenslanders thanks to the power of a crowd funding initiative by Queensland Library Foundation.

A room full of budding philanthropists joined together with likeminded lovers of culture, heritage and the arts at State Library of Queensland (SLQ) for the Foundation’s annual Crowd Giving event.

Audience members heard passionate pitches for three new SLQ projects and then, under the guidance of respected philanthropists Courtney Talbot and Alison Green, grilled the presenters, debated and discussed, before voting on which idea was most worthy of their collective $10,000 funding kitty.

A project to make known the intriguing story of a rare globe held in the SLQ collection was the winning pitch.

The globe was originally created for vision-impaired children by Queenslander Richard Frank Tunley, known as the ‘Fairy Godfather of Blind Children’, who dedicated his life to improving outcomes for vision-impaired children and adults, producing Braille globes and maps.

The funding will enable State Library to use photogrammetry and 3D printing technologies to create an exact replica of the globe able to be touched as the original was intended to be experienced, accompanied by detailed digital plans and learning notes available for sharing internationally.

Some of the money will also support SLQ preservation staff to conserve the original Tunley globe, which is now quite fragile.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said the Tunley globe is a marvel of Queensland ingenuity, enterprise and skill.

“The Tunley globe is a truly remarkable creation and a unique, perhaps unknown, Queensland story,” Ms McDonald said.

“SLQ is immensely grateful to the donors who have put their money behind making this fascinating piece of Queensland history discoverable and accessible for a new generation of Queenslanders .”

“A donation to Queensland Library Foundation directly supports State Library of Queensland’s’s important and valued work and will help impact the growth of knowledge and innovation in our state,” Ms McDonald said.

To find out more or pledge your support, visit foundation.slq.qld.gov.au/make-a-donation or contact Queensland Library Foundation directly on (07) 3840 7767 or at foundation@slq.qld.gov.au.

The original Tunley globe will be on display in an upcoming SLQ exhibition in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery on level 4, opening in December 2017.

Media enquiries
SLQ Marketing & Communications
communications@slq.qld.gov.au | 07 3842 9847

4 Oct 2017

Winners of prestigious Queensland Literary Awards announced

Winners of prestigious Queensland Literary Awards announced

Queensland’s literary talent was tonight (Wednesday 4 October) recognised at the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) ceremony at the State Library of Queensland (SLQ).

Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated the winners of the 2017 QLA while also confirming continued funding to support the awards in partnership with SLQ.

“After reinstating the QLA in 2015, I am proud to confirm that my government will continue to support the awards, reaffirming our ongoing commitment to celebrating and nurturing our literary artists,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

Attending the awards on behalf of the Premier, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch applauded the rich pool of Queensland writers celebrated at the awards.

“I am proud of this government’s commitment to building Queensland’s reputation as a leader in the national literary landscape by profiling and supporting our homegrown writers,” Ms Enoch said.

“This year’s awards include the QUT Digital Literature Award, which supports continued growth in the digital space. I was delighted to present the $25,000 Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance to Bill Wilkie from Mossman in Far North Queensland for his work The Daintree Blockade: The Battle for Australia’s Tropical Rainforests.”

Ms Enoch also announced the two recipients of the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards which help foster the next generation of literary talent.

“Congratulations to Lech Blaine from regional Queensland and Mindy Gill from South Brisbane who will both receive $10,000 each along with an additional $2500 worth of professional development,” she said.

Professor Andrew Griffiths, chairperson, Library Board of Queensland, presented the three $15,000 Queensland Writers Fellowships – designed to advance a project over a 12-month period - to Zenobia Frost, Linda Neil and Mirandi Riwoe.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald presented the State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award to Antigone Kefala for Fragments, her first poetry collection in 20 years.

Ms McDonald also presented Janet Lee with the Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award for her work The Killing of Louisa, which judges said showed great control of character, plot and narrative.

This year, the QLA, presented by SLQ and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland (AQ), offered prizes for authors in 13 categories across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, for published and unpublished work.

The Queensland Government continues to match sponsor and philanthropic support through funding across all award categories, and in partnership with SLQ also supports three Queensland Writers Fellowships (QWF) of $15,000, providing authors with an opportunity to develop their manuscripts and writing projects.

A further eight Queensland writers have been selected in 2017 to receive Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellowships, supported by AQ, SLQ and Griffith Review, which will culminate with the Fellows’ completed pieces published in the Griffith Review next year.

These Fellowships were awarded to Ashley Hay, Mirandi Riwoe, Andrea Baldwin, Victoria Carless, Anne Richards, Matthew Wengert, Jill Barker and Rosie Funder.

On behalf of the Premier, Ms Enoch acknowledged the support of QLA partners: The University of Queensland, Griffith University, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith Review, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and The Courier-Mail.

2017 Queensland Literary Award winners


Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance (Prize: $25,000)

  • The Daintree Blockade: The Battle for Australia's Tropical Rainforests by Bill Wilkie (Four Mile Books)

Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards (Prize: $12,500 each)

  • Lech Blaine
  • Mindy Gill

Queensland Writers Fellowships (Prize: $15,000 each)

  • Zenobia Frost for Museum of Dwellings
  • Linda Neil for People are Kind
  • Mirandi Riwoe for A Gold Mountain Woman

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (UQP)

Griffith University Children’s Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan (Allen & Unwin)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Pan Macmillan)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor (MUP)

University of Southern Queensland Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • The Circle and the Equator by Kyra Giorgi (UWA Publishing)

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Fragments by Antigone Kefala (Giramondo)

QUT Digital Literature Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Nine Billion Branches by Jason Nelson

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award (Prize: $10,000)

  • Mirrored Pieces by Lisa Fuller

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award (Prize $10,000)

  • The Killing of Louisa by Janet Lee

The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

  • Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (UQP)


For more information about the awards visit www.qldliteraryawards.org.au
Photos available upon request: Cinnamon Watson Publicity, 0432 219 643 or email cinn@cinnamonwatsonpublicity.com.au

25 Sep 2017

Celebrate the arts and sciences at State Library

Celebrate the arts and sciences at State Library

State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is helping young people and families engage with the arts and sciences in a meaningful way by hosting a free, family-friendly Fun Palace event on Saturday 7 October.

For one day only, SLQ will be transformed into a dedicated wonderland of scientific enquiry and creativity as art and science collide.

This year’s SLQ Fun Palace will feature an intriguing presentation by well-known science broadcaster and author Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, an explosive performance by Street Science, and a host of activities, workshops, and demonstrations.

Visitors can expect to get hands-on with a range of innovative technologies, expanding on the highly popular Digital Futures Lab interactive exhibition.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said Fun Palace is a true celebration of art, science, innovation and discovery, and offers a world of opportunity for Queensland’s younger generation.

“Queensland is moving into the information economy and it is essential that young people have access to and are participating in creative and scientific pursuits,” Ms Enoch said.

“Fun Palace offers young people a chance to try their hand at a range of art and science-related activities in a family-friendly, community-led environment, and provides an opportunity to see what sparks their interests and gets them excited.”

Fun Palace is a global movement, held annually on the first weekend of October, which encourages everyone to be an artist and a scientist for a day by interacting with a range of fun and informative activities and performances.

The first worldwide Fun Palaces where held in October 2014, when 138 venues, locations, communities and groups created their own local events.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said SLQ is excited to be part of the worldwide Fun Palace movement for the third year in a row.

“The Fun Palace concept is about working with our communities to get people excited about and engaged in the arts and sciences.

“The event encourages people of all ages, with a particular focus on children and families, to get hands-on and minds-on with a range of artistic and scientific disciplines such as ecology, coding, engineering, writing, illustrating, and more,” Ms McDonald said.

SLQ will host its Fun Palace on Saturday 7 October from 9.30am to 2.30pm. Entry and all activities are free and open to the public.

Interviews and images available upon request.

Media enquiries
Hillary Bell, SLQ Communications | 07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

SLQ is proud to be a Fun Palace Maker in Fun Palaces happening around the world.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.

5 Sep 2017

2017 Queensland Literary Awards finalists announced

2017 Queensland Literary Awards finalists announced

The diversity and excellence of literature from Queensland and across Australia has been recognised with the announcement today of the finalists for the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards (QLAs).

Presented by the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), the QLAs offer prizes for writers in thirteen categories across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, for published and unpublished work.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said that celebrating some of the best examples of locally-developed literature through events such as the QLAs is central to the State Library of Queensland’s commitment to nurturing a culture of reading, writing and ideas.

“This year’s shortlist includes important accounts of real life events that have shaped Queensland communities and individuals, as well as extraordinary works of creativity and imagination.”

“The QLA have fostered the careers of writers such as Cathy McLennan, who has progressed from winning the Emerging Queensland Writer award in 2014 through to a nomination for the Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance for her remarkable non-fiction book Saltwater in 2017,” Ms McDonald said.

“Nominees also include last year’s winner of The Courier-Mail People’s Choice category, Mary-Rose Maccoll, a writer who has previously been celebrated for fictional works, but in 2017 has received three nominations for her deeply personal non-fiction title, For a Girl.”

Ms McDonald noted the introduction of the QUT Digital Literature Award by SLQ in 2017 to acknowledge contemporary publishing and digital innovation in storytelling.

“Queensland has always been home to a vibrant and passionate literary community and we are proud to continue supporting writing, publishing and reading, both in print and online,” Ms McDonald said.

“We are grateful to have the continued support of key QLA partners including the Queensland Government, The University of Queensland, Griffith University, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund and The Courier-Mail.”

The Queensland Government continues to match sponsor and partnership funding across all award categories, and in partnership with SLQ supports three Queensland Writers Fellowships of $15,000 to provide authors
with an opportunity to develop their manuscripts and writing projects.

The award winners and fellowship recipients will be announced at a special ceremony to be held at State Library of Queensland on Wednesday 4 October.

The shortlists can be found at qldliteraryawards.org.au/about/shortlists

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson, SLQ Communications
communications@slq.qld.gov.au | 07 3842 9847

25 Aug 2017

Neon glow illuminates State Library

Neon glow illuminates State Library

State Library of Queensland (SLQ) has turned on the lights for The Salon Electric, a celebration of neon and design.

Iconic pieces curated by neon sign maker Michael Blazek are now on display alongside historical photographs from SLQ’s collections.

Housed in SLQ’s Asia Pacific Design Library, The Salon Electric explores the process of making neon, its relationship to nightlife subculture, and the role of neon in contemporary art and design.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said the collections share a unique period in Queensland’s history and aim to ignite Queenslanders’ living memory.

“The historical images speak to a different, more carefree, time — from the heyday of the Gold Coast’s glitter strip to the regional motel signs dotting the highways,” Ms McDonald said.

“Together with Michael’s Blazek’s curated signs, The Salon Electric tells the story of neon signage in Queensland and highlights the role of the maker in design.”

Second generation neon sign maker Michael Blazek has worked with SLQ to curate signage from his personal collection as well as essential tools of the trade.

The Salon Electric features iconic Brisbane pieces from Jo-Jo’s restaurant, Kookaburra Cafe, and Mr Fourex’s beer.

Queenslanders are invited to share their own photographs of local neon signs to aid SLQ in digitally capturing this period of signage and design history.

Using the social media platform Historypin, visitors can upload images from home, add a location, and explore visuals of other signs across the state.

Mr Blazek estimates there are only 200 large scale neon signs left in Queensland, with many signs steadily taken out of service over the past decade.

“There are so many beautiful signs that are disappearing and that’s really sad,” he said.

“Neon is a long-standing and unique form of design, and the slow dismantling of signs is a huge loss to the design community.”

Visitors can meet Michael in a special Q&A session on Tuesday 5 September, following the Queensland premiere screening of Brisbane-produced documentary NEON.

Directed by Lawrence Johnston and produced by Veronica Fury, NEON explores the beauty, invention, design and heritage of the neon sign in a journey across America.

NEON was produced with assistance from Screen Queensland, Film Victoria, and the Premiere Fund of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Salon Electric is open daily in the Design Lounge, level 2, State Library of Queensland until February 2018.

For more information visit slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on.

NEON
Queensland premiere

Tuesday 5 September, 6pm–8pm
SLQ Auditorium 1, level 2
State Library of Queensland
Cultural Precinct, South Bank

Followed by Q&A with

  • Michael Blazek, neon sign maker and The Salon Electric curator
  • Lawrence Johnston, NEON film director
  • Veronica Fury, NEON film producer

High resolution images available upon request

Media enquiries
SLQ Communications
communications@slq.qld.gov.au | 07 3842 9847

25 Aug 2017

Vote for your Queensland Book of the Year

Vote for your Queensland Book of the Year

Voting for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year as part of the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards opens today.

The winning author will receive a $10,000 prize at the Queensland Literary Awards (QLAs) in October, with The Courier-Mail’s sponsorship matched by funding from the Queensland Government.

Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the announcement of this year’s shortlisted books for People’s Choice Queensland Book of the year and encouraged Queenslanders to participate and support the wonderful authors vying for the award.

“My Government is pleased to support our talented local writers through the Queensland Literary Awards, and I encourage booklovers to cast their votes for the People’s Choice award and champion contemporary Queensland authors,” said Ms Palaszczuk.

“It is important we recognise the state’s outstanding literary talent, support the telling and celebration of our stories and foster our next generation of writing talent.”

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said that the People’s Choice Award is one of the prestigious categories of the QLAs and revealed many talented writers.

“Our state has a proud history of producing exceptional literary talent and this award is a wonderful opportunity for Queensland readers to support and celebrate local writers.”

State Librarian and CEO, Vicki McDonald today announced the shortlist for the award, which includes popular authors Nick Earls and Mary-Rose MacColl, the recipient of the 2016 award for her novel Swimming Home.

“The books nominated for the People’s Choice award in 2017 are reflective of the creativity, diversity and tenacity of the people of Queensland,” said Ms McDonald.

“The shortlist includes flights of fancy from stifling Brisbane summers to Byzantine adventures, powerful stories of secrets and survival, and connections to community and family.”

The Courier-Mail editor Lachlan Heywood said the People’s Choice award offers everyday Queenslanders the chance to join the judging panel and support local writers.

"The Courier-Mail is passionate about promoting literacy and supporting Queensland talent, and is proud to help highlight such an accomplished group of authors” said Mr Heywood.

Amongst this year's nominees is Cathy McLennan’s Saltwater, previously awarded the 2014 Emerging Queensland Author – Unpublished Manuscript (under the title We Come From Saltwater People). The progression of this important true story illustrates the crucial developmental support that the QLAs provide to emerging Queensland authors.

Queenslanders have until Monday 25 September to vote online at qldliteraryawards.org.au.

The winner of The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year will be announced at the Queensland Literary Awards ceremony, to be held at State Library of Queensland on Wednesday 4 October.

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award Shortlist 2017:

  • The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)
  • Vancouver by Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt)
  • Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler (HarperCollins)
  • A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay (Allen & Unwin)
  • Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster)
  • To Prey and To Silence by Joan Isaacs (A and A Publishing)
  • For a Girl by Mary-Rose MacColl (Allen & Unwin)
  • Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (UQP)

The Queensland Government through State Library of Queensland and Arts Queensland supports and champions the Queensland Literary Awards in nurturing a culture of reading, writing and ideas.

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson, SLQ Communications
communications@slq.qld.gov.au | 07 3842 9847

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For more information about any of these stories or about earlier releases, please contact Marketing and Communications on +61 7 3842 9847 or by email to communications@slq.qld.gov.au.

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