3 days until the opening of Floodlines and it’s a mix of nervousness and excitement as the last of the works are being hung in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, the tech is being tested is the slq gallery and the last of the vinyl is being put up!
Floodlines started as a conversation on Level 4 in February 2011 whilst slq was still shut for repairs after the floods and around the state – areas were still being inundated. The journey started by uncovering – with Helen Gregory - the forgotten history of floods in the 1800’s and the first image of the Victoria Bridge crashing into the Brisbane River blew me away. It also made us think that images just like this one must be in Queenslanders personal collections and that we have to do something in order to capture these stories.
This journey – Floodlines – has humbled me as I continue to hear of the most heroic stories, meet some of the people who touched so many lives, collaborate with very talented digital artists and curators including Jason Nelson and Lubi Thomas and work with JosephMark on what would seem to be an Australian first – Augmented Reflections!
What we knew early on in the piece was that we wanted this exhibition to be about the people, the stories of the people – highlighting the strength of communities – as sometimes that is all that is left standing! Which is where the foundations of the Flood and Cyclone Mosaic project came from – a space for people to share their memories and be connected across Queensland through image.
The questions we continued to ask ourselves when curating the show:
- How do we make sense of the information, data, the stories?
- How do we provide opportunities for story telling?
- How do we represent the experience of the people – most having experienced this through technology – emails, tweets, texts, photo and the way it maintained a human connection.
Floodlines is an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of living in Queensland and that for many, it has changed their world. We go through natural events - if you are in St George – 3 floods in 2 years! For some people in Queensland this is a regular occurrence. We Queenslanders seem to have this incredible capacity for resilience – its very inspiring. Where do people pull their resilience from? This exhibition explores this – the people and their capacity to rebuild and recover.
I hope that exhibition is one of those that people come and take the time to listen, to share and to reflect on what it means to live in Queensland and also be inspired by our community, the ideas we have, and the technology that allows us to see our events through a new lens (an augmented reality one in fact!)
I would also like the thank to Department of Communities and Department of Health for their ongoing guidance and support in developing this exhibition.
- Written by Linda Pitt, staff member