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Art, culture and history lovers can explore ever-changing exhibitions and showcases – all free.

On level 1, kuril dhagun is a First Nations cultural space with curated displays honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ millennia-old storytelling tradition. 

The flagship slq Gallery on level 2 features exhibitions that delve into Queensland’s social and cultural history. 

In the Heritage Suite on level 4, Extraordinary stories shines a light on the remarkable lives of everyday Queenslanders through photos, videos and other memorabilia. The Heritage Suite is also home to the Talbot Family Treasures Wall of unique Queensland collection items, and the Australian Library of Art showcase of rare books. 

You can take a self-guided tour of State Library’s free exhibition spaces and public artworks – there's even a collection of vintage teacups to admire.

What story will you start with?

Current and upcoming exhibitions

First Nations performers waiting side stage to perform at Laura Quinkan Dance Festival
Deaf in dance
The art of movement becomes a powerful expression of culture, identity, and resilience.
Exhibition info
Two people in a car with items stored on the foor.
National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023
Discover the power of photographic portraiture to communicate beyond the appearance of subjects.
Exhibition info
Lois Schultz papers and works of art
Extraordinary stories
Stories worth telling. Stories worth hearing. Stories worth collecting.
Exhibition info
Visitor viewing the Talbot Family Treasures Wall
Talbot Family Treasures Wall
Explore a changing selection of items from State Library’s heritage collections.
Exhibition info
Photo of 71 year old Graham Baldwin sitting in calf high water through his house after flooding in Echuca East.
Nikon-Walkley Photojournalism
Featuring the winners and finalists from the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Exhibition info

Past exhibitions
Working Country
In a time of unruly upheaval and devastation to land and family life from the colonial invasion, working Country was a means of survival.
Showcase info
Two smiling people visiting the Purpose Built exhibition.
Purpose built
Experience the transformative potential of architectural design and its pivotal role in shaping communities today.
Exhibition info
Picture of the artist Luke Roberts, 2022
Meet the artists
A series of intimate conversations with 35 of Australia’s most acclaimed artists.
Exhibition info
Ruth Whap (Library Administrator) accessing the Aurora system at the newly opening Mabuiag IKC, 2002 Photographer unknown
20 Years Strong
Celebrating 20 years of Indigenous Knowledge Centres in Queensland.
Showcase info
Gold Coast, 0464a, Glenn R. Cooke Souvenir Textiles Collection, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Queensland to a T
Queensland to a T dishes the dirt on the qualities that made tea towels desirable Queenslandiana and how we see them now.
Exhibition info
Arone Meeks, ‘Mabo 25 & Big Wet Community’ (detail), 2018
Legacy: Reflections on Mabo
Celebrate the influence and impact of the man behind the game-changing Native Title Act, Eddie Koiki Mabo.
Exhibition info
Two women viewing screen at Sovereign Stories exhibition
Sovereign Stories
Meet the authors and editors who have been part of black&write! and discover First Nations stories.
Exhibition info
A very large cardboard mushroom with purple and green lights behind a medium size cardboard mushroom with purple lights. Both mushrooms are surrounded by smaller cardboard mushrooms
The Great & Grand Rumpus
Explore a sculptural, digital, and immersive installation. Its origins lie in the limitless imaginations of children.
Exhibition info
Young girl wearing a bunny mask and her mum taking a selfie outside
Explore the work of three contemporary Aboriginal photographers; Michael Aird, Jo-Anne Driessens and Naomi Hobson.
Exhibition info
Artist interpretation of a banksia on a dark background.
Explore stories about people and plants in Queensland and discover the masterpieces of botanical illustration in our collections.
Exhibition info
Shiloh Nakach wearing a Libby Harward designed "Already Occupied" shirt.
Deadly Threads
A showcase of singlets, shirts, polos and jerseys created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland.
Showcase info
Self Portrait by Kapal Pilot
Big Voices
Take a journey into young artist's worlds, to see how they view themselves, their lives, their rights and their futures.
Exhibition info
Inside the Cut Copy exhibition
Cut Copy
Explore their do-it-yourself design and recall the bands and venues of Brisbane’s independent music scene of the 1970s and 80s.
Exhibition info
Jingeri art
Old words, new ways
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are on a long journey to awaken languages once deemed ‘lost’.
Showcase info
Close up portrait of a camel musterer in the outback
Twenty is an online photography exhibition reflecting on the last 20 years in Queensland.
Exhibition info
Woman lying in bed with a cup of tea at the High Tor guesthouse
Tea and Me
Visit Tea and Me to learn about tea-related memories and stories from across the state.
Showcase info
People exploring the Spoken exhibition at State Library
A free thought-provoking exhibition about the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Exhibition info
Man will child in stroller exploring the Jarjum Stories showcase at State Library.
Jarjum Stories
Enjoy the colourful world of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jarjum (children’s) books and storytelling.
Showcase info
A couple sitting at the booth within the Meet me at the Paragon exhibition at State Library.
Meet me at the Paragon
Moussaka. Souvlaki. Paniyiri. Baklava. Today, Queenslanders love Greek food and culture. However, this exhibition explores an untold past.
Exhibition info
Matt Golding standing in front of his winning political cartoon displayed on a wall.
Behind the Lines
The year’s best political cartoons 2018.
Exhibition info
Man watching video in I Heard it on the Radio showcase
I Heard it on the Radio
Protest in the air, a fresh voice on the airwaves; the first Indigenous radio station in a capital city began broadcasting in the 1990s… bringing an exciting new sound to our stereos.
Showcase info
People exploring the Plantation Voices exhibition
Plantation Voices
State Library’s portal to Australian South Sea Islander culture and history in Queensland.
Exhibition info
Woman observing Ian Strange's charcoal artwork in the Home exhibition.
Explore the social and emotional foundations of our houses through the incredible legacy of Frank and Eunice Corley.
Exhibition info
In the Palm Island and Our People exhibition. Photo by Joe Ruckli.
Palm Island & Our People
The inspiring history of Palm Island is celebrated in a fascinating showcase of images, memorabilia and digital stories.
Showcase info
South Sea Islander woman at Farnborough, ca 1895. Negative number 3680
Australian South Sea Islanders
Today’s Australian South Sea Islanders have a special place in Queensland’s cultural diversity and history. They are the descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland from 1863 to 1904 from 80 Melanesian islands to work the State’s cotton and sugar plantations.
Showcase info
In the Freedom Then, Freedom Now exhibition. Photo by Josef Ruckli.
Freedom then freedom now
Freedom takes many forms. Some countries cannot guarantee freedom from hunger, while arbitrary detention, religious and racial discrimination are practised throughout the world, sometimes even mandated by governments.
Exhibition info
Protesters near Brisbane’s iconic casino. Image courtesy of Uniikup Productions Ltd.
State of Emergency
State Library of Queensland marked the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Commonwealth Games when Brisbane came alive with political demonstrations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander civil liberties.
Showcase info
Woman exploring the Art of the Skins exhibition
Art of the Skins
Awakening South East Queensland historical traditions through contemporary art, Art of the Skins revitalised the practice of possum skin cloak making.
Exhibition info
Anthony Alder (1838 – 1915), Lincoln sheep, Homeward Laddie, 1895, Oil on canvas, 109 x 135 cm, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. ACC: 28082
Grass dukes and Shepherd Kings
19th century pastoral life on the Darling Downs comes alive in this intimate exhibition of treasures at SLQ.
Exhibition info
Blair Athol Recut, Siganto project by Julie Barrett - vials with book on top
Siganto Foundation Artists' Book Project
This showcase celebrates the beauty of those creations and research The Siganto Foundation support has enabled.
Exhibition info
A decade of building major bridge infrastructure projects in Brisbane cemented Sir Manuel Richard Hornibrook (often known as ‘MR’) as a pioneering Queenslander into the history of the state.
Exhibition info
performance in gallery
Our Dreaming
Connecting people to place through animation and storytelling.
Exhibition info
A charcoal portrait of a First Nations man wearing a button up shirt looking at the viewer
Transforming Tindale
Unheard stories are given a voice in this powerful exhibition of scientific photographs and contemporary artworks, exploring the legacy of Norman Tindale's 1938 anthropological expedition to Aboriginal communities.
Exhibition info
Visitors view the Don't Just Count Us, Let Us Count exhibition for the first time
Don't Just Count Us, Let Us Count!
This showcase tells the story of this historic milestone through the eyes of ACPA alumni as they reflect on the creative process, research and the performance which shaped who they are today and their understanding of the campaign to be counted.
Showcase info