The Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane (GOMA) opened on December 2, 2006. It is the Queensland Art Gallery’s second building, and is the largest gallery of modern and contemporary art in Australia. It’s only 150 metres from the Queensland Art Gallery and to do both justice in a combined visit, you need to pretty much allocate a whole day.
Both the QAG and GOMA are on the banks of the Brisbane River. QAG’s riverfront entry is near Melbourne Street and Victoria Bridge and both galleries have an entrance from Stanley Place. The galleries are an easy walk from the Brisbane CBD and from Rydges South Bank and the South Bank Parklands. Incidentally the two galleries are affectionately known as QAGOMA (pronounced KWAG-GOMA).
Both galleries add much to the South Bank cultural precinct and are open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm (from noon on Anzac Day and closed Christmas Day and Good Friday). GOMA has an excellent award-winning restaurant that opens for lunch from midday to 3:00pm Wednesday to Sunday and for dinner on Friday from 5:30pm til late. You can enjoy a fabulous permanent artwork on the bistro lawn called The World Turns.
The galleries are home to more than 16,000 artworks from Australia and around the world in every important medium. There is an internationally significant collection of Asian and Pacific art. The work of Australian artists has been collected since the QAG’s foundation in 1895. The Contemporary Australian Art Collection is rich in paintings, major installation, cross-media and moving image works, which are central to contemporary art practice. The collection of Indigenous Australian art is also extensive with a focus on the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. There is also an impressive and varied collection of international art (Europe, Africa, North America and South America).
There are always exciting temporary exhibitions at GOMA and it has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere that invites visitors to embrace the building, the art and the staff. An example of the accessibility is ‘Toddler Tuesday’. Each Tuesday children aged 18 months to 4 years are invited to free seminars where there are games, storytelling and activities that are fun for the littlies and their parents/carers. Bookings are essential and can be made via the website link below. These sessions are free as are the gallery guided tours that are conducted by knowledgeable and passionate volunteers.
And while it is accessible in the sense of not being ‘stuffy’ or ‘pretentious’ the galleries are also extremely accessible for people with disabilities. There are ramps, lifts and toilets for visitors with wheelchairs. QAG wheelchair access is via the lift on the upper level of the Art Gallery carpark, via ramps at the front entrance from Melbourne Street, or via the street level entrance on Stanley Place, which is located between both buildings. GOMA wheelchair access is via the street level entrance on Stanley Place or via the lift from the Stanley Place carpark.
Here is a link to the official website for both GOMA and the QAG.