Nestled among sandstone buildings and a quiet, leafy campus, the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Art Museum finds its general public foot traffic non-existent. Those who manage to discover it cross a small bridge to enter the large grand entrance. Inside, a bright and airy two-storey gallery awaits. The UQ Art Museum heralds itself as a ‘site for progressive and contemporary creative enquiry’.
The building is an enigma that raises many questions. Why does a university with no visual arts program have a large art museum? How has it attracted various contemporary artists from across the world to show their work? What does being a ‘site for contemporary creative enquiry’ mean practically? And exactly how progressive can one be in a sandstone university?