My first trip to GOMA


I’m going to come right out and say it… I am not arty. I don’t know the first thing about the Renaissance, Impressionism or any of the other countless -isms of the art history timeline. I took high school art until it was no longer a required subject, and boy was I terribly disinterested and talentless. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been a Brisbane and Sunshine Coast girl my entire life and I still had not been to the Gallery of Modern Art. GOMA was a place I’d seen many of my friends visit and appear to have a pleasant time, and ever since it’s been on my Brisbane to-do list. So, I dragged myself and English Boy (kicking and screaming) to visit Brisbane’s most modern and talked about art.

I should first establish that my lack of interest and knowledge in visual arts deems me absolutely no right to accurately or academically critique the works I saw that miserably rainy Brisbane morning. Though, I couldn’t help but simply be bored with the overall experience. In and out of the building within an hour, leaving as confused about art as I was when I entered.

Unfortunately, most of the works felt sporadically and confusingly placed in a fairly illogical order and layout. I felt as though most were nothing spectacular, and rarely ignited sparks of intrigue for me. There were the odd one or two paintings which wow-ed me, however, for the most part I just didn’t quite understand anything (though that’s probably no fault of the gallery).

That being said, I can’t deny that the majority of the works were modern. Though what I can say is that there were a few too many video footage playbacks and not enough visitor involvement, of which I had preconceived was all part of the GOMA experience. I wanted to immerse myself in art – not just look at it. That is modernity. Unfortunately, perhaps, we went at the wrong time of year, or when there simply wasn’t anything of that calibre to provide, but it did leave a disappointing taste in my mouth – much like the caesar salad I had today, with too much lettuce and not enough parmesan and bacon.

All this aside, I no doubt will revisit at some point, who knows whether that will be when I am craving air-conditioning on another scorching Queensland summer day, or if a user-friendly exhibit pops up and sparks my interest. For now, I think it might be a good idea to stick with the art forms I can interpret and understand – dance, music and writing.