Celie Forbes, Professor Stephen Naylor
James Cook University
This paper seeks to bridge a gap in Australian art histories by examining the contribution of Northern Queensland to the Australian arts narrative. The story of the visual arts in Australia is often written from the perspective of the southern states, and the story of Queensland art is often written from the perspective of its capital, Brisbane. This is despite the early depiction of the rich flora and fauna of Far North Queensland recognised in early surveys. In examining the history of the arts from the north however, key themes emerge that characterise and challenge understandings of the visual arts in Queensland. By exploring the work of artist Clem Forbes (1938-1997) and sculptor Tom Risley (1947-2010) this paper suggests that the contribution made by artists living and working in Northern Queensland can throw light on what is distinct about the north as a vision of Australian art.
Keywords: North, Methodology, Constructivist Grounded Theory, North Queensland, Art History, Provincialism, Historicism, Historiography