The front cover of the March 2 edition of the Dungog Chronicle has been made into an artwork by local artist Brian Doherty and is currently hung in an exhibition at the University of Queensland Art Museum.
The exhibition titled ‘Ephemeral Traces, Brisbane’s artist-run scene in the 1980s’ is the first major historical exhibition to review the art and artists working in Brisbane’s art scene in the 1980s.
Mr Doherty said the title refers to the ephemeral quality of a lot of the art produced in Brisbane during the last decade of the conservative Joh Bjelke-Petersen government.
“The art scene had something of a French Underground resistance feel to it then and punk rock was the sound track,” he said.
The Dungog Chronicle cover has been folded and hung alongside nine other folded newspapers.
It is the most recent addition to a print based artwork series that started in 1982 when a page from the Brisbane Sunday Mail was exhibited and then toured around Australia.
“My artwork from the 1980s often dealt with the visual strategies of everyday items like newspapers, junk mail or soap boxes,” Brian said.
“I chose that particular Dungog Chronicle cover because it was a wonderful readymade portrait of Dungog, the town, the shire, and it’s current concerns.
“It was also one of the last editions of the Chronicle in the old format so it had a story to tell about the current commercial challenges for newspaper publishing and how that impacts on the print product.
“It seems as though both Dungog and printed newspapers are struggling to find a new way to be in the future.
“Given my age and the uncertain future of printed newspapers this may be the last newspaper that will be added to that work. I found that quite poignant.”
Local artist Jane Richens is also included in the exhibition with a billboard sized artwork that was displayed around Brisbane as part of the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988.
“In this work I had the opportunity to play with space on a cinematic scale,” she said.
“I was looking to create that other-worldly yet connected to this world quality of cinematic imagery and I was also interested in the conventions of voyeurism and the practice of using mirrors to both expand the cinematic space and provide a passage to alternative worlds.”
The exhibition continues at the University of Queensland Art Museum until June 26.