In 1945, at the close of the Pacific war, a group of young Brisbane artists formed Miya Studio, named after an Aboriginal word for ‘today’. Founding members Pamela Seeman, Laurence Hope and Laurence Collinson, together with Cecel Knopke, organised studio space and encouraged artists to respond to the challenges of the contemporary world. In Collinson’s catalogue preface for the second of the group’s five annual exhibitions, he critiqued the local art scene, stating ‘The members of Miya Studio are attempting, as far as a small group of young artists with only moderate means at their disposal can attempt such an undertaking, to make this arid soil vital.’ ‘Barjai’ (‘meeting place’), a Brisbane-based magazine for literature and art aimed at a young audience, shared and supported their ideals.
This exhibition revisits these endeavours with a focus on The Miya Studio Archive, which Pamela Crawford (née Seeman) donated to UQ in 1988.
Curator: Michele Helmrich