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Penning the public: Museum invites you to draw on the walls


Sitting in the Museum of Brisbane for over a year, The Storytellers enlisted Brisbane’s best writers to share the histories and myths that make the river city’s rich history. In the installation’s Next Chapter it turns interactive, handing the pen to the public.

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The Storytellers weaves the facts and fictions of Brisbane across the written word, oral histories, visual arts, historical objects and augmented reality.

The exhibition opened in July 2020, gathering stories from acclaimed Brisbane writers such as  Victoria Carless, Simon Cleary, Matthew Condon, Trent Dalton, Nick Earls, Benjamin Law, Hugh Lunn, Kate Morton and Ellen van Neerven.

Now, the Museum have invited the public to draw on the walls of the Museum, transforming it into a community installation that bring Brisbane’s histories into the future.

The exhibition will allow the public to graffiti a cell inside Boggo Road Gaol described by Trent Dalton; plant fabric sunflowers in a field of sunflowers, and decorating a dilapidated Queenslander inspired by Nick Earls.

Museum of Brisbane Director, Renai Grace, said the exhibition will break down traditional barriers of a museum experience.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to transform our award-winning exhibition The Storytellers into a cool, creative playground this summer and invite our community to leave their own creative mark on our walls,” she said.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner encouraged residents to visit The Storytellers: Next Chapter.

“Museum of Brisbane is one of our city’s true hidden gems and a must do whether you’re a long-time local or just passing through,” he said.

“The Museum plays an important role in giving Brisbane a voice by bringing art, culture and history to life, so this is a unique opportunity to add your story to the walls of a city treasure.”

The exhibition combines first-person accounts, short fiction, oral histories and urban myths, to weave together a collective history of Brisbane.

Benjamin Law reflects on his family’s pilgrimages to Chinatown, international best seller Kate Morton who reminisces on 100 years of South Brisbane’s history with short fiction, and Matthew Condon explores Brisbane’s criminal underbelly.

The Storytellers provides different perspectives and a deeper, human interpretation of our city, while showcasing the work of Brisbane’s talented writers,” said Renai Grace.

“Over the decades, Brisbane has played host to conflict, celebration, scandal, disaster, ceremony and transformative moments,” she said.

The Storytellers will be a must-do for any Brisbane resident or visitor, who wants to immerse themselves in the stories of those who have walked our streets, experienced triumph and tragedy and grown up in the city we call home.”

The Storytellers: Next Chapter opens at the Museum of Brisbane on 9 December and runs until 23 January 2022.  

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