Last weekend I was invited for a sneak preview of Brisbane’s must-see events this Christmas, and I can safely say we are set for a summer social scene like no other. Playing host to a number of international guests, there will be something for everyone to experience in Brisbane with an abundance of events appealing to art and history aficionados alike.
My day started with a guided tour of GoMA. For those seeking a cultural injection, this should definitely be on your holiday “to-do” list. The newest exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’ features three major installations by internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang, including two newly commissioned works directly inspired by the landscapes of southeast Queensland (which the artist visited in 2011). Guo-Qiang’s work has featured in prestigious art institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York. The incredible centrepiece of the GoMA exhibition, Heritage 2013, features 99 replicas of animals from around the world, gathered together to drink from a blue lake surrounded by pristine white sand (reminiscent of the lakes of Moreton Bay’s islands).
Also on display at GoMA is California Design: Living in a Modern Way. This exhibition explores the history of twentieth century California by introducing audiences to industrial, architectural, commercial, fashion and craft design. Organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the exhibition presents over 250 objects, with everything from the original Barbie doll to Levi’s 501 jeans. If you see nothing else during the Christmas period, GoMA is truly a must-see. The intricacy and thoughtfulness of the designs are astounding, and even if you’re a new comer to the art world, I guarantee you’ll still find the exhibition equally grand.
However, if Ancient History tickles your fancy, The Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures display at the Queensland Museum is bound to be a winner. The exhibition showcases some of Central Asia’s most mesmerizing archaeological finds and provides a glimpse into the realm of the ancient Silk Road.
Before leaving GoMA, take a peak at the GoMA Store Christmas Design Market to explore the ceramics, textiles, paper products, jewellery and fashion on offer. But if you can’t stand to leave a good thing, why not savour the experience and stay a little longer? I sure did!
I stayed at the Hilton Brisbane just so I had the option of visiting the exhibition over two days. On top of staying in a luxurious twin share bedroom, I also received breakfast at the hotel’s ‘Chefs Hatted restaurant’ – it was delish! To help support Brisbane’s growing cultural scene, the Hilton Brisbane is offering GoMA attendees the same treatment, with a luxury accommodation package which includes a one night stay for two, late checkout, and breakfast at the Vintaged Bar + Grill.
After my first day at GoMA, I ran into some friends back at the Hilton who told me all about their afternoon at Brisbane’s new Gresham Bar (a cool mix between a London gentleman’s club and New York cigar bar). They stopped in to try a Kiddults’s dream – an alcoholic spider of rye bourbon, cherry cola and ice cream… yum! Brisbane’s chic bar scene is really starting to take off, with hidden cocktail joints and underground venues, worthy of a Melbourne alleyway, popping up all over the city. And Gresham Bar is certainly part of the mix.
However, if it takes a more than a display or some delicious drinks to invigorate your inner David Bowie, QPAC is sure to get you up and dancing. The entertainment destination has two of the world’s most iconic musicals on their summer program, with the flirty The Rocky Horror Show and whimsical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
For something a little lighter, Brisbane International Film Festival, Comedy Festival and World Theatre Festival will present some of the most entertaining performances from November 2013 through to March 2014.
Finally, it wouldn’t be summer holidays in Brisbane without a plethora of Christmas celebrations. The City Christmas Tree and the Myer Christmas Parade & Pantomime are set to light up Brisbane with festive cheer from the 13 -22 of December.
Brisbane is determined to avoid a single dull moment this Christmas, so join in the fun and check out what other amazing events are on offer. I am certain it is going to be a great summer in the city!