Interview with David HOLDEN

the ephemera interviews

In this series of interviews artists directly involved in ARIs and artist-run culture 1980- 2000 speak about the social context for their art making and provide insights into the ephemera they produced or collaborated on during this period. Artist ephemera includes artworks, photocopies, photographs, videos, films, audio, mail art, posters, exhibition invites, flyers, buttons and badges, exhibition catalogues, didactics, room sheets, artist publications, analogue to digital resources and artist files.

David Holden


Artist, designer and illustrator David Holden was an active participant in the 1980 artist-run scene. Together with artist Belinda Gunn, they were the directors of the artist-run Arch Lane Public Art located in Arch Lane off Macrossan Street, off Adelaide Street from 1988 until 1991.



David Hi and thanks, why does a public archive mapping artist testimonies and artist histories about the ephemeral nature of the vibrant Queensland 1980-1990 artist-run scene matter to you?




I was directly involved with several QLD artist-runs during this era including being co-director of Arch Lane Public Art together with Belinda Gunn. As a Queensland based artist at the time I was working with multi-media installations, photography, painting, video and performance works.


From my perspective ARI’s at this time provided many artists like me an opportunity to establish networks, exhibit works, have the work critiqued by our peers, and to participate in a wide range of related professional activities.


This was invaluable at the time as there were no venues, institutions or galleries that would even consider exhibiting my work or promoting my art practice.


It is disconcerting that documentation and ephemera from this era has not been collected and published. I understand that this REMIX project is a useful way to change this and will ensure that an important phase of Brisbane’s cultural development – part of what has made Brisbane what it is today- can be captured and better understood.


Today I work as an architectural building designer and looking back now at my involvement with artist-runs like Arch Lane Public Art, the experience continues to serve me well in my professional work and in my daily life.


Artist-run initiatives contributed greatly to Brisbane life in the years 1980-1990. But unfortunately much of this activity failed to be documented. I wish to convey my thanks and appreciation to Paul for his efforts to rectify this situation.