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Imagery Gallery


Photography Gallery, artist-run.



Directors Ruby Spowart and her son Doug Spowart.


Three Locations:
1980-1984 1st Floor, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane
1984-1985 Knowles Bristow Building, 149 Melbourne Street
1985-1995 1st Floor the Commonwealth Bank, 89 Grey Street.



Imagery Gallery was founded in 1980 by Ruby Spowart with the following objectives:

· To provide an exhibition venue for photographers;
· To assist those wishing to share their imagery with others;
· To provide a meeting place for those interested in photography;
· To provide a centre of photographic learning; and
· To provide a resource centre on photography and photographers.


Imagery Gallery developed into a multi-faceted organisation with four main activity areas


(1) Exhibition Gallery for photography:

The first exhibition being opened on March 28th, 1980 and closed in June 1995. During that time 205 exhibitions were shown featuring the work of international, Australian and Queensland photographers. Exhibition content usually consisted of the following; Social documentary, pictorial, photo essay, personal imagery, promotional exhibitions, competitions and awards.


The Gallery Exhibition Record

205 exhibitions from 1135 exhibitors. In the fifteen years of its operation approximately 75,500 people visited Imagery Gallery.

From 1980 to 1984 exhibitors were charged commission on sales, however, as many exhibitions were of a non-commercial or personal content from 1985-1995 the gallery functioned on a hire of facility basis.


(2) Workshops and Seminars in photography.

Imagery Gallery has operated photographic workshops since 1980 that were attended by approximately 4,950 students.


(3) Agents for specialised photographic products and services including:

LEICA and SINAR cameras, Kodak products and NECO Superscan murals, specialised photobooks and magazines.


(4) Organisation of tours for photographers.

From 1982-1998 I was involved in the planning, co-ordination and the leading of tours for photographers to locations Australia-wide and overseas.

In 17 years there were 34 tours; 12 to the Northern Territory, 8 to North West Australia, 1 to the South West of Australia, 2 to North Queensland, 6 to New Zealand, 1 to Africa and 2 each to China and the South-West USA.

These tours usually had 25 participants and were usually safari style, camping out in the bush, close to the areas of photographic interest. En-route lectures, discussions and advice were given to participants to enable them to make the most of their photo opportunities.


(5) The journal PHOTO.Graphy ISSN 1038-4332 was published by Doug Spowart with the assistance of Victoria Cooper between 1990 and 2001. The journal reported on issues relating to contemporary photography, reviews, and advance notice of exhibitions from all venues in Brisbane.



Exhibitors list, 1980-1990
Exhibitions list, 1980-1990

The Imagery Gallery archive was donated to the John Oxley Library at the State Library of Queensland.

Main artists, mainly with solo exhibitions, include: Graham Burstow, Victoria Cooper, Glen O’Malley, Charles Page, John Elliott, Peter Liddy, Michael Richards, Maris Rusis, Russell Shakespeare, Richard Stringer, Gordon Undy, An Zillard-Oliver, Charles Zuber, Doug and Ruby Spowart.



Icons and Revered Australiana: Doug Spowart


The first and last EXPO Photo Show: Doug Spowart


Cooper and Spowart

What We Did Blog -1980’s Queensland:


State Library of Queensland Blog