Fortitude Valley ARIs – Artist Franz Ehmann reflecting on a brief history of Soapbox Gallery, 95 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 1997 – 2005

Established in 1997 by Franz Ehmann and Charles Robb, Soapbox gallery was an artist driven initiative located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. In 1999 Franz Ehmann became sole director and oversaw the development of the gallery’s program and initiatives. For eight years Soapbox gallery ran a fast and furious exhibition program by exploring the contemporary issues of the day.

 

 

 

This was for you, the person interested in participating in this meeting of the multi cultured. By presenting the gallery-goer with works which blurred the boundary between art and its’ environment, and making their presence essential to the work itself, Soapbox promoted a progressive art experience which held immense transformative potential. Installations ruled. Tableaux, dioramas, theater, performances, object/abject, grunge, sculptures, video, projections, text, kinetic and computer generated filled the four spaces.

 

 

 

While never excluding painting once more it became a dominant focus in the latter years at the gallery. Soapbox gallery included curated, themed and incongruous shows that highlighted the diversity of artists and their choice of medium and subject matter. Curated exhibitions ranged from artist’s books, works on paper, drawing, abstract and figurative painting, and contemporary photography to projections.

 

 

 

In an era where most commercial galleries in Brisbane did not exhibit photo artists Soapbox gallery was the first gallery in Brisbane to fully endorse photography as a medium of urgency. Many artists have gone on to be represented by other galleries in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Many young and emerging artists got their first show at Soapbox.

 

 

 

An important initiative of Soapbox gallery was its drive to publish artist’s books and exhibition brochures. This included two titles: Soapbox – installation practices and artists, text by Linda Carroli and Ihor Holubizky and an introduction by Franz Ehmann and Heterostrophic edited by Ihor Holubizky and Franz Ehmann.

 

 

 

These publications were designed by Ricardo Felipe and generously supported by the publisher the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
In July 2005, eight years after opening, Soapbox gallery closed the physical space it occupied on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley.
Simply, it was a site of cultural intensity.

 

 

 

 

 

Soapbox Gallery

 

 

 

 

2005 Soapbox Program

8 – 25 February – opening 11 February
more theory – predicting difference
Bianca Sorensen, Elizabeth Timmins, Catherine Insch
Lachlan Glanville, Caroline MacDonald, Leon Jones
Glenda Orr, Stephen Geppert, Dominique Averlon
Daniel Cassimatis, Michael Ulrich

 

 

 

 

1 – 18 March – opening 4 March
Susie Adams, photography
a home at the end of the world
Killing time, contemporary photography
Benison Kilby,Victoria Lawson, Kalyi Amoto
Kate Kirby, Gloria Duffy, Amanda Gallagher
Tarkin Hall, Deirdre Brennan, Babette Angell

 

 

 

 

22 March – 8 April – opening 25 March
intransigent – works on paper
Jo-Anne Hine, Cezary Stulgis, Pamela Mei-Leng See
Jennifer Lawrey, Barbara Penrose, Britt Knudsen-Owens
Angela Gardner, Lynda Davies, Zoe Porter
Caitlin Reid

 

 

 

 

12 – 29 April – opening 15 April
Betty Tung – till death unites us
one of these days – painting
Dan Brock
Sonya Peters
Christian Flynn
Kathleen Condon
Damien Kamholtz
Roya Butler
Meryn Jones
Alastair McRae

 

 

 

 

 

3 – 20 May – opening 6 May
photographic skin
curated by Rose Phillips
Linda Ault
Hannah Broom
Renata Monika Buziak
Paul Cotelli
Neil Degney
Barbara Dover
Kathy Mackey
Virginia Miller
Rose Phillips
Liesl Pfeffer

 

 

 

 

 

24 May – June 10 – opening 27 May
Natalie Billing
uncommon ground
Dominique Averlon
Lynda Davies
Jo Diball
Gloria Duffy
Venus Ganis
Catherine Insch
Wayne Rasmussen
Nathan Robley
Laini Burton
Cezary Stulgis
Marguerite Hogan
Barbara Richards
Sam Eyles
Nic Plowman
Annette Hale
Andrew Collett
Fiona Cross
Leon Waud
Lisa Nolan
Mark Siebert
Gen Fothergill
Karina Averlon-Thomas
Caitlin Sheedy
Mandy Ridley
Caitlin Reid

 

 

 

 

Stephen Hobson
14 June – 1 July – opening 17 June
Chris Rathbone
a piece of the action
Dominique Averlon
Lynda Davies
Jo Diball
Gloria Duffy
Venus Ganis
Catherine Insch
Wayne Rasmussen
Nathan Robley
Laini Burton
Cezary Stulgis
Marguerite Hogan
Barbara Richards
Sam Eyles
Nic Plowman
Annette Hale
Andrew Collett
Fiona Cross
Leon Waud
Lisa Nolan
Mark Siebert
Gen Fothergill

 

 

 

 

4×5 Exchange Project – Rocketart, Newcastle – NSW
When the dog bites
curated by Diana Robson
Shellie Smith
James Williams
Martin Wilson
Zanny Begg
checkpoint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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