The Subtropic Complex

WHEN : 23rd October - 23rd November
WHERE : James Street

The Institute of Modern Art is pleased to announce The Subtropic Complex, an exhibition of Queensland artists dispersed in the shops of James Street. The project features works by Clark Beaumont, Louise Bennett, Anastasia Booth, Megan Cope, Sam Cranstoun, Caitlin Franzmann, Alice Lang, Archie Moore, Stephen Russell, Haruka Sawa, Sancintya Simpson, Athena Thebus, Elizabeth Willing. Works can be seen in Gail Sorronda, Bailey Nelson, Gerard’s Bistro, Camargue, Sass and Bide, Optiko, Maryon’s, Pistols at Dawn, Blonde Venus, Scrumptious Reads, and occasionally in the IMA courtyard. 

The word subtropic has long been used as a marketing strategy and cultural signifier to promote Brisbane. The climate is used to distinguish the city from other capitals and its narrative seduces international visitors to travel and do business. Climate is a curious term, with two key meanings: the prevailing weather conditions of a region on the one hand, and as a way to describe the dominant attitudes of a place on the other. It is primarily this cultural sense of climate that can be felt in the exhibition Subtropic Complex, though there is heat.

The Subtropic Complex brings together emerging Queensland artists as a part of Resort, which is a James Street festival proposing Brisbane as the ideal locale for a staycation. The artists, whose works are shown throughout the shops in this vibrant precinct, give nuanced and complex perspectives on what it means to make art here and now.

The Subtropic Complex aims to further explore this local zeitgeist, looking specifically at a diverse selection of Brisbane-based contemporary art practitioners and examine how climate, in both senses of the word, effects their perception of self, place and politics.

Curated by Tess Maunder.

For more information contact Anna Zammit at

Image detail: Sancintya Simpson 2011 ‘Brother’ mixed media on pigment print 70.0 x 70.0 cm