An “Art Exhibition” at 38,000 Feet

A New Art Project for Qantas.

Wunala Dreaming. This design appeared on a jet on September 3, 1994 for the opening of Osaka’s Kansai Airport. Photo: YSSYguy, Wikipedia

Perhaps Corporate Art Brief readers are already familiar with the art project Qantas initiated during the 1990s to paint several of their planes with aboriginal designs to celebrate the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.

Editor Note:  More information about this project is available in the 2017 edition of the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections. Ordering information is here

The company, the national airline of Australia, has continued to initiate innovative ways of sharing the work of Australian artists with an international audience. The latest project has been to work with some of Australia’s leading artists, photographers and digital influencers to feature their work on the airline’s international Business class amenity kits.

The project, called ‘Qantas Curates’ collaborates with professional Australian contemporary art curators to select artworks from 16 Australians that work in different styles that include pop culture, photography, fine art, abstract landscape, Indigenous art and textile design.

On May 1, the new range of amenity kits (eight types for men and eight for women) were introduced and offered to Business class customers on international flights, with two designs launching every few months.

According to Olivia Wirth, of Marketing & Corporate Affairs for Qantas Group the airline’s vision was to increase an awareness of contemporary Australian art and give travellers a collectible piece to take with them.

As the national carrier, we’re pleased to support talented Aussies telling uniquely Australian stories through their artwork and share them with a global audience.  We know amenity kits are an important part of the international Business class experience. Customers love the functionality of our kits and many use them after their flight as make-up bags, an evening clutch or to carry their mobile phones. So, the exposure is broad.”

The first two artists to be featured were Jacob Leary and Liam Snootle

Bubblegum Dystopia by Jacob Leary.   “Bubblegum Dystopia extends my interests into the nature of organisation. Focusing on the idea of non-linearity the picture space attempts to explore the layered complexities that define contemporary modes of experience.”

Liam Snootle – No Queen Blues/Unwind

 

Billie Justice Thomson, whose artwork Fairy Bread will feature on a kit for women said she was proud to be part of a program that showcases artwork in such a unique way. “It’s really exciting to be part of an art exhibition at 38,000 feet. “

A full list of the 16 artists is at the end of the article.

For many years, Qantas has been giving Australian artists opportunities to reach global audiences. In 2015, a donation of AUD 2.75 million ($1.9 million) from the Qantas Foundation, the airline’s philanthropic foundation, has enabled the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and the Tate to launch a joint acquisition program for contemporary Australian art. Works acquired as part of the program will be jointly owned and displayed by the MCA and the Tate. The institutions are planning to buy a wide variety of art spanning from the late 1960s to the present, and in a coordinated selection and purchasing strategy, the museums will share resources and expertise to carefully select an exciting group of artworks which will be shown in a special exhibition at the MCA in 2016, before traveling to London for a show at the Tate. Introducing contemporary Australian art to an international audience is meant to draw more attention to artists who, in an international context, have often been overlooked.

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 Announcement:  The story behind Qantas’ painted planes is being featured in our upcoming publication, as well as the Alexander Calder plane design  project of Braniff Airways and many other fascinating art projects around the world.  The book:  Unlikely Bedfellows:  Art Changing the Workplace and Industry will be released on June 1 in a digital and paperback edition.  I am accepting advance orders and an announcement will be posted shortly.  In the meantime, send me an email if you are interested in more information.  corporate.directory@earthlink.net

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These are the 16 artists that are being featured on the Amenity kits:

Jacob Leary – Bubblegum Dystopia features on the kit for women onboard 1 May 2017
Liam Snootle – No Queen Blues/Unwind features on the kit for men onboard 1 May 2017
Billie Justice Thomson – Fairy Bread
Bonnie and Neil – Gypsy Floral
Craig & Karl – Home
Fred Fowler – 7000 Ironbarks
Jon Campbell – Maaate
Kate Banazi – Adas’ Algorithm
Lucy Simpson – Dhina
Luke Shadbolt – North Avoca ECL 2016
Megan Weston – Iceland
Myra Yurtiwa Cooke (dec) – Lirrun
Nicole Warne – Hamilton Island 2014
Polly Pawuya Butler-Jackson – Mobile Phone Tower
Rachel Castle – I Love the people
Tom Blachford – Black Water

 

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