Plenty left in tank before Motorcycle hits home straight at GOMA

GOMA’s The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire exhibition started up its engine late last year but there won’t be an idle moment before it wraps up, with a series of events including an outdoor festival and the long-awaited return of the gallery’s Up Late program planned for the coming weeks.

Feb 18, 2021, updated Feb 18, 2021
Brisbane band Waax will headline the Friday-night festivities for The Motorcycle Up Late at GOMA next month.

Brisbane band Waax will headline the Friday-night festivities for The Motorcycle Up Late at GOMA next month.

GOMA’s world-exclusive exhibition features more than 100 motorcycles from the past 150 years, from some of the earliest examples of steam-powered bikes to modern vehicles.

Michael O’Sullivan, QAGOMA’s design manager and the coordinating curator of the exhibition, told InQueensland motorcycles had been a part of Brisbane’s popular culture since the late 19th century.

“We uncovered information that the first motorcycle was demonstrated in Brisbane in 1896,” he said.

“There is quite a long and extensive history of motorcycles even locally and the exhibition features what we think is one of the first Australian-designed and built motorcycles that was built in Auchenflower in Brisbane in 1906, by an inventor named David Spencer.

“So, when we were planning the exhibition, we found this great, really early example that was essentially built in our own back yard.”

That enduring link to locally designed and built bikes will be on full display at the free Motorcycles on the Green festival on Saturday February 27, which will include a pop-up workshop from Brisbane custom motorcycle company Ellaspede.

The event, which kicks off at 10am on the Maiwar Green outside the gallery, gives punters the opportunity to get up close to 60 vintage classic bikes and chat with members of the Historic Motorcycle Club of Queensland.

Motorcycles on the Green will also feature DJ sets from Patience Hodgson of Brisbane band the Grates and Lori Lee, a leader in the Australian rockabilly scene and organiser of festivals including Greazefest.

The day’s festivities are free, with no bookings needed, but a valid ticket is required to visit the exhibiton itself.

And in news that’s sure to rev up live music fans, GOMA has also announced it will host The Motorcycle Up Late concert series next month in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland as part of this year’s Curiocity Brisbane program.

On Friday, March 19, high-octane Brisbane band Waax will headline the night’s entertainment, which runs from 6-10.30pm and will also include sets from acclaimed indie-pop singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow and raw modern rock ‘n’ roll purveyors The Hi-Boys.

Tex Perkins. (Photo: Supplied)

The following night will feature a headline performance from Australian rock icon Tex Perkins, who will be joined by Jez Mead, Lucie Thorne and Christian Pyle, as well as sets from razor-sharp all-female punk four-piece VOIID and TripleJ Unearthed Artist of the Year, Tweed-based Gudjinburra rapper JK-47.

Up Late events have traditionally been held inside the gallery’s walls but QAGOMA director Chris Saines has confirmed nexy month’s events would be held outside.

“With a spacious outdoor setting on the Maiwar Green and additional bar locations, the all-ages event will deliver Up Late’s trademark mix of music and exhibition experiences in a fully COVID-safe environment,” he said.

Entry to the exhibition is included in the ticket price for the Up Lates events.

There is also a series of motorbike-centric films showing at the GOMA Cinema as part of the free Australian Cinémathèque Motorcycles on Screen program, including The Great Escape, which will screen at 1.30pm on Sunday, March 21.

The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire, runs until April 26. To purchase tickets to the exhibition or Up Late events, visit QAGOMA’s website

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