On the Couch with Sarah Thomson

Sarah-Louise-Thomson-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Sarah Thomson?
I’m an arts worker and emerging curator. The first public art exhibition I’ve curated, alongside co-curator Alex Holt, opens across Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Gallery 30 November. Sunny Side Up features work by Holly Anderson, Hailey Atkins, Jordan Azcune, Julia Scott Green, Kinly Grey, Charlie Hillhouse, Amelia Hine, Phoebe Paradise, Parallel Park, and Monica Rohan, and is a playful look at the subtropical identity of of the city from the perspective of these young artists.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
In a general sense, I would like to be more open and courageous. If I had to have an entirely different life, I’d like to live in the country and have a hobby farm or a winery, or be an editor, or study law or science, or philosophy.

Who inspires you and why?
My partner who has an unending reserve of energy for creative projects and for helping other people.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Universal basic income and prison abolition.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
It’s not so far-flung, but a recent stay at Pomona in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands was both parts relaxing and energising – to be a quick drive from Noosa but tucked away in a quiet spot with a view of the imposing Mount Cooroora.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If they’re into art, I’d always suggest a trip to QAGOMA, especially the super-serene QAG collection galleries and sculpture garden, as well as heading to the Institute of Modern Art where I work. For a cool-down I would take them to the Enoggera Reservoir for a splash followed by some wine at home.

What are you currently reading?
Call of the Reed Warbler by Charles Massey. My most recent hobby is watching videos of very impressive regenerative agriculture projects and imaging living on a farm.

What are you currently listening to?
Minnie Riperton’s angelic high notes.

Happiness is?
Being grateful.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m unsure given the year we’ve had and the funding landscape of the not-for-profit art sector, but hopefully even more fulfilling curatorial projects and a whole lot of learning – This year we’ll be running an online program open worldwide that connects with international festivals so that local shows can reach an international audience.


Sarah has Co-curated (with Alex Holt) Brisbane City Council’s free Outdoor Gallery program, Sunny Side Up – which will be on display at various locations throughout the Brisbane CBD: 30 November 2020 to 18 April 2021. For more information, visit: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au for details.

Image: Sarah Thomson (supplied)

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