QAGOMA fashions another Queensland-exclusive blockbuster exhibition

Published Wednesday, 10 July, 2024 at 04:13 PM

Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch


  • The stunning work of acclaimed Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses is delighting Queenslanders with QAGOMA’s latest Australian-exclusive exhibition now open.
  • Featuring 130 garments and accessories, this retrospective of Van Herpen’s work premiered to record crowds at the renowned Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from November 2023 to April 2024.
  • QAGOMA’s Miles Government-supported, economy-boosting blockbuster exhibitions reinforce the state’s reputation as a global cultural tourism destination.  

Lovers of fashion and art can dive into the imaginative world of avant-garde Dutch designer Iris van Herpen in the Gallery of Modern Art’s latest Australian-exclusive blockbuster exhibition.

Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses celebrates the work of one of the world’s most innovative fashion designers, who draws on influences from science, nature, art and technology to create her spectacular haute couture pieces.

The retrospective exhibition showcases 130 of Iris van Herpen’s garments and accessories across nine thematic chapters that illustrate the origins of her inspiration, backed by an immersive soundscape composed by her partner and collaborator, artist Salvador Breed.

Alongside a recreation of van Herpen’s Amsterdam atelier and a space dedicated to her fashion shows, Sculpting the Senses features complementary contemporary art, and natural objects including pieces from QAGOMA’s collection and specimens such as corals and crinoid fossils on loan from Queensland Museum Kurilpa.

The Miles Government proudly invests in QAGOMA, with blockbuster funding and support from Tourism and Events Queensland enabling the presentation of major exhibitions that grow the state’s experience economy and global reputation as cultural tourism destination ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses joins a stellar list of exclusive exhibitions secured through Queensland Government blockbuster investment, including the recent Fairy Tales; European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire; and the upcoming 11th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art arriving at QAGOMA in late November.  

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch:

“Queensland welcomes Iris van Herpen and her award-winning sculptural designs, which are celebrated on runways and in museums around the world, in another QAGOMA Australian-exclusive exhibition.

“Creatively interweaving art, fashion and technologies, Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses is a stunning retrospective of the designer’s work which will inspire and engage visitors and further boost our state’s reputation as an international cultural tourism destination.

“Through the Miles Government’s blockbuster exhibition funding and investment through Tourism and Events Queensland, QAGOMA has a strong track record of securing globally significant arts experiences for Queenslanders and visitors to the state, with exclusive exhibitions generating more than $140 million in economic impact since 2016.”

Quotes attributable to QAGOMA Director Chris Saines

Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses features 130 of the renowned designer’s visionary haute couture creations and accessories, fashioned from the most innovative materials and new technologies.  

“Developed by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition is a sensory exploration of the Dutch designer’s multidisciplinary practice that merges fashion, contemporary art, design, technology and science.

“This extensive survey highlights van Herpen’s unique approach to transgressing conventional clothing norms while embracing both traditional couture craftmanship and innovative techniques.

“The threshold to the Sculpting the Senses exhibition includes a specially commissioned installation Whispers Wall 2023 from First Nations artist Megan Cope. 

“Complementing a coat from Iris’s 2011 Escapism collection, this wonderful work is a curtain crafted from oyster shells, referring to Indigenous resilience and environmental consciousness.”   

 Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses is at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Brisbane from 29 June to 7 October 2024.
  • Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses is co-organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris and QAGOMA, Brisbane based on an original exhibition designed by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
  • The exhibition is curated by Cloé Pitiot and Louise Curtis from Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in collaboration with Nina Miall and Jacinta Giles from QAGOMA.
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