For those of you who don’t live in Queensland, the Ekka is Brisbane’s agricultural show. Ekka is short for The Exhibition, it’s the time when the bushies take over Brisbane for a week. This year’s show should have started by now, but sadly, it was cancelled due to a Covid lockdown. However this week I thought I would put up some paintings of the Ekka as a substitute for those who are missing the real thing!
I take my sketchbook when visiting the show, there is often good subject matter for paintings in the agricultural pavilions. I’ve never tried my hand at painting side show alley – probably too busy. Nor the main competition ring – probably too empty. However the smaller, quieter parts of the show suit nicely. I have sketched the horse-shoeing competition several times and some resulting paintings are attached.
Likewise the accommodation for the cows. It was well out of the way. Most people wouldn’t venture there for fear of stepping into something unpleasant. But with the cows resting, the farmers talking and the light streaming in, it was a magic scene. Many buildings in the grounds of the show have been modernised in recent years and the settings for most of these paintings have now been swept away. The competition is the same, but it made more interesting paintings in the old buildings.
Ekka time is also the time for the cold south-westerly winds, blowing hard and making life miserable. This year the time has come for the Ekka, the usual winds have come, but the people are not able to come!
I will hold my next exhibition of paintings at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, Windsor. Open from 27th August to the 8th September, 2021, 10am – 4pm. Please send me a note and I’ll email you a reminder two weeks before the start.