Giving a voice to Brisbane’s built heritage

The Brisbane Open Houses Weekend (13-14 October 2019) came with an opportunity to apply my own family history to the built heritage of the city. I wrote a story about Jackson’s Granary in Petrie Terrace, a building where I lived between 1992-1997. It is also the place that my grandfather George Martin worked 1920-1965 and then again 1971-1974. This building contains a particular history for my family and extends its solid foundations into the fabric of Brisbane. So many other people who have lived and worked in this building may write similarly personal narratives about their experiences of this memorable place.

Matthew Wengert edited the digital book Within/Without These Walls: Stories of Brisbane Buildings for Brisbane Open House (which celebrated ten years in 2019) and also invited me to write an essay about the Queensland Art Gallery building. My experiences at the Queensland Art Gallery are less significant than those of Miriam Prystupa, whose father Peter Prystupa was consultant architect on this building from 1971. She was eleven years old in 1971 when the Queensland Art Gallery came into her life and went on to work at the Queensland Art Gallery from the day it opened its doors in 1982. Her narrative about this place takes everybody inside the psyche of its spaces – their embrace of the river which also engages all visitors with its art.

Thanks so much to Matthew Wengert for this opportunity. The book is at the link below.

Peter Prystupa, Miriam Prystupa, 1986
Queensland Art Gallery Watermall, 1982
Queensland Art Gallery, 2019


At Jackson’s Granary (Museum of Contemporary Art), 1994


Jacksons Granary, 1994, interior

Within/Without These Walls: Stories of Brisbane Buildings 2019