CATHY MUHLING, MERV MUHLING ‘Familiarity: A conversation with my father’

Familiarity: A conversation with my father
Cathy Muhling, Merv Muhling 

1 – 22 April 2023 / Opening Reception 12 April 2023

I have always wondered what it would be like to have a show with my father.
Dad was a well-known Brisbane sculptor and jeweller. His works have been collected by Queensland Art Gallery (QAG), Parliament House, HOTA, Home of the Arts, and many others. If you ever go to Brisbane, his final work is at Roma Street Parklands – The Crocheted Doily, 2001. He died in 2003.

Dad grew up on a farm in Kogan, Queensland, one of eight kids. It was a hard life with daily chores. In contrast, I grew up in Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane, on an acreage with one sibling and a life of bourgeois freedom.

Dad had a love of nature – especially moths, insects such as the praying mantis, and spiders. When I was a child, he would point out the intricacies of a golden orb spider’s web. He loved trees.

My memories of Dad and his love of nature have been constructed and reconstructed with love and admiration. Some memories come with joy, lightness and love; others with deep sadness, loss and wanting. Many of these memories are drawn from my time spent in the back of a four-wheel drive, travelling through varied landscapes with my parents. While my work is abstracted, there is always a landscape lurking, waiting.

Over the past few years, it has been a joy to work on a book about my father. It has been a way to hold Dad close. He was my biggest fan and critic, and I would love nothing more than a conversation with him about his art, my art, and art in general.

And so … I decided to continue the conversation with him in this show.

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