WEDNESDAY, JULY 17,
Changes needed before we
measure up to this Swede's expectations.
The man who would be
Ture Sjolander is eager
to become a citizen of Australia - but he rejects anything to do with Britain or
"I love Australia, my
greatest concern is that Australians don't love it enough. As soon it is
possible to become a citizen of Australia without becoming a subject of the
Queen then I will seize the opportunity" he said.
In the meantime ex-artist
Ture, 54, will keep his Swedish passport and keep hoping for the social changes
he sees as vital for Australia in general and for Townsville i
"I am tired of art,
painting has no relevance in this modern age" said Sjolander, whose work is
exhibited in Sweden's National Gallery, Museum of Modern
Art and other international
"All of society has embraced
technology, to improve performance and to reach as many people as possible
except for the artistic world. It is blinkered and tied to the principle of
one-off paintings and limited edition prints.
"Perhaps it is still relevant
in the Third World countries which have no access to technology but in the
Western World it is finished. It is like making only one hand-written copy
of a book".
He recently sponsored a
public competition to find a new name for the combined city of
Townsville/Thuringgova. The winner of the $500 prize was Don Talbot of
Cranbrook whose suggestion was "Queensland City".
"There are many things
I would like to see in Australia," he said. "We must throw off the British
colonial system. The majority
of Australians are not of Anglo Saxon origin and
they do not want to be part of the British system. Having the British queen as
the queen of Australia is ridiculous.
"And the constitution of
Australia - it is based on the Magna Charta and it is not appropriate to
Australia today. " We must embrace multiculturalism and on that foundation build
a strong, self-sufficient country like America. "The minority cannot lead the
majority. I believe that on the declaration of the Republic of Australia most of
those 700.000 who now hold permanent resident visas, like me, would flock to
He first came to Australia
1982 when he visited all the capital cities and the outback and begane his love
affaier witk this country.
His biggest shock on that
first trip was meeting the great Australian mateship tradition and completely
"I had only recently arrived
in the country, I was in Canberra and I was thirsty. I found a bar and went in,
but when I saw it was full of about 200 men drinking together and no woman I
turned round and hurried out. I thought it was the biggest homosexual club I had
He laughs now over his
mistake, but still believes we must let go our convict past, in which he thinks
the mateship tradition is rooted, to grow and expand in a truly Australian
After his first trip he come
back again on his way to a film project in Papua Guinea. He met his future wife,
Maria, a Filipino-born Australian
in Sydney and, after tidying up his affairs in Sweden he arrived to settle and
marry her in Australia in 1988.
"We came to Magnetic
Island for our honeymoon and liked Townsville so much we stayed."
Although they have now
separated, Ture continues to live in Townsville with his 20-month-old son, Matu
because he thinks it is an ideal place.
When he first arrived, he
found that people were much friendlier if they thought he was a tourist. They
would welcome him and offer help. If he said he lived here, their concern and
interest shut of immediately.
"S I started to pretend that
I was a tourist and people in shops and buses and taxis were extremely
friendly. When I saw the same person again I would tell them I was back again on
Ture has abandoned this game
now and hopes for a political future.
His concerns are many and he
is passionate about them all. Ture Sjolander not one to remain uncommitted even
though some of his views may seem contradictory.
On the one hand he is
concerned about over-developement of Townsville. He feels that it is a good size
now and double the population, as some developers have promised to do would
destroy the lifestyle many find attractive.
"We don't want another
Brisbane or Sydney here. Europe is full of cities which have followed this route
and have been ruined by over-development and
"We don't want that to happen
He believes it would be
preferable to spread developement around among the various North Queensland
centres, so that all can grow a little , but not too much.
But on the other hand
he is keen to see developement on Palm
" I believe that Palm Island
could be a great tourist tourist attraction. It is so naturally beautiful, and
so close to the reef. "We should negotiate with the community there to build up
tourism, to build a resort, maybe to stage an annual festival there. " It is a
great resource and on which is not being used".
While he waits for the
republic and his chance at Australian citizenship, Ture spends his time caring
for his small son. "I have a single parent's allowance, which let me stay home
and look after Matu. Besides that, I have royalties from my
books and artworks which are on public display in
Sweden. " Under Swedish law, artworks are treated the same way as music and
books here. If they are on show royalties are paid to the artists for the
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25,
ARTIST TO FINE TUNE THE
RELEVANCE OF ART
ARTIST Ture Sjolander will
spend $10.000 of taxpayers' money raising the ire of north
Mr Sjolander, of Townsville,
a Swedish expatriate, says he will expose the harsh realities of the social
issues affecting the area i a series of two-minutes segments of "electronic art"
to be aired weekly on television.
he will buy the air-time with
a State Government arts grant.
"This is not a paint brush,
it is a power tool," Mr Sjolander said.
"I will criticise all the
things that people ignore or don't want to think about to make them aware
through art. "So much art doesn't touch people anymore, or has no
Mr Sjolander, a passionate
and outspoken man, has been involved in art from painting to videoproduction,
He has written several
internationally published books, including Garbo, a
pictorial biography of movie star Greta Garbo,
and was commissioned by the 70s Swedish rock phenomenon Abba to create
Mr Sjolander was also
commissioned by silent screen star Charlie
Chaplin to produce an art
In Townsville he is seen as a
He recently held a public
competition to create a new name for the combination Townsville city and
Thuringgova shire under the Electorial and Administrative Review Committee's
The winner was Don Talbot,
who received $500 for his suggestion of "QUEENSLAND CITY".
The competition provoked
debate around the town.
With the help of his
Creative Development Grant, Mr
Sjolander hopes to tackle a host of controversial issues; Townsville General
Hospital's Ward 10B - subject of the Carter inquiry into the treatment of
mentally ill patients, violence among Aborigines on Palm
Island, X-rated videos, tattoos, politics and
"These are all the things
that happen in this area and they should be expressed in art to reflect the
area," Mr Sjolander said.
He believes art in the modern
world should be expressed using technology and says that paintings are
He has even devised a plan to
exhibit art on the walls of Townsville Airport terminal "for all the world to
The large vacant walls in the
terminal should be used to hanf paintings and tapestries, and sculptures could
adorn the flight deck, the first-class lounge and the departure lounge, he
His proposal suggest that the
artworks be acquired on a six-montly basis and artists may have them on for
"So there is no limit to what
you can do."
Friday, November 29,
Local artist paints picture
of a unique airport environement
A PILOT project to display
art on the vacant wall spaces at the Townsville airport has been proposed by
local artist Ture Sjolander.
Acting Townsville airport
manager Phil Roben said the suggestion was interesting and a meeting to discuss
the matter would be held next week. " I believe such a display could complement
the terminal very well," he said.
Mr Sjolander believes that as
the airport is the first point of contact for businessmen, domestic and overseas
tourists and returning residents, there was no reason why the airport itself
should not become an attraction.
"I propose that the large
vacant wall spaces be used for a semi-permanent art display which could include
a number of large paintings and tapestries. " In addition to this, a small
number of free standing sculptured piece could be easily be
Mr Sjolander believed the
flight deck, the first class lounge and the departure lounge were other
attractive areas where graphic and smaller size artworks could be
"These could be accomplished
with minimal installation of lighting and hanging equipment," he
"The pilot project for
Townsville airport can be realised with very little outlay, mutually benefiting
the professional contemporary artists of North Queensland and the Federal
From this experiment could
evolve the creation of a unique airport environement which could become the
blueprint for others, Mr Sjolander said. He also envisaged the formation of an
art investment consultancy group under the airport corporation for future
interstate exhibition exchange.
Support for the venture has
been pledged by Perc Tucker Gallery director Ross Searle and artist and
James Cook University art teacher Anne Lord, both of whom have expressed wish to
join Mr Sjolander on the selection committee for the first
Business - Advertiser, August 3,
Sjolander a pioneering
Mr Ture Sjolander's artistic
work represents more than one technique, from traditional tapestry work to
visualisation of electronic computing.
Mr Sjolander has earned an
international reputation for his multimedia art work since his debut in
"Mr Sjolander has also served
as a member of the board of the Swedish Artists Society," former Minister for
Cultural Affairs in Sweden, Mr Bengt Goransson.
"He is represented at the
Museum of Modern Art, Stcokholm, the Swedish Government, the City of Stockholm
and the Royal Fund for Swedish Culture have awarded him grants for his
He received the top grant for
scientific art research from the Royal Swedish Academy of
Mr Sjolander has
produced television programs for Swedish Television including The Role of
Photography, Time, Monument, and Space in the
He is skilled in all kinds of
printing techniques and is also a professional
Mr Sjolander has written
several internationally published books.
For example he wrote a
pictorial biography of Greta Garbo titled: "GARBO", for one of the largest
publisher in America, Harper and Row (Harper&Collins) and the book had
He initiated work on a
pictorial essay on Charlie Chaplin. The dummy work was purchased by Charles
Chaplin and the finished work was titled "My Life in
He was also commissioned by
Chaplin to produce an art portfolio which was signed by both Chaplin and Mr
Mr Sjolanderwas commissioned
by the Swedish band ABBA, to produce graphic prints and a tapestry used in the
sponsorship of the 1977 America's Cup.
He established an electronic
picture laboratory in Stockholm, VIDEO-NU, for artistic research and was the
administrator of the laboratory from 1980-1986.
Mr Sjolander has created
monumental sized interior artwork for large industrial complexes in Sweden using
He has had a large number of
seminars and exhibitions throughout Europe and he participated in the Fifth
Biennale in Paris.
He has given lectures
throughout world on art and technology, includinga lecture last year at the
Australian Film Institute in Sydney.
One of the topics of his
lectures is possible establishment of multicultural communication by
This would include a three
week international TV high tech and arts festival, the commersialisation of
peace via satellite and the formation of an internatinal lobby group to connect
all Television systems of the world.
He is presently involved with
negotiations with Uplinger Enterprises (USA), the organisation which organised
Live Aid and Sport Aid, about establishing an annual three week satellite link
Campaign co-cordinator of One
World or None, Janet Hunt said the idea was marvelous. "The idea is a logical
extension as we move into the 21st century and we certainly support it." Jane
Mr Sjolander has conducted
research into Townsville's history and the city council have received a proposal
to revise the history of the city.
His research has shown the
first European to land in Townsville arrived 49 years earlier then previously
The discovery may be
celebrated with a special Townsville Day and a 220 year celebration in
He is also skilled in radio
productions and TV production.
Mr Sjolander is interested in
establishing an international artist's centre in Townsville to display
exhibitions from international artists.
He is a member of the Perc
Tucker Regional Art Gallery and believes i Fusion Business.
He is neither political nor
religious but believes in authentic humanity.