GOMA motorcycle exhibit
Majestic

Win passes to GOMA motorbike exhibit

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How would you like to win one of five double passes to the “one-off, world exclusive” Motorcycle: Design: Art, Desire exhibit at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) running until 26 April 2021?

UPDATE November 30: The winners of our competition are: Bill Mitchelmore, Daniel Aaron Dienes, Glen Mayne, Jhonnatan Paez and Neil Leggoe.

Congratulations! GOMA will be in touch to post your tickets or arrange “digital passes”.

If you missed out you, can buy tickets now on the GOMA website.

Prices range from $18 for a GOMA member to $25 for non-members with concession prices for children, families, seniors, pensioners and season passes. Buying your tickets online in advance will save you waiting at the door with permitted numbers restricted by COVID policies.

It arrives just in time for border openings and school holidays.

I just attended the media preview of the exhibit of motorcycling through the ages and into the electric future and I can tell you picking a highlight is not easy.

There are more than 100 motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, drawn from private and public collections across the globe.

The world-exclusive exhibition that takes up the entire ground floor in three big rooms features some important bikes, some major coups and some of my personal favourites.

Other highlights include:

  • The Brisbane-designed and built 1906 Spencer;

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Spencer
  • An 1871 Perreaux, the first steam-powered velocipede and oldest known motorcycle in the world;

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Velocipede
  • The wild and expensive 1930 French Majestic 349cc;

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Majestic
  • The 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that set an Australian land speed record in its day and more recently a world record for the highest price paid at auction for a motorcycle;

    Ehret’s record-setting Vincent
  • Symbols of speed including the1930s Triumph Speed Twin and the 1970s Ducati 750 Super Sport green frame (my personal favourite);
  • Kiwi-designed 1991 Britten V1000;

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Britten’s stroke of genius
  • Off-road motorcycles including Aussie Toby Price’s debut Dakar Rally winning KTM;

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Toby’s 2016 Dakar winner
  • Customised motorcycles at the intersection of art and design; and

    GOMA motorcycle exhibit
    Custom bikes
  • Ultra-modern electric motorcycles, demonstrating the future of transportation in the age of renewable energy, including the soon-to-be-released Aussie Savic C-Series.

Apart from the bikes, there is also a collection of motorcycle helmets painted by 15 contemporary Australian artists at the entrance to the gallery.

GOMA motorcycle exhibit
Literally a brain bucket!

There are also interactive displays where you casn create your own custom bike.

Scattered among the exhibits are big screens that from a Motorcycles on Screen exhibit within the exhibit.

It features old racing and riding footage plus iconic films classics such as The Wild One (1953) and Easy Rider (1969), cult favourites Scorpio Rising (1963) and Akira (1988), plus recent films Finke: There and Back (2018) and The Wild Goose Lake (2019). GOMA motorcycle exhibit

The Motorcycle exhibition will be accompanied by virtual talks and tours, storytelling events, trivia nights, and  ‘Motorcycles on the Green’ on 27 February and 18 April 2021, featuring more than 60 motorcycles from local community groups, live custom bike builds, DJs and more.

You can also grab a gift from The Motorcycle Exhibition Shop, including exclusive exhibition apparel and accessories by cult brand Deus ex Machina, and bespoke design pieces produced by local heroes Ellaspede. 

As a memento, you can buy the publication The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire is  at the QAGOMA Store or online.

You can also show off your ride by posting with #MotorcycleGOMA.

GOMA Director Chris Saines says the exhibition will appeal “not only to bike and motor sport enthusiasts but to anyone with an interest in social history, popular culture, design and technology”.

The GOMA exhibit has been curated by American physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and US filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with GOMA.

They were co-curators of the landmark 1998 Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York, ‘The Art of the Motorcycle’ that ran for three months.

It was subsequently seen in Chicago, Bilbao, Spain, and Las Vegas, with a total attendance of more than two million people.

Prof Falco described himself as a passionate motorcyclist who had his first motorcycle at 15, his first crash at 15.5 and last year rode a 90-year-old motorcycle across the USA.

“For a sustainable future, the world needs motorcycles for personal transportation,” he says.

His co-curator says motorcycles are an example of how “design drives everything”.

Chris says the exhibit will include the earliest 19th century steam-powered motorcycle, right through to electric motorcycles and future designs.

“Over its 150-year history, the motorcycle has undergone extraordinary reinvention, from steam power, to petrol-fuelled internal combustion engines to battery, and from humble backyard creations to custom-made, high-tech chrome speed machines,” Chris says.

“More than just a means of transport, the motorcycle is a design object, with forms and styles that reflect innumerable cultural and societal influences.”

  1. I can still see the expanse of black paint sprawled against the deep blue sky as I looked up in awe at the steaming monster. It’s reputation even in the mid 1950s had called my Dad and his cousins across the state to “The Mountain”. I can still recall the tingle of Eucalypts, petrol and oil fumes striking against the back of my throat and in the post race silence of that sunny morning the cicada choir was broken by a man’s voice; “Put him up if you want .” The feel of my fathers hand on my butt shooting me skyward to an abrupt bounce on the warm wide seat of the mighty Vincent. All this may well be coloured by the passage of sixty years the passing of so many miles and then many more kilometres. Yet for me it is the one memory I have held and revisited, one memory has stood firm in my mind. The vision of those bars as I lay stretched along the length of a big black tank, feet hooked astride the seat, arms like superman out in front, trying, as a pre schooler, to reach those controls. If I could reach them, even just touch em; for those few moments I would be Superman.
    From that moment: the love of a Vincent; any and every Vincent; even Photos and stories. Would rerun the emotions and I return to the “Pits” at Panorama.
    Obviously I would love to see Mr Ehret’s Vincent , it is most likely the first bike I rode and If so the man himself actually spoke to me.

  2. Long long way to Brisbane for me, so I bought the book. Interesting essays but the one titled Desire I found thoroughly disappointing. Mark Hinchcliffe would you please pen an essay on the ‘Desire’ (about motorcycles) subject – I expect you will embrace the task with no shortage of passion….
    My pick for the best ‘bike as art’ in the QAGOMA display wins hands down. It started life as an Aprilia Pegaso (yes, a bit ‘arty’) but then was handed to French designer/artist Philippe Starck. Starck’s career is still going strong, and has spread wide to cover creativity for furniture, domestic appliances, architecture, yachts, wind turbines – and, yes, the Aprilia Moto 6.5. This is the exhibit I could hang on my wall, its beauty given greater depth in the awareness I could un-hang it and love its function as well as its form. Desire? Instantaneous.
    (There’s a picture of the bike in Starck’s Wikipedia entry.)

  3. I would be enthralled to see the French Majestic. They always have an avante gard design theory for their motor vehicles .

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