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EXHIBITION SUMMARY

HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE


Published on the occasion of

HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

EXHIBITION SUMMARY Organised by Gallery Services Shane Fitzgerald Eric Nash Erwin Cruz Louise Cummins Rob Donaldson Jo Stacey Holly Grech-Fitzgerald Carly Sheil Leonardo Valero Rurik Henry Jess Cuddihy Sarah Reddington Danielle Berry Wendy Bainbridge Damian Cumner Nicole Richardson Samuel Smith Jo Lankester

Manager Gallery Services Curator Exhibitions and Collection Coordinator Education and Programs Coordinator Digital Media and Exhibition Design Coordinator Team Leader Administration Gallery Services Collections Management Officer Digital Media and Exhibition Design Officer Exhibitions Officer Exhibitions Officer Education and Programs Officer Education and Programs Assistant Arts Officer Administration Officer Gallery Assistant Gallery Assistant Gallery Assistant Gallery Assistant

Publisher Gallery Services, Townsville City Council PO Box 1268 Townsville Queensland, 4810 Australia prtg@townsville.qld.gov.au +61 7 47279011 ©Gallery Services, Townsville City Council and the authors 2016 Cover Image Robert ‘HEB’ Hebden Untitled [Permanent residence] 2001 Pencil and pen on paper 18 x 27.4 cm [image]; 21 x 27.4 cm [sheet] Courtesy of the Hebden Family Published in The Sun, Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Pinnacles Gallery Riverway Arts Centre 20 Village Boulevard Townsville QLD 4817 Tues - Sun: 10am - 5pm

(07) 4773 8871 pinnacles@townsville.qld.gov.au www.townsville.qld.gov.au @TCC_Pinnacles PinnaclesTCC


Overview

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Public Programs and Education

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Documentation

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Visitor Feedback

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Media and Marketing

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Dennis Hebden speaks at the launch of Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE


OVERVIEW Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective displayed selected works by much-loved Townsville cartoonist Robert Hebden – better known to locals as HEB. This was the first major exhibition of the artist’s work, following a smaller display with CitiLibraries Townsville held in the Flinders Street Library (2015), as well as a selection of work presented as part of the larger 2016 exhibition Townsville Turns 150 at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. The exhibition had first been discussed by the Gallery with HEB’s brother Dennis, in July 2014, following Robert’s passing. His family was intent on honouring HEB’s lifetime of work with a major display. After many hours of research and trawling through newspaper archives, kindly assisted by the Hebden family, CitiLibraries and the Townsville Bulletin, the final exhibition presented just a small sample of the thousands of works HEB left us with. Featuring cartoons that covered local, state and federal politics, sport, and local issues and events, the exhibition evidenced the artist’s ability to put a local slant on topics affecting the nation. Like many of his fellow editorial cartoonists, HEB managed to take pertinent issues of a time and not only create humour from them, but also provide an alternative platform for a community to consider these issues and their potential impacts.

With the capacity not only to reflect, but also to conceivably shape a reader’s opinions, the power behind the art of editorial cartoons can at times be underestimated. The ability to probe and mock current events and their contributors, and largely getting away with it, is no small skill. HEB managed this job with a good humour appreciated by both his readers and subjects alike. Original cartoons were reproduced as large-scale display panels, and were complemented by a short documentary film about HEB’s life and work as told by his family, friends, peers and admirers. A significant outcome from the project was a hard cover publication featuring the works selected for display, information about the events that inspired them, and an essay about HEB’s life of achievement.

Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective was, as anticipated, an overwhelming success, in no small part due to HEB’s talent and the affection with which he was held in the Townsville community. Strong media coverage was attracted, and countless positive comments left in the guest book, details of which are contained further in this Exhibition Summary. Attendance to the exhibition was also high, with over 4,000 visitors recorded during the five week display from 15 July to 21 August.

HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

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PUBLIC PROGRAMS AND EDUCATION Gallery Services is committed to promoting engagement with the arts and its program of exhibitions through the delivery of a series of public and educational programs, each sitting within either the Creative Communities, Creative Classrooms, or Creative Spaces themes of the Visual Arts Strategy. A number of programs were scheduled and delivered to coincide with the major exhibition Life & Laughs | HEB: a retrospective, or hosted by Gallery staff, which further emphasise this committment. Programs arranged to complement Life & Laughs | HEB: a retrospective included:

Life & Laughs | HEB: a retrospective Exhibition launch A celebration of the launch of the exhibition, opened by Ben English, Editor, Townsville Bulletin 6.30pm Saturday 16 July 2016 Attendance: 78 guests Exhibition Floor Talk Creative Communities Program Highlights of Life and Laughs, delivered by Danielle Berry, Arts Officer Gallery Services 10.30am Sunday 17 July 2016 Attendance: 5 guests

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art box Creative Communities Program Art activities for under 5s, parents, carers and guardians at Pinnacles Gallery Various dates Attendance: 61 guests Exhibition Tours Creative Communities Program Tours of the exhibition for various school and community groups, including Kirwan State High School and Community Rehab NQ. Various dates Attendance: 24 guests Riverway Arts Centre 10th Anniversary Civic Celebration Activities arranged at Pinnacles Gallery to coincide with the Riverway Arts Centre’s 10th Anniversary, including a delivery of the Townsville Artist Markets, and 6 art workshops, including 4 on cartooning and clay modelling inspired by HEB’s characters. Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 August 2016 Attendance: 1673 guests Sundays @ Riverway Creative Communities Program Informal drop-in workshops at Pinnacles Gallery for the community Sundays throughout the exhibition Attendance: 15 guests


HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

Above: The Pacific Mainstream Jazz Band play at the launch of Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective Background: Robert ‘HEB’ Hebden Untitled [Townsville] (detail) 2001 Pencil, pen, and watercolour on paper 168 x 105 cm [image]; 174 x 111 cm [framed] Courtesy of Matt and Karissa Richards

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Visitors enjoy viewing works at the launch of Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective

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O SS P P EE C C TT II V V EE H E B : AA RR EE TT RR O


HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective on display at Pinnacles Gallery

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

DOCUMENTATION Please find on this spread and the following pages a selection of images taken from the Pinnacles Gallery display of the major exhibition Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective, and the official launch.

HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

Visitors to the launch of Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective admiring artworks and the publication

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE


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Ben English officially launches Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective

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O SS P P EE C C TT II V V EE H E B : AA RR EE TT RR O


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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

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Dennis Hebden speaks on behalf of HEB’s family at the launch of Life and Laughs | HEB: a retrospective

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O SS P P EE C C TT II V V EE H E B : AA RR EE TT RR O


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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

VISITOR FEEDBACK With over 4,000 visitors to the exhibition, it was inevitable that a wealth of visitor feedback was recorded. Many compliments for the exhibition were paid in passing to staff and volunteers at the Gallery, while others preferred to leave a more lasting tribute.

Indicative of patrons’ appreciation of the exhibition, 145 comments were left in the Gallery’s guest book, of which 99.31% were positive accounts. A very small selection of our favourite comments are provided below and overleaf.

“What a treasure for our history. FANTASTIC!” Steve and Roz Alexion - 4810 “Heb had a special gift. A great local character with much to give.” Jack and Barb Wilson - 4811 “We are so honoured to have been a part of your life!” Terri-Ann Firth “Wonderful walk down memory lane!” Trisha Fielding - 4817 “An excellent presentation of his work.” Anthony Kassulle - 4815 “Cartoons stirred up old memories. It’s great to smile and laugh!” Kevin Outler - 4815 “Excellent! Really worthwhile visit. Talented man’s work.” Neal and Lilian - 4812 “Great exhibition - what we are missing now that Heb is passed.” Gleny Anne and Margie “Very good exhibition of a great artist. Sadly missed.” Clair and Arthur Baldwin - 4815 “He was such a great talent with a wicked sense of humour.” Susan Johnson - 4817

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE


HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

Robert ‘HEB’ Hebden Untitled [Carols by Candlelight with Tony Mooney and Pricey] 1994 Pencil and pen on paper 28 x 20.4 cm [image]; 29.7 x 20.8 cm [sheet] CityLibraries Townsville, Local History Collection Published in The Advertiser, Wednesday, December 21, 1994

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

“Absolutely loved this exhibition and the meaning behind each piece. Heb was a very talented artist.” Holly Marie Griffin - 4817 “A wonderful reminder of our political past and a visual treat... What a great talent!” Jocene Vallack - 4817 “Great memories, does one good to be able to laugh at yourself!” Sue Zanker “Good to reflect on these wonderful works by Heb.” Peter B - 4814 “Thank you, great to see all his work. Had us digging out of our wedding card, which he drew for us in (1967) when in the Council (for a Council worker!)” Sharon and Dave - 4814 “Another great exhibition. Miss you HEB!” Narelle Harrison - 4815 “What a loss for us all. I really miss Heb’s gentle pokes at the establishment and other community issues.” C Ruffle - 4814 “Excellent, HEB still making us laugh.” Shane and Margie - 4814 “Have enjoyed his work for years. This exhibition is sending me home in stitches. Thank you.” Bev Kearney “Hilarious. Brings back memories of Townsville events and personalities. Well done! Most enjoyable exhibition.” B. Lox - 4819 “Great memories of talented and hilarious artist.” Robyn Preston - 4810 “Great art of all the ‘luminaries’ over the politics and sports up here in TVL. A sad loss!” John T - 4810 “Had a good laugh on way round (especially politics)” Keith P - 4814 “Very well done. What would he make of the Cencus!!” Jill Blaikie - 4814 “Laughed all the way round! Remembered my ‘history’ with chuckles of ‘ah, ha! Me too!’ Thanks for great compilation.” Christine Douglas - 3218

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

“A great work of arts. Lots of fun and enjoyment. A very talented man.” Carolyn Asher - 4812 “Very amusing. I worked with Bob in the Council on the Council staff magazine ‘CAMEO’. Many hilarious memories. Rod and Kym Wilson - 4814 “Knew Bob Hebden, but had no idea he was such a talented man. His family must be so proud of his humble achievements.” Marion Firth - 4820 “Fabulous. Always loved Heb’s cartoon.” Brian Christensen - 4816 “Wonderful memories of a great man.” John and Joanne Smith - 4814 “Remember Heb well from my days at the Twin Cities Advertiser. Loved his work! Such a quiet, unassuming character with a witty sense of humour.” Julie Devery - 4814 “The guy was brilliant and a great loss to the community.” Scott and Stacey Morrison - 4810 “Wonderful display - very talented man.” Ed and Kris Drury - 4814 “Very good exhibition of a great artist. Sadly missed.” Clair and Arthur Baldwin - 4815 “He was such a great talent with a wicked sense of humour.” Susan Johnson - 4817 “Glorious, such great talent and historical relevance! Amazing.” Pip Earl and P. Coman - 4814 “Loved his cartoons since he began in Townsville. Excellent display.” Shirtley Cattle - 4816 “Excellent, can’t stop laughing.” June Turner - 4812 “Laugh out loud funny but straight to the point!” Claire Sampson - 4812 “So nice to see his work displayed and appreciated like this. Hopefully never forgotten.” Val and Ray Berry - 4814

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HEB : A RETROSPECTIVE

MEDIA AND MARKETING Media, marketing, and promotion through Gallery Services’ established mediums contributed to high levels of exposure for, and attendance to, the exhibition. In recognition of HEB’s long-standing relationship with the local paper, the Townsville Bulletin also provided significant marketing support for this exhibition. Marketing materials and exhibition collateral which promoted the event, and assisted visitors in interpreting and enjoying the exhibition, included: • 2016 Exhibition Calendar, distribution of 10,000 • Invitation, distribution of 1,500 • Hard cover exhibition publication • Billboard on Boundary Street • Exhibition listing within the Townsville City Council website • Stories in the July and August issues of The Summit, Pinnacles Gallery’s monthly e-news, combined distribution of 2,250 • Facebook coverage • Twitter coverage • Story in Townsville City Council’s Arts/Culture/Events May - July, and August - October quarterly newsletters, distribution of 20,000 • Listings and paid advertisements in Townsville Eye, Townsville Bulletin’s weekend social liftout • Listing in July/August edition of Art Guide Australia • Large format poster on Pinnacles Gallery facade • Local Radio promotion and coverage by local TV stations • ‘Celebrating life, laughs’ full page article and images, including promotion of publication competition, Townsville Bulletin • ‘Exhibition draws on fine legacy’ article in the Townsville Bulletin, Saturday, July 16 • Social photographs from the exhibition launch, Townsville Sun, Tuesday, July 19 2016 • Weekend Planner image and listing, Townsville Bulletin, Friday, July 22 • Daily reproductions of HEB’s cartoons featured in the exhibition within the Townsville Bulletin

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Life and Laughs | HEB - a retrospective: Exhibition Summary